NZX Announcement: September Project Update

Dear Chatham Rock Phosphate shareholder or stakeholder,

This update has just been released by NZX.


Chris Castle

Chief Executive Officer

Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited


Cell: +64 21 558 185

Skype: phosphateking 


15 September 2014

Pace not letting up

The pace and level of activities by the CRP team is at full throttle as we work on a number of fronts to advance the project.

Our first focus is ensuring the Marine Consent process proceeds as scheduled so we can get a decision by the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision-making committee before Christmas. 

The second is continuing to finance the current very high level of activity and the inevitable associated costs. We’re approaching the peak of our spending commitments – financing all of the charges associated with the Marine Consent process. 

All up we estimate our and the EPA’s costs (which CRP pays for) will be around $4 million.  These include all of the experts for CRP and the EPA and all of the associated staff, travel, venue and other costs.

Hence the need for more money

We have announced two successful capital raising tranches over recent weeks.  One was for $1.24 million and one for $1.22 million.   The shares were issued at NZD 0.12 per share (or the approximate foreign currency equivalent). In addition, for each share issued, one CRPOB $0.688 option was issued.

To enable all shareholders to participate at these current prices directors resolved to extend the offer on the same terms.   The share offer is in the ratio of two new shares for every 17 shares you currently hold, with one non-voting option granted for every new share. You will be sent documents telling you about your entitlements and the relevant time frames. 

We naturally encourage everyone to help us raise the money we need to complete the Marine Consent process.  We really appreciate the money you’ve contributed in the past and hope you take advantage of what we believe will be temporary exceptional value at these share price levels.

In addition to the offer to shareholders, qualifying habitual investors will be able to take up any shortfall of shares not subscribed for by shareholders within three months of the offer closing.

Merger Talks

You may have noticed that as part of the “cleansing notice” regarding the issue we advised we have been in discussions with a publicly quoted company with respect to a potential merger transaction.

We can’t say much more at this stage.  The discussions are at an early stage, on-going and at present no agreement has been reached - binding or non-binding - on the terms of such a transaction.   Rest assured, if and when we get to a position where these discussions progress to a documented stage, we’ll announce further details.

Evidence and queries

In late August we submitted all of our evidence from our 31 experts.  While some is technical, there is some quite readable information about the project so it’s worth having a good look around the relevant part of the EPA website devoted to our project.

In addition to our evidence the submitter evidence was filed last Friday.

As well as the evidence from our expert witnesses, we completed the mammoth task of providing detailed answers to 62 queries from the EPA. Every new report and piece of evidence increases our confidence we have built the case to demonstrate to the Decision Making Committee why this project should be approved.

All of the pieces of the jigsaw are building a compelling picture to demonstrate the environmental impacts are comparatively minor or can be readily managed and the benefits – both environmental and economic – are significant for New Zealand.

Hearings underway next week

Public hearings get underway next Thursday 25 September, and the venue will mostly be at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.  If you get the chance feel free to pop in and see the action, even for a few hours.

This week caucusing or discussions between expert witnesses will seek to identify areas of agreement and outstanding areas of contention.

We’re not the only one

We were delighted to see Mexican based undersea phosphate project Don Diego file its environmental impact assessment (EIA) with the Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. A response is expected in 60 business days.

This is a great step forward for the marine mining industry, demonstrating the industry has real momentum and that well-researched and considered undersea phosphate mining projects have a major part to play in ensuring the world’s food security.

As with CRP, Don Diego used experts in marine dredging, plume modeling, sound propagation, ecotoxicology, phosphate research and engineering for the environmental studies and scientific findings in the EIA.

A non-technical summary of the EIA is attached.

Last word

Finally, if you missed it, it’s worth reading an article written by business journalist Pattrick Smellie regarding the concerns we had involving the EPA’s issue of a staff report.

We remain concerned the staff report was premature, contained many inaccuracies, demonstrated bias and most importantly was delivered at a point in time when the EPA staff were fully aware that it could be destructive to our financing arrangements.

We’re conscious we have many international shareholders who don’t fully understand the New Zealand environment.  There were several international media reports saying the staff report was the final decision – which of course it was not.  

Reassuringly, numerous local and international stakeholders saw the EPA staff report for what it was and expressed their views in writing to several Ministers.

Much more could be said about this now but that can wait.

Notwithstanding the EPA staff sideshow we remain totally confident that our project will be granted (by the EPA Decision Making Committee, not by the support staff) a marine consent as a logical outcome arising from our multi-million dollar investment, our fact based and science supported approach, and several person-years of effort.  

Chris Castle, Managing Director or +64 21 55 81 85