Media Release: Chatham Rock Phosphate files draft Marine Consent application

Media Release

31 March  2014

Chatham Rock Phosphate today submitted a draft Marine Consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority - the culmination of four years’ work and more than $25 million in investment.

The Marine Consent is the only major licence CRP now needs, having gained a mining permit for its phosphate extraction project in December. The EPA, New Zealand’s environmental regulator, is expected to decide on CRP’s application in November after a full public process.

Including the proceeds of the rights issue presently underway, Chatham has raised over $27 million from its existing shareholders and through placements to qualified investors to finance extensive spending on science-based research.

Managing Director Chris Castle said the CRP team was very proud of the work contained in the application.

“Rigorous research by scientists has considered the relevant facets of what we propose and demonstrates how we can minimise and mitigate environmental impacts.

“We sincerely appreciate the input from all of our stakeholders that has contributed to our thinking. We believe our work will satisfy any issues raised.

“Having done our homework, we know this project stacks up technically, environmentally and financially.”

Mr. Castle said the CRP’s phosphate resource, located on the seabed of the Chatham Rise, offers fertiliser security for New Zealand’s primary industry, has big export and import substitution potential, as well as environmental benefits, making it a project of national significance.

The Environmental Impact Assessment forming the centrepiece of the Marine Consent application will be considered under the Exclusive Economic Zone environmental consenting regime that came into force in June last year as part of the EEZ and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) legislation.

The main 300-plus page document is supplemented by more than 30 appendices, mostly scientific reports and models. The information in the EIA will be publicly available on the EPA website, and via a link on, once the EPA has accepted the application as complete.  People are then able to read the information, make submissions and attend public hearings during the next six months.

Contact Chris Castle on +64 21 55 81 85 or

NZX Announcement: Update to Rights Issue Timetable

Dear Chatham Rock Phosphate shareholder,

This announcement was released to NZX this morning.


Chris Castle

Chief Executive Officer

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited


Cell: +64 21 558 185

Skype: phosphateking


24 March 2014

Update to Rights Issue Timetable

Further to the announcements last week, CRP advises that there has been an adjustment to the timetable for its rights issue.

The key change to the timetable is that the rights trading period will now commence this Thursday, 27 March, the same date as the Record Date. The offer period remains the same as previously advised.

An updated timetable for the offer is set out below.

Chris Castle

Chief Executive

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited


Wednesday, 18 March 2014

Prospectus Registration Date

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 until Wednesday, 26 March 2014

FMA consideration period

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Rights trading commences on NZX Alternative Market

Thursday, 27 March 2014 (5pm)

Record Date for determining entitlements

 Friday, 28 March 2014

Prospectus and Entitlement and Acceptance Form mailed to Eligible Shareholders

Friday, 11 April 2014

Rights trading ceases (5.00pm)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Offer closes (last day for receipt of Entitlement and Acceptance Forms by the Share Registrar) (5.00pm)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Allotment date and expected commencement of trading of New Shares applied for by Existing Shareholders.

 Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Allotment date for Shortfall subscribed for by Underwriter.


About CRP

CRP holds a strategic, multi-million tonne organic rock phosphate deposit uniquely positioned to access Asian and Australasian fertiliser markets. It was granted a 20-year mining licence in 2013 and has recently applied for new prospecting licences both east and west of its existing licence areas that could significantly increase the scope of resources. CRP is currently finalising its Environmental Impact Assessment for its Marine Consent application.

CRP has appointed Wimmer Financial to manage international capital raising for the company with a view to seeking an AIM Listing in the near future. Wimmer Financial is an international corporate advisory firm, specialising in natural resources, with a global reach through a network of close partners and clients all over the world.

CAE Article: Chatham Rise rock phosphate – a resource of national significance

To read the full article on Centre for Advanced Engineering website - Click here


Chatham Rise rock phosphate - a resource of national significance

by Chris Castle

Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) will soon apply for a marine consent to undertake seabed mining at 400 m water depth, about 450 km from New Zealand.

