The operational and boardroom efforts are expected to culminate in the completion of the project’s Stage 2 financing later this year, which once reached, would be the stand-out achievement of the year.
Right now, shaft sinking operations are underway at the Woodsmith mine site in North Yorkshire.
Sirius told investors that diaphragm walling activities are progressing smoothly with three rigs in operation.
In today’s full year results statement, chief executive Chris Fraser said: “We achieved a number of important performance milestones in 2017, with commencement of construction, incremental supply agreements signed, bringing the total to 4.4 million tonnes per annum, a move to the London Stock Exchanges's Main Market and inclusion in the FTSE250 amongst the highlights.
“We continue to innovate and work hard on all aspects of our project to secure value for shareholders and are focused on ensuring 2018 will be another year of significant progress on all fronts, as demonstrated by our recent shaft sinking contract."
Sirius ended the year with £468.5mln of cash resources, comprising bank deposits and cash equivalents. It noted that during 2017
it deployed some £197.3mln (before financing costs) to the mine development project. The pre-revenue group made a £78.9mln loss for the year.
Giving his outlook statement for the remainder of 2018, Sirius chairman Russell Scrimshaw described it as a “pivotal year” for the company.
“The construction of the first new fertilizer mine in the UK for a generation is an opportunity to create thousands of jobs and bring significant economic benefits to both national and local economies.
“In order to fully realise this transformational opportunity for the UK, a partnership with the UK Government, in the form of a Treasury Guarantee under the Infrastructure Project Authority's scheme, is essential.
“Securing this guarantee and our stage 2 financing will be our core focus for the year ahead and I am comforted by our excellent progress made to date.”