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City analyst: Sirius Minerals’ major value drivers remain on track

Liberum’s Richard Knights expects a “string of significant announcements” to be made over the next few months, including updates on financing, construction and off-take deals

woodsmith mine
Liberum reckons SXX shares are worth 60p

Analysts at City broker Liberum have been reassured by Sirius Minerals PLC’s (LON:SXX) latest operations update, claiming that the company’s “major value drivers … remain on track”.

In the statement, the FTSE 250 company said it was on target to deliver first polyhalite production from its Woodsmith mine in North Yorkshire in 2021.

READ: Sirius Minerals making “good progress” at Woodsmith

It also confirmed that it still expects to finalise its second and final round of funding by the end of this year, even though there has been a slight delay in receiving commitment letters from banks.

Liberum analyst Richard Knights said they – production and financing – are the two most important things at the moment, but he did note some more work is needed if the financing is to be secured this year.

“To achieve financial close by year-end the company will need to deliver another c.1.3-2.3mln tonnes of offtake before year-end,” he wrote in a note to clients.

That should be doable though, especially given that Sirius said discussions with other possible offtakers were “well advanced”.

Lots of news on the horizon?

Knights reckons “a string of significant announcements” will be made over the next few months, as the company updates on offtake deals and receives bonding letters of commitment from potential lenders.

Also of interest will be the final capex figure – how much the mine is going to cost – which will be known once the procurement of various key items has been finalised.

The figure currently stands at US$2.9bn, but Knights notes that this figure could go up or down, depending on how the negotiations go.

The analyst has the stock as a ‘buy’ with a price target of 60p – almost double the current price of 32.4p.

Quick facts: Sirius Minerals PLC

Price: 3.558 GBX

LSE:SXX
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £249.78 m
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