NZX Announcement: Receipt of Takeover Notice

8 December 2016
Receipt of Takeover Notice

Pursuant to Rule 42 of the Takeovers Code, Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (NZX:CRP) gives notice that it has today received notice (Takeover Notice) under the Takeovers Code from Antipodes Gold Limited (Antipodes) of Antipodes’ intention to make a full takeover offer for 100% of the equity securities in CRP (Offer).
Please see attached a copy of the Takeover Notice and the documents that accompanied it under Rule 41 of the Takeovers Code.

Background to Offer

Shareholders will be aware that CRP has been working with Antipodes for some time to proceed with the Offer. The Offer is in effect a reverse takeover. In particular, if the Offer is successful it will have the effect of CRP having its primary listing on the TSX Venture Market in Canada with a secondary listing on the NZAX market in New Zealand.
The Board considers that obtaining an overseas listing in a recognised mining market is in the best interests of CRP and should help facilitate future financings and liquidity in CRP’s shares.

CRP Board Response

In response to the Offer, the Board of CRP has:

  • formed a committee of independent directors (Independent Committee), comprising Robert Goodden, Robin Falconer and Jill Hatchwell to consider the Offer and to oversee preparation of the target company statement.
  • appointed Northington Partners Limited to prepare the independent report required under the Takeovers Code on the merits of the Offer.

It is intended for the Northington Partners’ independent report and the target company statement sent to CRP shareholders together with the finalised Offer document just prior to Christmas.

Offer Terms

Please carefully review the Takeover Notice and the other documents provided by Antipodes, as these documents set out the terms of the Offer. For convenience we set out below certain material terms of the Offer as drafted:

  • Antipodes is offering CRP shareholders common shares in Antipodes (Consideration Shares) in consideration for their CRP shares.
  • CRP shareholders will be offered one (1) Consideration Share for every 65.59 CRP shares held. Antipodes will complete a 10:1 consolidation of its common shares immediately prior to issuing the Consideration Shares. If the Offer is successful and Antipodes acquires 100% of CRP’s equity securities, the final shareholding percentages in Antipodes following completion of the Offer will be as follows:
Shareholder Group Antipodes securities on issue
following completion of Offer
Percentage
CRP shareholders 12,651,967 90.33%
AXG shareholders 1,355,017 9.67%
Total 14,006,984 100%
  • The Offer is conditional on acceptances representing 90% of all CRP shares. Antipodes does however have the ability to waive this condition to 50% in accordance with the Takeovers Code.
  • The Offer is intended to open on 23 December 2016 and remain open until 5pm on 31 January 2017, unless extended in accordance with the Takeover Code.
  • If the Offer is successful the CRP Board would essentially replace the current Antipodes Board and Antipodes will change its name to Chatham Rock Phosphate. CRP will inherit net cash held by Antipodes of approximately $250,000.

Next Steps

The Independent Committee will further consider the merits of the Offer following receipt of the independent report from Northington Partners and will revert to shareholders with a recommendation in accordance with the Takeovers Code in the next two weeks.

For and on behalf of the Board,

Chris Castle
Managing Director

NZX Announcement: Chatham, Deltares and Boskalis receive Dutch Government research grant

Chatham, Deltares and Boskalis receive Dutch Government research grant

Chatham Rock Phosphate and its Dutch technical partners Boskalis and Deltares have received Dutch government research funding to improve the environmental management of marine mining. This co-funding has been awarded by The Netherlands based Topsector Water TKI Delta technology.

The increased global interest in the economic and environmental outcomes of marine mining for resources such as phosphate, manganese nodules and polymetallic sulphides has highlighted the need to develop tools and methods to predict, adaptively manage and reduce the environmental effects of marine mining.

Lack of field observations
Adapting computer-modelling tools to predict plume dispersion for deep-sea mining (or dredging) operations is hampered by a lack of field observations in these environments.
It is possible to validate hydrodynamic and sediment resuspension models by deploying sensors for field observations over several months. Validating the predicted sediment plume dispersion is much more difficult as it requires a large-scale source of suspended material in the water such as trial mining. Trial mining requires an environmental permit, which usually requires knowledge of the sediment plume behaviour.

