Commencement of Drilling at York Potash
Aug 01, 2011
OTC Disclosure News Service
London, United Kingdom –
1 AUGUST 2011
Sirius Minerals Plc
(“Sirius” or the “Company”)
Commencement of Drilling at York Potash
The Directors of Sirius Minerals Plc (AIM: SXX, OTCQX: SRUXY), the globally diversified potash development group, are pleased to announce that over the weekend drilling of the first hole commenced at the York Potash Project.
It is planned that each hole in the York Potash drilling programme will utilise two rigs to improve efficiency and reduce impact. The first smaller “top-hole” rig will sink each hole to approximately 750 meters. At this point the larger “coring” rig will be brought onto the hole to core the entire evaporite sequence. It is anticipated that each hole will intersect the two potassium chloride targets, the Sneaton and Boulby seams, and the potassium sulphate target, the Fordon polyhalite seam. While the coring is occurring at one hole, the top-hole rig will move onto the next hole and the procedure will be repeated.
This drilling programme has been designed to reduce impact at each drill site. During the first phase of each hole it is planned that the top-hole rig will only operate on a 12-hour day shift basis. The coring rig will however operate 24 hours a day. The time taken by the top-hole rig is expected to be approximately the same as the time required by the coring rig for the coring of each hole. This has been planned to result in a relatively seamless handover of each hole from the top-hole rig to the coring rig.
Subject to a number of factors inherent in drilling of this nature, the first hole is anticipated to take up to 60 days to be completed. Following the completion of each hole it is expected that it will take approximately three weeks before Sirius receives the assay results. Once Sirius has had an opportunity to review the results it will update the market as soon as practicable.
PR Marriott Drilling Ltd (“Marriott”) has been appointed to undertake the drilling programme following a competitive tender process. Marriott was selected on the basis of its rates and outstanding experience. Established in the UK over 60 years ago, Marriott has built a reputation for excellence by providing unrivalled drilling and associated services to the oil, gas and geothermal industries together with water well drilling, groundwater engineering and support services. Marriott is the largest onshore drilling contractor based in the UK, with a modern fleet of 12 drill rigs and a full range of ancillary equipment. More information can be found at www.pr-marriott-drilling.com.
Chris Fraser, Managing Director and CEO of Sirius, said:
“The commencement of drilling in North Yorkshire is a major milestone for the York Potash Project. These will be the first new surface boreholes drilled for potash in North Yorkshire for almost 35 years and the first ever surface boreholes focused on the important polyhalite seam. The drilling programme will help us define the parameters of a world-class potash project and to advance the preparation of detailed proposals and designs.
“Marriott is the UK’s foremost onshore drilling company and has an outstanding reputation. We are very pleased to be working with them on the York Potash Project.”
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About Sirius Minerals Plc
Sirius Minerals is a globally diversified potash development company. Its primary focus is to bring on stream major potash mining facilities through the acquisition and development of projects overlying recognised potash deposits. Today it holds properties in the United Kingdom (North Yorkshire), the United States (North Dakota), and Australia (Queensland and Western Australia).
The Company is additionally progressing ongoing Innovation initiatives into the secondary uses of salt and potash beds for energy storage and carbon dioxide sequestration.
Incorporated in 2003, Sirius Minerals’ shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. Its shares are also traded in the United States on the OTCQX through the use of a sponsored ADR facility. Further information on the Company can be found at www.siriusminerals.com.
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