Today marks the last day for Sirius Minerals Plc, with the delisting of the shares due tomorrow, when the takeover of Sirius is due to be concluded by Anglo American plc. I want to use my last day as a director of the Company to say a very sincere thank you to every stakeholder that has supported the Company during my time at Sirius.
There are so many people to thank, but I will start with the landowners and the wider local community in and around all our development sites for the Woodsmith Project. They have long backed us and our endeavours, understanding the economic and employment benefits that have and will be brought to the area, as well as the benefits to the country as a whole and the global agricultural market.
They have trusted us to develop the project in the right way, given its sensitive location, and I believe we have repaid that faith throughout our planning, development and construction work. In 2013 our CEO Chris Fraser, with the full support of the Board and Management, set up the Sirius Minerals Foundation to help share some of the revenue from the project with the local area. That legacy will endure, and I trust it will be a positive influence in the area for decades to come.
To our customers and research partners around the world I offer my very sincere gratitude. There are (and continue to be) plenty of people that seek to talk our POLY4 product and project down. But our customers know and understand its value and role in the future of agriculture and without them we could not have progressed this far. I look forward to the day that they first start receiving product and they in turn continue to help support farmers with better and more efficient fertiliser practices that the world continues to need.
Without our shareholders and our investors, we obviously would not have been able to make any progress at all. I know there has been much disappointment regarding the value to shareholders that the takeover has delivered. However, given the circumstances it was the only viable route forward. I am sorry we could not deliver what we hoped to, but we scoured the globe for a funding solution (without success) after our stage two financings ran into difficulties. This will of course forever be a major regret to everyone involved as it has meant that we at Sirius Minerals Plc were not able to bring the project into production and revenue.
I want to pay particular thanks to Mrs Rinehart and her Hancock Prospecting team for their ongoing support. In 2017 they signed a royalty agreement with the Company that helped underpin the stage 1 financing which in turn allowed construction to start and a wave of jobs throughout the area to be created. In challenging times to raise money for major greenfield mining projects, this was a major vote of confidence in both the project and the UK. I have no doubt they will be a great partner with Anglo American.
Finally, I want to thank the amazing team at Sirius Minerals, including our contractor partners and advisers, who have worked diligently and tirelessly over the last 10 years to make the Woodsmith Project a reality. Few people will understand as well as I do the level of sacrifice that members of the team have made to progress the project and deliver the many achievements that so many people said weren't possible.
Everyone involved with the project must now focus on the job at hand, progressing work under the stewardship of Anglo American. I take great comfort knowing that the project will be taken over by a responsible business and team at Anglo American, such is the importance of the project's delivery to the local area, the country and indeed the industry as a whole.
Thank you for your support.
ChairmanBack to news archive