"“But if this stuff is so good, why aren’t people knocking on our door right now?”" ===== Mr Baines must think everyone up there was born yesterday. The very same Phil Baines said, in an ICL press release issued today:
"Over the last two fertilizer seasons we began to introduce Polysulphate into agricultural markets in an amount of tens of thousands of tonnes. We have been very encouraged by farmers’ positive reaction which indicates a potential to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes at an economically feasible price over the coming years. As a result, we are prepared to expand production and sales."
And his boss, ICL Fertilizers CEO, Nissim Adar, said:
“We see significant potential in increasing our production capacity and marketing of Polysulphate from CPL’s mine. We are very grateful to the British government for their faith in ICL and in this project. The positive response by our customers to Polysulphate, and our expectation of increased demand for this fertilizer led us to decide to substantially increase our production."
As I highlighted in an old post, the real story can be gauged by reading ICL's recent published annual report. The amount of investment in Boulby is tiny and its purpose is not to increase MOP production but to take up some of the slack left by a dwindling MOP resource and faltering MOP market by increasing production of polyhalite. But they are not willing to commit the level of investment needed to produce the right kind of polyhalite (milled), nor to grow their output of MOP. This is likely to be because they are up to their neck in debt and may be hit hard by various class action lawsuits they are currently defending. It looks to me as though Boulby's days are numbered. They will go through the motions, fighting a rearguard action against Sirius with limited funds, so as to use up the Govt grant -- but then they will reluctantly conclude that the factory will have to be closed down. Anyone reading the last three ICL annual reports would be left in little doubt that the UK is now very peripheral to ICL's beleaguered operations and that their focus outside Israel is on Spain.
Do ICL and CPL and Mr Baines think we are all dumb? I detailed their Boulby game to Chris France long ago and I'm sure that these new shenanigans will leave him in no doubt at all that ICL/Boulby are trying to take him for a ride.
This quote: "But if this stuff is so good, why aren’t people knocking on our door right now?” demonstrates how Baines has played his hand poorly (producing an overpriced and inferior product), as the customers are definitely knocking on someone else's door right now. a desperate attempt to catch up having 'smelt the coffee'.
Has Boulby won the great polyhalite race? Published 23/04/2014 10:46
As the only polyhalite miners in the entire world, Cleveland Potash says it can satisfy global demand for the fertiliser within five years.
If this is true, what does the future hold for York Potash, which plans to construct a second mine within the national park, solely to exploit same product?
For many, last week’s announcement that Cleveland Potash was to begin marketing polyhalite was seen as a U-turn, as the company had objected to the York Potash planning application on the basis that there was no demand for the mineral.
General manager Phil Baines explained studies into the alternative fertiliser polyhalite have actually been going on for years and said: “If you wanted I could send you one thousand tonnes right now. York Potash can’t do that.
“But if this stuff is so good, why aren’t people knocking on our door right now?”
Studies show up to a billion tonnes of polyhalite sit below the Yorkshire coastline, and Mr Baines said the company owed it to its employees to discover what potential there is for the sale of this product.
He added: “A billion tonnes is incredible, it’s unheard of. It’s 150 years’ worth.
“I’m not really bothered about Sirius Minerals at all. My concern is solely towards the success of Cleveland Potash and if polyhalite can contribute to our success then great.”
With Cleveland Potash set to add polyhalite to its list of products, does the North York Moors planning authority believe this strengthens the case against building a second mine?
Planning director Chris France must remain tight-lipped on the projects, due in part to the pre-planning agreement in place with York Potash.
However a York Potash spokesperson said: “Imitation is the best form of flattery, so we wish Cleveland Potash every success in helping to create jobs and establish the UK as the world leader in this high quality form of potash.”
Mr Baines explained how the polyhalite seam which runs under Boulby is the same as that which the York Potash project hopes to exploit.
However, far from just linking the two mining projects, the reserve is potentially as large as Western Europe as it sits at the bed of an ancient ocean, known as the Zechstein Sea.
So is it necessary for the York Potash mine to be built within the national park?
Since the early days of Boulby mine, the company has known that vast swathes of polyhalite sit just 150ft below the potash seam.
Yet this has not been exploited at Boulby as there has been no market for the polyhalite. With it containing just 25% of the potassium that is found in potash, farmers have so far not been convinced that they should make the switch.
For £40m Cleveland Potash can extract the material, but the estimated costs of the York Potash project are £1bn. "
Aye, that bloody 8p isn't so far away again eh?? I'll buy again on pay day just to help you average down more!! Pmsl...
Is it the lack of news which is causing the slide? Confidentiality and all that!!
GK, any idea how the tunnel will get up through the old mine workings to the north? I'm sure the engineers have it in hand but maybe the rangersraver will tell us more! And there is no sarcasm in that!!
"the reason that CPL are only mining that much P H is because there is no market for it when are you going to relise this."
"it makes no sense for you to make such an argument. fact CPL are mining PH fact CPL are crushing screening PH fact CPL are activly marketing PH fact the costs of mining PH are reasonably low due to the fact they have it and are not refining it. fact York Potash own a farm fact it will cost Billions to get to the PH fact it will cost approx 100 million for the tunnel to teeside there are many experts who dont believe it is doable fact YP have no financial backing as yet to make the above happen fact you are talking nonsense" ---------------------------- It is curious to note that the more the word "fact" gets used the less others become convinced of those "facts' " veracity.
However there is a very important question that needs to be asked from this:
Why are Cleveland Potash accepting tax payers' money to develop a product that they them selves say there is no significant market for?
First: is it transpiring that their product - Polysulphate - has no significant market (Ie of a size Sirius think is achievable)? Yes. Why? Price will always be a factor but "does it work?" is much more important. The product spec describes it as 'granular':
However a farmer chap who posts has bought the product and has described it as 2 to 4mm chippings of material - ie not a granule that is made up from a fine powder, Others have also reported that this is the appearance of Polysulphate. The company don't deny this as an accurate description of their product.
Why does this matter? Polyhalite has a low rate of solubility (but it is not zero). For most cropping applications a chipping of 2 to 4mm of polyhalite will dissolve far too slowly for crops to significantly benefit from the nutrients released during the period of a normal growing cycle. Sirius fully understand this and propose a product (Poly4) that is a formulated granule that is made up from a much more finely milled form of polyhalite in a size range of 0.1mm to 0.4mm. This will dissolve much more rapidly in soil making the nutrients quickly available. This is what is wanted by growers for the vast majority of food crops and is demonstrated from the strong interest in Poly4 from potential customers.
The people at CPL must surely know this and they must surly be aware that they are producing something that the majority of growers don't want. So why take taxpayers' money to expand what can only logically be concluded as being a charade?
Perhaps they expect others to process it into a more useful product - as Everris are doing - after all there is already a 4.8mt/y demand for such.
Perhaps Mr Phil Bains could come on here and explain CPL's stratagy.
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