The research project will investigate the behaviour of re-deposited material using a combination of state of the art laboratory analyses and computer modelling to assess both the plume dispersion and the continuous process of settling, deposition and bed formation of sand and silt. The results will reduce the uncertainties regarding predicting re-suspension and dispersion of the material being returned to the seabed.

Ways to adaptively manage re-deposited sand and silt
This jointly developed project will make computer models of plume dispersion more realistic and will look at ways to adaptively manage re-deposited sand and silt in deep water. Additionally, the project will investigate the use of flocculants, natural materials that can be added to the returned sand and silt to make the sediment plume settle from the water more quickly. This may be the first time flocculants have been considered for deep water mining or dredging

Public-private partnerships
The Dutch Ministry for Economic Affairs stimulates public-private partnerships between research organizations and companies in the Topsector Water TKI Delta technology by allocating and awarding funds to reviewed high quality research proposals. Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure, and Boskalis is a marine services company. Chatham Rock Phosphate
intends to apply for a marine consent to extract rock phosphate from the seabed on the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand.

The results are being developed using the vast amount of data already available for the Chatham Rise marine mining project, but will have direct relevance to all projects in the offshore mining and dredging industry

Chris Castle
CEO
Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited

+64 21 558 185
chris@crpl.co.nz

About Deltares
Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface. Throughout the world, we work on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society. Our main focus is on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex, which is why we work closely with governments, businesses, other research institutes and universities at home and abroad. Our motto is Enabling Delta Life. As an applied research institute, the success of Deltares can be measured in the extent to which our expert knowledge can be used in and for society. For Deltares the quality of our expertise and advice comes first.

About Royal Boskalis Westminster
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors. The company provides creative and innovative all-round solutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and delta regions of the world with services including the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defense and riverbank protection. In addition, Boskalis offers a wide variety of marine services and contracting for the oil and gas sector and offshore wind industry as well as salvage solutions (SMIT Salvage). Furthermore, Boskalis has a number of strategic partnerships in harbour towage and terminal services (KOTUG SMIT Towage, Keppel Smit Towage, Saam Smit Towage and Smit Lamnalco). With a versatile fleet of 1,000 units Boskalis operates in around 75 countries across six continents. Boskalis has over 8,200 employees, excluding its share in partnerships.

About Chatham Rock Phosphate
Chatham Rock Phosphate, a publicly listed company, was granted a mining permit in 2013 to develop New Zealand’s only significant source of environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser and is now preparing for a revised environmental consent application.

Our role as custodian of this resource is focused on delivering a secure and sustainable local supply of low-cadmium phosphate that will reduce fertiliser run-off into waterways, produce healthier soils and shrink fertiliser needs over time.

The resource has an estimated worth of $5 to $7 billion, representing one of New Zealand’s most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand’s high agricultural productivity. Local and international investors have contributed more than $40 million to develop the project’s financial viability, environmental benefits and impacts, technical and logistical requirements, local and international product uses.

We propose to extract up to 1.5 million tonnes of phosphate nodules from the top half metre of sand on identified parts of an 820km2 area on the Chatham Rise, 450km off the west coast of New Zealand, in waters of 400m. Our environmental consenting process has established extraction would have no material impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.

In progressing plans to submit a new application we are working with government officials to seek improvement in the permitting process and iwi, academic, industry and central government input to ensure New Zealand can benefit from an environmentally superior phosphate source.

Progress is continuing to achieve a Toronto Stock Exchange listing, to provide a more useful share-trading platform for overseas shareholders and facilitate the capital raising needed for the consenting process and beyond.

We are also seeking to own other sustainable rock phosphate sources, to move from being a single project company and take more control of our destiny.

NZX Announcement: Chatham describes how the use of RPR will improve water quality in NZ

24 November 2016

OVERSEER is a software tool widely used by New Zealand farmers and their advisors to tailor fertiliser use to optimise farm production while minimising environmental impacts. 

Developed originally by AgResearch, it’s now jointly owned with the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Fertiliser Association. An independent organisation, Overseer Ltd, has been licensed to use the OVERSEER IP to create a sustainable business that delivers OVERSEER to users.   

Recently the software application was upgraded and the latest version 6.2.3 was used to compare various farming scenarios to assess what impact changing the type of phosphate  fertiliser used has on the amount of P loss to water. In all scenarios evaluated the use of RPR resulted in less phosphate loss to water than would be the case with soluble phosphate fertilisers such as Superphosphate.  

