On 20 January 2020, the boards of Sirius Minerals PLC, Anglo American PLC and Anglo American Projects UK Ltd (Bidco) announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Sirius by Bidco, to be implemented by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act (the Scheme).
The Court sanctioned the Scheme on 13 March 2020 and the Scheme became effective today, 17 March 2020. Anglo American, through its wholly owned subsidiary Anglo American Projects UK Ltd, has now completed the acquisition of Sirius and its Woodsmith Project in the UK.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “Today marks a new chapter for the Woodsmith Project, the employees of the business and everyone who has an interest in its future. This is a project with clear potential as a Tier 1 supplier of premium quality, low carbon fertiliser to help meet food demand for a fast growing global population. Anglo American brings greater certainty to the business and the development of the Woodsmith Project, building upon our long experience in the global fertiliser market covering most of the last 50 years. The project itself offers the prospect of sustained employment and economic stimulus for North Yorkshire and Teesside for many decades to come and, when the mine is ramped up, a boost in exports to benefit the wider British economy.”
He added: “The team has done a remarkable job, designing the mining operation to have minimal physical impact on its natural surroundings as well as progressing both its development and the market for POLY4 to where they are today. We share a vision of working towards a smarter future for mining – a safer future with a smaller environmental footprint to ensure that we can supply the essential metals and minerals the world needs, and do so sustainably. The Woodsmith Project exemplifies this approach.”
On direct funding for local communities he announced: “We recognise the role the project will continue to play in its local communities and, as promised, I am pleased to confirm that we are today transferring £1 million into the project’s charitable foundation. The foundation supports so many good local causes, including education and skills training, community sports clubs and broader local regeneration. We intend to contribute further amounts of £1 million on this date for each of the next three years, prior to the foundation receiving a substantial royalty income when the mine begins production.”