Final announcement for year to 31 March 2013

Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd today announced a loss of $1.4 million, reflecting the heighted activity of the company as it works towards gaining a mining licence and marine consent. The result compares with a loss of $741,000 in the comparative period last year.

CRP is developing a seabed rock phosphate resource on the Chatham Rise, about 450 km off the coast of New Zealand.

The past 12 months have been immensely satisfying for the progress achieved towards the company’s goal of starting mining operations in 2015.

CRP’s ongoing work continues to demonstrate the economic, financial and environmental benefits of the project:

  • It is New Zealand’s only major rock phosphate deposit- providing at least 15 years supply
  • Based on present projections it is expected to generate annual earnings pre-tax of US92 million
  • It has significant environmental benefits – ultra low cadmium, low carbon footprint, low farm run-off characteristics

According to the NZ Institute of Economic Research it will benefit the NZ economy by $900 million through import substitution, exports and increased economic activity.

Operations highlights

Among the highlights achieved over the past year (including those that have occurred since balance date) were:

  • Submission of a draft marine consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority
  • Edison investment research increasing CRP’s valuation to $2 a share from $1.87
  • The Government bringing forward the start date of the EEZ legislation which will enable CRP to submit a final marine consent application at the end of June
  • The early enactment of the Crown Minerals Act on 24 May 2013 to enable CRP’s mining licence application to be considered under the new law
  • The appointment of three new directors to the board – Boskalis senior executive Ko de Blaeij, marine expert Robert Goodden and CRP principal scientist Robin Falconer
  • The appointment of senior GNS scientist Ray Wood to the role of Chief Operating Officer.
  • Capital raised totalling $15.8 million since April 2012, including continuing support by existing shareholders. A total of $21.9 million has now been raised for the project since the prospecting licence was granted in early 2010
  • Strong interest in the project at international conferences where team members are sought after speakers
  • Regular media coverage of announcements and project progress by industry, national and international media
  • Preparation of numerous scientific reports by NIWA on a range of topics related to the marine environment, for use in the environmental impact assessment supporting the marine consent application to the EPA
  • Preparation of highly sophisticated plume models by world expert Deltares to measure and in assist in minimizing the predicted influence of mining activities
  • Continued active progress with Boskalis in the design of a mining system
  • Filing of our mining licence application in September 2012
  • Boskalis investing in a 20% holding
  • Applying for five phosphate prospecting licences off the coast of Namibia
  • The appointment of Najib Moutia (a former senior executive of world leading phosphate producer OCP) as Vice President Strategy and Marketing.

The most significant achievement, from an investor perspective, was the rerating of the company’s share price following several key milestones.

At its 46c peak on 9 October 2012, the company’s market value reached nearly $59 million, compared with $8.5 million in January 2012 and $22 million before the issue of shares on 24 September to Boskalis and Subsea Investments. 

Driving the rise in the price was CRP submitting its application for a mining licence and the release of the first Edison Research report assessing the company’s value at that stage at $1.87.

The share price has since settled at around the 35c mark with a present total market capitalisation of $47.5 million

A key part of the company’s operations involves building strong relationships with all of our stakeholders – informing them about the project, seeking their input and keeping them advised of our progress; be they non-government organisations, politicians, officials and advisers, iwi and imi, the international scientific and mining and fertiliser industries, the media, and of course our shareholders. 

This consultation and communication works in tandem with ensuring we have scientific evidence to support any claims we make.

The primary focus in the 6-7 months ahead will be working through the consenting process needed for the marine consent. All going well, approval will be granted by early 2014, leading the way to completing engineering designs and modifying the ship Boskalis will use for mining and transporting the rock phosphate deposit.

Chris Castle

Chief Executive

30 May 2013