When OVERSEER was used to compare various farming scenarios the P loss was on average 18% lower when RPR fertiliser was used compared to using Superphosphate.  According to independent studies, changed farming practices resulting from using RPR over an extended period could result in up to 80% less phosphate run-off.  

This advance provides more evidence for farmers and their advisors that RPR offers a more environmentally friendly source of phosphorus to New Zealand farmers. Over time this should result in increased use of RPR as it is substituted for superphosphate and other phosphate fertilisers. 

This is very relevant to Chatham Rock Phosphate because our rock phosphate is a particularly effective form of reactive rock phosphate, demonstrated by extensive field trials undertaken in the mid-1980s and reinforced by recent tests. 

As well as representing a secure local source, Chatham Rise-sourced RPR contains ultra-low levels of cadmium levels and creates far fewer carbon emissions, so has a much lower carbon footprint than current northern hemisphere supplies.

As the Chatham Rise deposit will likely not be mined until 2020, we have identified several overseas sources of RPR and can import this rock on request. We are already working with a private New Zealand-based fertiliser company to satisfy the existing demand for reasonably priced material.    

 

Chris Castle – +64 21 55 81 85 or chris@widespread.co.nz

 

About Chatham Rock Phosphate

Chatham Rock Phosphate, a publicly listed company, was granted a mining permit in 2013 to develop New Zealand’s only significant source of environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser and is now preparing for a revised environmental consent application.

Our role as custodian of this resource is focused on delivering a secure and sustainable local supply of low-cadmium phosphate that will reduce fertiliser run-off into waterways, produce healthier soils and shrink fertiliser needs over time. 

The resource has an estimated worth of $5 to $7 billion, representing one of New Zealand’s most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand’s high agricultural productivity. Local and international investors have contributed more than $40 million to develop the project’s financial viability, environmental benefits and impacts, technical and logistical requirements, local and international product uses.

We propose to extract up to 1 million tonnes of phosphate nodules from the top half metre of sand on identified parts of an 820m2 area on the Chatham Rise, 450km off the west coast of New Zealand, in waters of 400m. Our environmental consenting process has established extraction would have no material impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.

In progressing plans to submit a new application we are working with government officials to seek improvement in the permitting process and iwi, academic, industry and central government input to ensure New Zealand can benefit from an environmentally superior phosphate source. 

Progress is continuing to achieve a Toronto Stock Exchange listing, to provide a more useful share-trading platform for overseas shareholders and facilitate the capital raising needed for the consenting process and beyond.

We are also seeking to own other sustainable rock phosphate sources, to move from being a single project company and take more control of our destiny.

NZX Announcement: Namibian green light for marine phosphate mining “hugely significant”

21 October 2016

Namibian green light for marine phosphate mining “hugely significant” 

Chatham Rock Phosphate chief executive Chris Castle today welcomed as “hugely significant” the decision by Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism to issue an environmental clearance to extract phosphate off the Namibian coast.

“It’s a major step forward as Namibia has effectively removed the “first mover” risk hindering other similar marine phosphate mining applications in New Zealand and Mexico. The catch cry “it’s never been done before” goes out the window with this decision”.

Mr Castle said it also opens the door for Chatham to advance its own Namibian permit applications.

Chatham applied in 2012 for prospecting permits over 5 distinct areas well offshore Namibia, some not far from the area held by Namibian Rock Phosphate. These 2012 applications were lodged with the confidence that, based on research undertaken to date, this area of the seabed likely contains substantial quantities of rock phosphate.  

“Perhaps even more significantly it signals the recognition that, with the appropriate environmental requirements, marine sources of phosphate will be an important contributor to supplying the world’s needs for this mineral that is critical to meeting the increasing demand to grow food.”

He said the Namibian government requirements appear to be set at an appropriate level of rigour.

Namibian Marine Phosphate was awarded mining permits by the Ministry of Mines and Energy to extract marine phosphate 120 km southwest of the port of Walvis Bay but mining was delayed by a moratorium while environmental issues were considered.

Environmental Commissioner Teofilus Nghitila said the licence was issued based on the environmental impact assessment and management plan submitted by the company and serves as an environmental clearance certificate for the project to commence. Nghitila said the information is sufficient as it made provision for environmental management regarding the proposed phosphate mining.