While in some ways it will be a ground breaking first, CRP’s business plan is founded on using existing technology – but in an innovative way. The project has captured wide interest in science, mining and capital markets communities in New Zealand and internationally.

New Zealand scientists discovered the phosphorite resource on the crest of the Chatham Rise in the 1950s. It was studied in detail over the next three decades, including by Fletcher Challenge in the early 1980s, spending an estimated $70 million in today’s dollars to identify its scope and potential uses. However the price of phosphate was then relatively low and the economics of developing an offshore resource could not compete with more accessible sources.

Fast-forward another two decades and the price of phosphate soared from $US40/ton to more than $US400/ton and the economics of the seabed deposit looked much more attractive, especially given advances in marine technology. CRP, a small New Zealand mining company, saw the opportunity, secured a licence and identified a resource of at least 35 million tonnes – at least a 20-year supply at expected production rates.

The first reaction from people is usually “you’re going to do what… where?” when I explain the idea. But when we took the proposal to the world’s largest dredging companies in the Netherlands and Belgium, we received three serious proposals for how the resource could be extracted.

CRP chose Royal Boskalis Westminster’s concept. It proposes using a conventional dredging mechanism attached to a flexible pipe to suck the top 30 cm of sandy silt up to a 230 m mining vessel. Mechanical sieving will separate the phosphate nodules (2 to 150 mm in size, about 15% of the total sediment layer) from the finer material, and then discharge the finer sand and silt from another flexible pipe onto or near the seabed.

Boskalis proposes mining in 2x5 km blocks, with each block taking four months to complete. GPS and other underwater navigation systems enable accurate tracking of the mining path, giving significant operating flexibility.

From the outset CRP has focused on using the best scientific and engineering resources possible. In particular we have built a highly skilled technical team (including three scientists who collected and interpreted most of the data in the 1970s and 80s) and have spent $20 million-plus on scientific research to complement and update previous work. CRP is using information gathered on the voyages of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, along with six CRP-funded surveys in the past couple of years, including NIWA scientists’ analysis of the seabed and water column environment in our permit and surrounding area.

The principal focus has been to:

  • evaluate the likely environmental impact of the project

  • identify ways to minimise and monitor effects

  • gather geotechnical and environmental data to guide the engineering design of the mining system, and

  • develop a resource model for a mining plan.

The wealth of information now gathered has prompted CRP to expand its area of interest and, having gained a mining permit covering the richest phosphorite concentrations, we have applied for prospecting permits over areas west and east where there is more resource. A larger area may not significantly expand the area of seabed mined, but it will enable more flexibility in how the areas are mined and what areas of environmental value can be left as reserves.

An active stakeholder engagement process has been central to the project. By talking to any organisation or individual with a potential interest in the project (including environmental groups, industry, iwi and imi, media, etc) we’ve been able to identify and investigate their concerns and come back to stakeholders with more information and often with mitigation options.

We also have ongoing contact with government entities responsible for science, business, agriculture, conservation and environment, at both a departmental and political level.

The Chatham project will have local environmental effects on the seabed but it will also have significant environmental benefits. Some of these will arise from the ability to substitute the Chatham Rise product for phosphate now sourced from Morocco and other distant locations.

The benefits of using local phosphate include:

  • It is an organic New Zealand-origin product

  • It will reduce the carbon footprint by lowering transport costs

  • It has the lowest known concentration of cadmium of any phosphate rock

  • It reduces water pollution from run-off when used as a direct application fertiliser. Run-off is reduced because it releases slowly, requiring less frequent applications than conventional fertilisers, further reducing its carbon footprint

  • The rock is highly reactive, heightening its effectiveness as a fertiliser, and has strong liming qualities.

The project also has significant economic benefits, including making New Zealand $900 million richer, according to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.

