Chatham Rock Phosphate signs service agreement with Boskalis

15 October 2011

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP) has undertaken the next development step of its rock phosphate project at the Chatham Rise.

CRP has executed an agreement with one of the worlds largest integrated dredging companies, Royal Boskalis Westminster (Boskalis) for Boskalis to undertake a number of projects that collectively comprise phase one of the planned work programme. These projects include design engineering, logistics studies and preliminary design work and environmental studies including turbidity assessments.

These projects are expected to take approximately six months and if successful may lead to phase two activities incorporating final design, detailed engineering, construction and testing.

The directors and management of CRP consider the signing of this agreement a significant milestone and are already working with Boskalis in this project phase.

Deputy General Manager Bas van Bemmelen of Boskalis Offshore is very pleased to have signed the service agreement with Chatham Rock Phosphate. “This Project has a great potential to our company and we are pleased to continue this constructive cooperation. We find in CRP a reliable partner which is of utmost importance in this emerging market” noted van Bemmelen.

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime and terminal services sectors. The activities of Boskalis comprise Dredging & Earthmoving, Harbour Towage, Salvage, Transport & Heavy Lift, Terminal Services and Martime Civil Infrastructure.

Boskalis concentrates on the commodities such as oil and gas, ports, and land reclamation / coastal protection market segments. This spread gives the group a solid foundation and the flexibility to be able to take on a wide range of projects with excellent prospects for balanced growth. Demand for its services are driven by growing energy consumption, growth in global trade, growth in world population, and climate change.

The company’s main clients include oil companies, mining firms, port operators, governments, shipping companies and international project developers. Boskalis provides its clients with a broad range of services within the chain comprising design, project management, execution and continuous services.

Boskalis has around 14,000 employees and is active in over 65 countries across six continents. Its versatile fleet consists of over 1,100 vessels. Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is based in the Netherlands and its shares are included in the prime index (AEX) on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

Chatham Rise Project Background

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited holds an offshore prospecting permit covering an area of 4,726 km2 on the central Chatham Rise. The permit area, which is in New Zealand territorial waters, is located 450 km east of Christchurch and includes significant shallow seabed deposits of rock phosphate. The initial term of the permit is two years with rights to either extend the prospecting permit or apply for a mining licence.

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

The economic benefits include

  • Import substitution of up to $300 million annually
  • Possible exports to near markets
  • Reduced commodity risk for fertiliser manufacturers and farmers
  • Reduced foreign exchange risk for fertiliser manufacturers and farmers
  • Development of a new NZ industry
  • Generation of additional income for the local economy
  • Security of supply (most rock phosphate is imported from North Africa and the Middle East)

The environmental benefits include

  • Local product is significantly lower in cadmium and uranium than imported product
  • Much lower carbon footprint than imported product
  • If applied as a direct application fertilizer, CRP has less run off than super-phosphate, is applied less frequently, and is a more effective, slower acting product
  • Extraction will occur in accordance with International Marine Mining environmental guidelines

The market benefits include

  • Much cheaper source than Morocco
  • Nominally 25+ years security of supply
  • Known extraction costs could enable less volatile price contracts, which will benefit fertiliser companies, farmers and agriculture outputs generally

Environmental considerations are essential and CRP has an ongoing wide-ranging programme of consultation with fishing, conservation, Maori and other interest groups around these matters.

On behalf of the Board

Chris Castle

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