Among the requirements are:

  • regular environmental monitoring and evaluation on the project with targets established and monitored including seabed and water monitoring and quarterly reports provided to the environment ministry
  • the ministry reserves the right to attach further legislative and regulatory conditions during the operational phase of the project
  • the clearance is valid for three years
  • the company should obtain further environmental clearance for onshore processing plants
  • an annual report on the implementation of the environmental management plan
  • the company should fund the establishment of a centre of excellence to monitor the impact of phosphate mining on the marine ecosystem, through which generic standards and guidelines for monitoring marine phosphate mining, processing and beneficiation in Namibia could be developed
  • data generated must be shared with the competent authority to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of marine ecosystems and phosphate mining
  • technology used should be top-of-the-range to avoid causing unnecessary environmental impacts
  • the proposed mining and processing techniques must be reviewed jointly by the company and the regulator against the results of annual environmental monitoring
  • The environmental clearance certificate will be withdrawn should negative environmental impacts associated with phosphate mining be observed.

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said the public is free to appeal and he will then decide whether it is based on merit before agreeing with Nghitila's recommendations. Public objections should be directed to his office within a set period.

“Namibia appears to be adopting an adaptive management approach not inconsistent with that included in Chatham’s earlier application for a marine consent”. 

Chris Castle – +64 21 55 81 85 or chris@widespread.co.nz

 

About Chatham Rock Phosphate

Chatham Rock Phosphate, a publicly listed company, was granted a mining permit in 2013 to develop New Zealand’s only significant source of environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser and is now preparing for a revised environmental consent application.

Our role as custodian of this resource is focused on delivering a secure and sustainable local supply of low-cadmium phosphate that will reduce fertiliser run-off into waterways, produce healthier soils and shrink fertiliser needs over time.

 The resource has an estimated worth of $5 to $7 billion, representing one of New Zealand’s most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand’s high agricultural productivity. Local and international investors have contributed more than $40 million to develop the project’s financial viability, environmental benefits and impacts, technical and logistical requirements, local and international product uses.

 We propose to extract up to 1 million tonnes of phosphate nodules from the top half metre of sand on identified parts of an 820m2 area on the Chatham Rise, 450km off the west coast of New Zealand, in waters of 400m. Our environmental consenting process has established extraction would have no material impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.

In progressing plans to submit a new application we are working with government officials to seek improvement in the permitting process and iwi, academic, industry and central government input to ensure New Zealand can benefit from an environmentally superior phosphate source.

Progress is continuing to achieve a Toronto Stock Exchange listing, to provide a more useful share-trading platform for overseas shareholders and facilitate the capital raising needed for the consenting process and beyond.

We are also seeking other sustainable rock phosphate sources, to move from being a single project company and take more control of our destiny.

 

NZX Announcement: CRP occupies centre stage at UMC conference

17 October 2016

Chatham Rock Phosphate occupies centre stage at UMC conference

Chatham Rock Phosphate (Chatham) was a keynote presenter at the Underwater Mining conference held at Incheon in South Korea last week.

Chatham CEO Chris Castle updated the scientists, marine miners, sector investors and other industry players attending the conference from 17 countries on the company’s present status and forward plans.

His address, the central theme of this being that Chatham is back on track, will be re-submitting a marine consent application and is not going away, was warmly received. The project is very much on the world stage and it’s clear that the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority’s ability to effectively evaluate marine mining proposals is under a microscope.

Contrary to the proposition advanced by poorly informed anti-marine mining advocates, marine mining is not a new idea. Tin mining in Asia, diamond mining offshore South Africa and Namibia, and most significantly, aggregate mining offshore the United Kingdom and other European countries have been undertaken for several decades. In the UK and Europe the construction industry (roads, buildings, etc) relies heavily on raw materials recovered from the ocean.

In parallel, maintenance dredging of river channels and port entrances has been routinely undertaken for at least a century. The environmental impact of this activity is the same, is much closer to coastal communities and has accordingly been subject to rigorous scrutiny for a very long time.

It is the sixth year Chatham - one of the most advanced marine mining projects in the world - has updated the marine mining industry on progress.

Chatham has held a granted mining licence since December 2013 and plans to apply for a marine consent in the second quarter of 2017.

Establishment of a rock phosphate industry in New Zealand territorial waters has a significant number of economic, environmental and market benefits.