It will have particular benefits for the Chatham Islands. We will be able to supply the islands with fertiliser at a much cheaper price; little fertiliser is applied on the islands because of prohibitive transport costs.

Federated Farmers representatives on the Chathams estimate fertiliser could increase farm production up to 10-fold and add as many as 350 new jobs. Given the islands’ current population is lower than 600, that increase in farm production could transform the local economy and make the cost of infrastructure such as power and transport more affordable.

Side benefits for the islands include employment opportunities on the mining vessel and using island resources for support services such as rescue, monitoring, etc. CRP has also committed to supporting local causes and providing scholarships as part of its desire to be a good corporate citizen.

Our mining area – which covers less than 1 per cent of the Chatham Rise – is not a fishing area.

The research predicts any seabed sediment effects will be confined to a few kilometres of our mining area, which is about 250 km from the Chatham Islands.

We will destroy organisms in our limited mining area, but they are widely distributed and we are working with marine biologists to identify reserves in our permit area to preserve representative communities.

The Deep Water Fishing Group is concerned about possible impacts of our activities on commercial fishing. The key environmental effect, apart from disturbing areas of seabed, will be the sediment plume from the return of the fine material to the sea floor.

The modelling of the impacts on the seabed and in the water column predicts there will be no material effect on commercial fish. Sediment of sufficient thickness to harm organisms on the sea floor (5 cm or more) is predicted to be restricted to the immediate mining area. Sediment more than 1 mm thick is predicted to extend no further than 8 km from the mining area.

Silt and clay concentrations so small they are not visible (1 mg per litre) could drift tens of kilometres in the water. The immediate mining area is the only location concentrations higher than 100 mg per litre are predicted to last for more than a day.

Scientists say these low levels of suspended sediment won’t affect organisms. The models predict the sediment won’t rise more than 50 m above the seabed – well below the most biologically productive part of the water column.

CRP’s business case assumes it will sell the rock phosphate to New Zealand and Asia-Pacific markets. Strong interest is being shown by at least eight countries as there are few sources of phosphate in this part of the world.

Boskalis’ mining plan is based on an 8-10 day mining cycle, with 50,000 tonnes of rock extracted in three days, 5-7 days for sailing to a yet-to-be-selected New Zealand port for unloading and the return to the mining site. The plan builds in generous allowances for maintenance and down time caused by inclement weather.

Having gained the mining permit last year, 2014’s focus is to raise enough capital ($6 million) to complete the marine consent process. Capital-raising is currently underway in London.

The marine consent process has a six-month prescribed timeframe. After CRP lodges its application and environmental impact assessment – hopefully in late March – interested parties can make submissions and be heard at public hearings.

The Environmental Protection Authority will manage the process, including appointing a panel of experts who base their decision on scientific evidence. The process ensures environmental considerations are balanced against economic benefits, and is also designed to avoid the delay tactics used by opponents of land-based mining projects under the Resource Management Act.

Assuming Chatham receives a favourable decision later this year, we could be mining by late 2016.

Chris Castle is Managing Director of Chatham Rock Phosphate

Dominion Post Article: CRP to List on the London AIM Market

To read the full article online - click here

27th Feb 2014

Dominion Post


A NUMBER of wealthy groups have expressed interest in investing in Wellington-based Chatham Rock Phosphate (CRP) when it lists on the London AIM market.

AIM is the secondary market of the London Stock Exchange for smaller growing companies.

CRP chief executive Chris Castle said because there was no associated public offering with the secondary listing it was expected to take between two to three months to complete.

‘‘I met about 15 different groups [on a recent visit to Britain]. They had already been vetted and they wanted to meet me and were interested in what we are doing.

‘‘There was a strong flavour that our stock needed to be listed on a more accessible market ... hence the decision to go for the AIM listing. We are not doing an IPO [initial public offering]. We are getting to a market place were people are happy to get out their chequebooks.’’

