Sirius Minerals secures major agreement with Indian customer

Woodsmith Mine near Whitby.
Woodsmith Mine near Whitby.

Sirius Minerals has secured a major supply agreement with a customer in India.

The company, which is behind the development of Woodsmith Mine near Whitby, has signed a take-or-pay supply agreement with the Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative (IFFCO) for the supply of POLY4.

Chris Fraser, managing director and CEO of Sirius, said: “We are delighted to be embarking on a long-term partnership with IFFCO, an organisation with a wide reach and a proud history in India and a substantial profile in the global fertiliser market.

"POLY4 can undoubtedly have a hugely positive impact on Indian agriculture, both in terms of yields and sustainability and we look forward to working with IFFCO to deliver these benefits for Indian farmers for many years to come.”

IFFCO is one of the largest co-operative societies in the world with over 36,000 member cooperatives and access to over 55 million Indian farmers. Its primary business is the manufacturing and marketing of fertilisers.

The terms are for 11 years with volumes ramping up to one million tonnes per annum in year eight. There is an option, subject to mutual agreement, to increase this to 1.25 million tonnes per annum, the company said.

India is one of the top three fertiliser markets in the world with a total nutrient consumption of around 30 million tonnes per annum. The demand for fertilisers in the country has been growing steadily due to increasing demand for food as its population increases.

The agreement signed by Sirius is for the exclusive supply and distribution of POLY4 throughout India and is on a take-or-pay basis. Volumes ramp up to one million tonne per annum in year eight of the 11-year term, with the option for an additional 250,000 tonnes per annum by mutual agreement.

Dr Udai Shanker Awasthi, managing director and CEO of IFFCO, said: “POLY4 offers a unique opportunity for IFFCO to help deliver our vision of increasing farmer’s incomes by increasing crop productivity and the balanced use of energy efficient fertilisers.

“The multi-nutrient characteristics of POLY4 are well suited to Indian soils and crops. Having seen the ongoing crop science work and results, I know that this partnership between Sirius and IFFCO will have an important role to play for farmers in improving yield, quality and profitability of crops.

“This Agreement is very much in line with IFFCO’s ongoing initiative of achieving balanced nutritional management for soil, because good quality soil will help our farmers to increase their yields.

“In turn this can help in our Prime Minister’s initiative of seeking to double farmer income by 2022 as well as helping to address the most challenging issues of agricultural sustainability and food security.

“POLY4’s combination of potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium, together with trace micronutrients, low chloride content and suitability for organic use, means that it can help to offer better balanced crop nutrition and sustained soil health to Indian agriculture and farmers.”