Chris Castle – +64 21 55 81 85 or

About Chatham Rock Phosphate
 
Chatham Rock Phosphate is the custodian of New Zealand’s only material resource of environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser. Our key role is connecting the resource with those who need it. 
 
Using this phosphate will support sustainable farming practices, including healthier soils and reduced accumulation of the heavy metal cadmium, dramatically lowering runoff to waterways and shrinking fertiliser needs over time.
 
The resource has an estimated worth of $5 to $7 billion, representing one of New Zealand’s most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand’s high agricultural productivity.
 
New Zealand’s current access to phosphate is vulnerable to economic and political events in the six countries controlling 98% of the world’s phosphate reserves, with 85% of the total in the Western Saharan state of Morocco.
 
Chatham takes very seriously the responsibility vested in it through its mining permit to use the world’s best knowledge and technology to safely extract this resource to help sustainably feed the world.
 
Our initial environmental consenting process established extraction would have no significant impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.

 

 

Announcement concerning EPA summary judgement application

2 September 2016 

Market Announcement

As previously announced to the market, Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (NZX: CRP) opposed an application for summary judgment lodged by the EPA for costs for the sum of approximately $795,000 relating to the consent hearing process. 

The High Court has not granted the summary judgment as sought by the EPA and it has been adjourned for mention until 11am on 8 November 2016 to allow CRP to:

  • commence any proceeding for judicial review challenging the validity of the EPA’s charges; and
  • obtain any interim order it may be able to obtain under s 8 of the Judicature Amendment Act 1972 having the effect of prohibiting or staying the present proceeding pending the determination of the judicial review proceeding. 

If no such interim order has been obtained by 8 November 2016, judgment is likely to be entered for the EPA for the full amount of its claims. 

CRP will now consider the judgment in detail and take legal advice on it and will advise the market in due course on its next intended steps. 

For and on behalf of the Board,

 

Chris Castle

Managing Director

 

Chatham welcomes Trans Tasman Resources’ new marine consent application

23 August 2016

Chatham Rock Phosphate has welcomed news of Trans Tasman Resources’ new application for a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority.

“Shareholders at our annual meeting last month expressed considerable interest in the progress of TTR’s project, which is why we are commenting today.

“Along with other international marine resources companies, Chatham will be watching progress with a very keen interest and wish TTR every success.”

Chris Castle 6421 55 81 85 or chris@crpl.co.nz

NZX Announcement: New Capital Allotted

21 July 2016

 New Capital Allotted

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (NZX: CRP) has today issued 25 million unpaid ordinary shares in CRP (Unpaid Shares) to a private investor at an issue price of $0.006 per share, raising in aggregate $150,000.  The Unpaid Shares will be paid up in instalments over a 12 month period. 

CRP has also today issued 800,000 fully paid ordinary shares in CRP (Fully Paid Shares) to a qualified investor at an issue price of $0.006 per share, raising in aggregate $4,800. 

Full particulars of the share issues are set out below. 

For and on behalf of the Board,

 

Chris Castle

Managing Director

NZX Announcement: Chatham issues July 2016 Update

Quarterly Update

11 July 2016

3.7 million thank-you’s

We’ve achieved some very satisfying milestones during the first half of 2016.  The highlight has been raising sufficient new capital to continue to progress our projects for the 15 months.

Our recent share purchase plan seeking $600,000 was oversubscribed.  Thank you everyone who subscribed, many sticking with us for several years and continuing to share our faith in our ultimate success.

We’ve also made various share placements to qualified investors (new and existing) over recent months and are also delighted to have new cornerstone shareholders from Malaysia, Switzerland and Germany. 

Since the initial rejection by the Environmental Protection Authority of our marine consent application in February last year we have raised $3.7 million – despite our share price having been slaughtered.

While we’ve had to dilute some existing shareholders to keep Chatham functioning by raising capital at much lower prices, we believepreserving some value and delivering on our goals will ultimately produce strong returns for all shareholders.

Our ability to raise money against the odds underscores the fundamental attractiveness of the Chatham Rise project and the perceptiveness of our ever-enlarging shareholder base.   Directors and management interests, along with our two new cornerstone investor groups, now each hold about 13% of the company. 

The present share price of 0.9c values Chatham at $7.24million - a sixth of our market value in February 2015. We believe Chatham is now in a stronger position than it’s ever been due to the knowledge gained during the marine consent application process.

