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Sirius secures new backer for Woodsmith potash project

Sirius Minerals PLC said it received a "conditional proposal" from a "major global financial institution" to fund the second-stage development of the Woodsmith potash project in the U.K.

Sirius did not name the institution. An analyst interviewed by the Financial Times in a March 12 report said it was "obviously" JPMorgan Chase & Co., the company's main debt adviser. Both firms declined to comment on the report.

The company said the latest proposal contains an alternative debt structure that would replace the three-tranche, US$3 billion debt financing it outlined in January. A final deal is targeted by April.

Sirius also said it is progressing several options for an "additional non-senior debt financing requirement," without providing details.

The project's stage-two capital funding requirements total about US$4.2 billion following a capital expenditure revision in September 2018.

Sirius already signed a deal to build a storage facility that will receive polyhalite fertilizer from Woodsmith. In addition, the company secured binding take-or-pay agreements to supply POLY4 fertilizer to Chinese agriculture companies Guangzhou Eiliseng Biotech Co. Ltd. and Yantai Service Agricultural Science and Technology Co. Ltd. for 10 years.