Sirius Minerals bags seven-year African supply deal

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The firm behind a £3.2billion project to mine polyhalite near Whitby, which will then be transported to Teesside for processing, is celebrating a new seven-year supply deal.

Sirius has signed an agreement with Intercontinental Trade DMCC Dubai (ITL), one of the largest suppliers of fertilizer to Nigeria.

Sirius is currently constructing the Woodsmith Mine near Whitby in a project that is expected to create 2,500 jobs.

Polyhalite – a high grade form of potash and multi-nutrient fertiliser which increases crop growth – will be extracted from the mine before being transferred to a site at Wilton via an underground transport system for global export.

Sirius had been looking to execute 2Mtpa (metric tonnes per annum) of incremental agreements in 2018, of which today’s agreement represents a significant 17.5% of that.

ITL Trading is a global trading company with an active presence in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

It specialises in supplying Nigeria and West African clients with globally sourced products and services that are critical to laying the foundations for a modern economy.

The supply agreement is a seven-year agreement from first production, for volumes of POLY4 increasing to 350,000 tonnes per annum in year four, and provides for exclusive marketing rights into Nigeria.

Sirius managing director and CEO Chris Fraser, pictured above (right) with former Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy, said: “Africa is a huge potential market for POLY4 and we are very pleased to establish our initial footprint in Nigeria, which is the largest market in West Africa.

“Nigeria is positioned as the key market for fertilizer growth in the region and we believe ITL Trading will be a fantastic long-term partner for the company.

“We continue to make good progress on all aspects of our project and are in active discussions with potential customers in other key markets such as Europe, India and Brazil in order to support the stage 2 financing.”

Preetpal Walia, managing director of ITL Trading, added: “The Nigerian fertilizer market is undergoing strong growth and there is tremendous potential for multi-nutrient products which can deliver balanced fertilization.

“We see POLY4 as being an ideal product to meet this opportunity and are very pleased to be entering into this long-term arrangement.”

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