 

Takeover Offer

Chatham continues to work with Antipodes Gold to complete the takeover offer to enable a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, hopefully in September.

Antipodes shareholders approved the proposed reverse takeover of Chatham, and we’ve now secured funding to operate until September 2017, are in the process of securing approvals from various authorities, developed large wads of documentation and so are now about 95% of the way there.  We expect offer documents to go out within the next few weeks. 

Together with the Antipodes shell we inherit some funds associated with the merger, a Toronto director, 1,003 resources-sector shareholders in a number of countries, and a Canadian corporate support structure. This merger will strengthen Chatham, complement our New Zealand listing and provide new opportunities for existing Antipodes shareholders.   

Recommending Chatham shares

During our capital raising we met with Geneva based investment banking firm RAMPartners SA whose analysts prepared an independent research report, which is now on our website.

Key points include a buy recommendation with a price target of 50c compared with the current market price of 0.9c.  RAMPartners project value of $472 million makes assumptions relating to the market price of rock phosphate, Chatham’s production costs and relevant currency interactions. It includes a detailed examination of the permit risk Chatham still faces and the evolving factors mitigating this risk. 

Encouragingly the valuation also concludes our management team “has the necessary skills, ability, devotion, focus and skin in the game” to make our project work.   The full research report is available to review on our website.

Acceptable impacts

Chief Operating Officer Ray Wood told the Marine Sciences Society this week regulators must decide on acceptable impacts if New Zealand is to achieve social, economic and environmental goals. Society must accept some development but minimise environmental impacts. Science helps society deal with uncertainty and decide on acceptable impacts.

He said environmental concerns highlighted by the EPA marine consent process were mostly allayed or more clearly defined through caucusing between interested parties and Chatham. Experts agreed mammals, sea birds, major fish stocks and primary productivity were unlikely to be affected, uranium was not an issue and water toxicology effects would be very low.

Even after that, the decision-making committee interpreted the results differently, declining the application based on perceptions of damage to the benthic (sea floor) environment, modest economic benefits compared to environmental effects, proposed adaptive management measures not addressing concerns and a requirement to favour caution and environmental protection.

We think the committee didn’t understand or trust the numerical modeling of either the plume (created during the mining process) or of benthic communities and so didn’t believe the proposed conditions could address the adverse environmental effects through adaptive management.

Science can predict environmental effects, through the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. Regulators want to minimise uncertainty by using the precautionary principle and adaptive management. But that shouldn’t result in paralysis by analysis, if risk thresholds are agreed, monitoring is adequate and operations stop if thresholds are exceeded.

The EPA has guidance to deal with risk and uncertainty under the hazardous substances law, but there is nothing equivalent in the Exclusive Economic Zone Act.

Uncertain outcomes shouldn’t be enough to deny permission for projects to proceed; they can be managed by agreeing risk thresholds.

Absolute effects and benefits are probably never known but probable maximum, minimum and likely effects and benefits are known. Science can reduce uncertainties by improving knowledge of risks and predicted effects and adaptive management reduces uncertainties through learning from outcomes.

The committee didn’t accept Chatham’s proposed conditions proposed because the members appeared unwilling to risk any environmental impact.

Operational Focus

Chatham will be reapplying for a marine consent following further consultation with stakeholders, a potential revision of the project and further research on some scientific issues.  We’re also:

·       Working with government ministries on improving the permitting process

·       Observing Trans Tasman Resources’ advance towards reapplying for a marine consent

·       Developing trading relationships with participants in the phosphate sector

·       Sourcing on-shore rock phosphate deposits

·       Building farming sector, academic, industry and central government support for the use of Chatham rock phosphate as an environmentally friendly product

·       Commissioning further pot tests to be followed byfield trials

·       Trying to resolve the fee dispute with EPA (the Office of the Ombudsman has agreed to investigate the EPA charges)

·       Pursuing a refund of overcharged mining permit fees with New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

·       Presenting at fertiliser, resources sector and environmental conferences.

Both we and the EPA have learned a lot from our initial consent application.  We’re confident this will result in improved application and hearing processes and we’ll resubmit an even better application to robustly deal with the issues on which we were rejected.

 

Back at PDAC

For the 12th year I attended Toronto’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention, the world’s largest minerals investment and trade show. Investor interest was more focused given Chatham’s impending Canadian listing.