NZX-listed CRP holds a 20 year mining permit, issued last year, to vacuum the sea floor for phosphate nodules from an 820 square kilometre area of the Chatham Rise.

It has applied for new prospecting licences both east and west of its existing licence areas.

The company is finalising its environmental impact assessment for its Marine Consent application, which it needs from the Environment Protection Authority, before it can start operations.

Castle expects the application to be filed by the end of March, to be formally accepted by the authority in April, and all going well to have the licence no later than early November.

The AIM listing is part of a drive to raise $6 million to fund the consent application

Announcement: Chatham Rock Phosphate advises financing strategy

Dear Chatham Rock Phosphate shareholder or potential investor,

This announcement was released to NZX a few minutes ago.

If you wish to be added to the underwriting panel for any possible rights issue shortfall, please contact me by return email.


 Chris Castle

Chief Executive Officer

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited


Cell: +64 21 558 185

Skype: phosphateking


Media Release

26 February 2014

Chatham Rock Phosphate advises financing strategy

As recently advised CRP Managing Director Chris Castle recently made a repeat visit to London to meet UK based potential investors.

 The visit proved to be successful.

 Meetings were held with a number of investment groups that identified with the project and who indicated their interest in investing by means of private placement, subject to Chatham Rock Phosphate establishing a secondary listing on the London AIM market.

 Accordingly the CRP board has agreed to proceed with the AIM listing process, which is expected only two to three months to complete (as there is no associated public offering).

 In order to maintain our existing momentum, including filing our marine consent application (EIA) in the next few weeks, a decision has also been made to make a very attractively priced rights issue to existing shareholders. Details of this offer will be announced to shareholders on 14 March and the rights will be both renounceable and, subject to NZX approval, tradeable on the NZAX market. Shareholders will also be entitled to apply for shortfall from the offer in addition to their entitlement. It is also intended to establish a panel of underwriters in order to ensure that the issue is fully subscribed.

 CRP holds a strategic, multi-million tonne organic rock phosphate deposit uniquely positioned to access Asian and Australasian fertiliser markets.  It was granted a 20-year mining licence in 2013 and has recently applied for new prospecting licences both east and west of its existing licence areas that could significantly increase the scope of resources.  The company is currently finalising its Environmental Impact Assessment for its Marine Consent application.

 Contact Chris Castle on +64 21 55 81 85 or

Media Release : Chatham Rock Phosphate attends PDAC

25 February  2014

Chatham Rock Phosphate will be an exhibitor for the first time at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention, the world’s largest minerals investment and trade show being held in Toronto Canada next week.

“It is THE place where the mining industry talks turkey and does business,” CRP Managing Director Chris Castle said today.

He has attended the mining show for more than a decade but this year secured a prime booth position among the 600-plus in the investor exhibition area.  

Government agency New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is also operating a booth to promote New Zealand minerals projects and investment.  Last year Mr Castle was the guest speaker at the New Zealand Government-hosted function.

Mr Castle will be hosting the CRP booth with Najib Moutia, CRP’s Canadian based Vice President Strategy, who is responsible for sales and marketing.  He said the booth would provide a focus for people wanting to learn more about CRP’s innovative deep sea mining project.  CRP’s technical partner Royal Boskalis will also be displaying information on its capability.

PDAC has been running since 1932 and the annual convention now has more than 1000 exhibitors and 500 speakers.  The 30,000 people who come from more than 120 different countries attend hundreds of presentations, courses, workshops and technical sessions during the four-day event.

CRP holds a strategic, multi-million tonne organic rock phosphate deposit uniquely positioned to access Asian and Australasian fertiliser markets.  It was granted a 20-year mining licence in 2013 and has recently applied for new prospecting licences both east and west of its existing licence areas that could significantly increase the scope of resources.  The company is currently finalising its Environmental Impact Assessment for its Marine Consent application.

Contact Chris Castle on +64 21 55 81 85 or