We had a speaking slot and a prime spot exhibition booth, and spoke to dozens of new and old contacts during the four-day event.

Chatham rock phosphate’s many benefits

We continue to believe the Chatham Rise project remains hugely valuable for all the same reasons:

Environmental benefits

  • much lower run off to lakes and rivers
  • very low cadmium
  • much lower carbon footprint
  • Security of fertiliser supply for farmers
  • An ethical source – New Zealand’s main source of phosphate is from a disputed territory
  • Highly profitable – forecast annual earnings of $90 million before royalties and tax, with low mining costs - equivalent to shipping cost

Good for New Zealand:

  • $34 million in annual taxes and royalties
  • millions in port charges
  • high-value, knowledge-based jobs in the port, on the mining ship, doing environmental monitoring and scientific research, in agriculture and hospitality and the Chatham Is
  • New Zealand could become a world leader in marine technology and expertise potentially worth billions of dollars
  • Our work at sea enhances knowledge of our marine environment to help identify areas most deserving of conservation.

 

For all these reasons we remain puzzled by environmental groups which, through opposing our Chatham project, condone New Zealand importing all our phosphate needs, so exporting our environmental footprint to countries mining phosphate where it involves severe social and environmental distress. 

Helping save our rivers

In following the dialogue about water quality in rivers and lakes and the escalating concerns about nitrate and phosphate run-off, we remind stakeholders about the environmental benefits of Chatham rock phosphate. To tease out a few points:

·       Reactive phosphate rock when applied directly to the soil binds in a manner is both a very effective fertiliser and can reduce the runoff of phosphate to waterways with up to 80% less finishing in the waterways when it rains heavily.

·       Cadmium levels in many New Zealand soils are at unacceptably high levels after decades of applying phosphate fertiliser from Nauru. Local manufacturers keep cadmium levels in phosphate fertilisers under 280 parts per million.  Because rock imported from Morocco (our main source) can be so high in cadmium, it needs to be blended with rock from other countries. Chatham’scadmium levels are about 20 parts per million so is potentially valuable as a blend for manufactured phosphate fertilisers.

·       While every kilo of phosphate based manufactured fertiliser applied to New Zealand soils generates carbon emissions of 216 grams, Chatham phosphate emissions are estimated to be a quarter of that, mainly due to much lower transport related emissions.

 

·       Chatham rock phosphate applied directly to the soil contains elevated calcium, critical for plant root development and nutrient uptake as well as improving soil structure and enhancing microbial life cycles.  Extensive independent field trials demonstrate Chatham rock phosphate is, over time, as effective a fertiliser as superphosphate.

 

Stakeholder Focus

We’re focused on building support from stakeholders including farmers, reminding them our product is both a green option and one that could save them money; requiring less-frequent application and with high liming characteristics.

To learn more about the issues facing the farming sector our executive team attended a seminar hosted by Abron and the Hawkes Bay Regional Council on how changes to fertiliser application and pasture management can improve a farm’s resilience, environmental footprint and financial performance, and the changing requirements to document farming practices and their environmental impacts.

Abron offers a fertiliser system designed to increase pasture and crop yields, produce healthier soils, and reduce environmental impacts.   As Chatham becomes involved in sourcing and marketing fertiliser products, especially rock phosphate intended for direct application and, we’re building relationships with the ultimate users, distributors and manufacturers of these products.

This strategy is being implemented now, before we develop our Chatham deposit, using our in-house expertise, because there’s a clear and increasing demand for more environmentally sound products. 

Soil and water quality

On that basis, we’ve argued the government should research the effect fertiliser use has on waterways. Crown Research Institutes and universities are looking to identify contaminant flow pathways and dilution processes in soil and water to help make better land management decisions and reduce environmental impacts. 

We’ve said it would be logical for the scope of this research to also consider the important role fertiliser plays in affecting both soil and water quality. 

The research could show how using Chatham rock phosphate as a local organic solution for New Zealand farms could help improve the quality of soil and water.

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders

We hope to see you at the 2016 AGM, being held at 5pm on Tuesday 26 July at BDO Wellington on Level 1, Chartered Accountants’ House, (previously the Tower building), 50 Customhouse Quay, Wellington.

 

Chris Castle

Chief Executive