Chatham applauds permitting of Mexican marine phosphate project

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Chatham applauds permitting of Mexican marine phosphate project

Canada NewsWire

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 23, 2018 /CNW/ - Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (TSXV: "NZP" and NZAX: "CRP" or the "Company") wishes to advise shareholders of a significant development overseas that should have a very positive indirect impact on Chatham.

Today Nasdaq-listed Odyssey Marine, that holds 53.9% of the Don Diego offshore Mexico marine phosphate project, filed a release with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The release stated that on March 21, 2018, the Superior Court of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice in Mexico had ruled unanimously in favour of Odyssey Marine, thereby nullifying the earlier denial of the environmental permit application for the extraction of phosphate sand from its "Don Diego" project. This means that Don Diego is now fully permitted.  

This is very significant news for both Odyssey Marine and Chatham, not only because it establishes a precedent for the consenting of marine phosphate mining.  

Chatham has a number of links to the Don Diego project, including a number of Chatham's USA-based shareholders who have also invested in both Odyssey Marine and directly in the Don Diego project itself. We also have one director in common. 

Chatham has conducted agricultural tests of the Don Diego rock phosphate in New Zealand which show the Mexican rock phosphate is both relatively high-grade in its natural form (i.e. without being beneficiated) and is also a very effective reactive phosphate rock.

This environmental approval will likely have a rub-off effect on the perceived value of all marine phosphate deposits, including our Chatham Rise deposit (already partly permitted) and our expanding exploration portfolio offshore Namibia

Odyssey Marine shares today rose from $US3.80 to a peak of $US13.75 on the Nasdaq, before closing at $US8.30 with more than 2.2 million shares traded.   

Chatham Rock Phosphate President and CEO Chris Castle commented today that "this is the best news for Chatham since we were granted our mining permit back in December 2013 as it establishes a precedent for marine phosphate mining after extensive and detailed environmental assessment."

The Don Diego approval also follows the granting of an environmental consent to Trans Tasman Resources in New Zealand territorial waters last year and evidences the reality that marine mining, if managed carefully and responsibly, can be carried out with minimal impacts on the marine environment.  

About Chatham Rock Phosphate

Chatham Rock Phosphate is the custodian of New Zealand's only material resource of ultra-low cadmium, environmentally friendly pastoral phosphate fertiliser. Our key role is connecting the resource with those who need it. 

Using this phosphate will support sustainable farming practices, including healthier soil profiles and reduced accumulation of the heavy metal cadmium, reducing carbon emissions and dramatically lowering runoff to waterways and shrinking fertiliser needs over time.

The resource represents one of New Zealand's most valuable mineral assets and is of huge strategic significance because phosphate is essential to maintain New Zealand's high agricultural productivity.

New Zealand's current access to phosphate is vulnerable to economic and political events in the six countries controlling 98% of the world's phosphate reserves, with 85% of the total in the Western Saharan state of Morocco.

Chatham takes very seriously the responsibility vested in it through its mining permit to use the world's best knowledge and technology to safely extract this resource to help sustainably feed the world.

Our initial environmental consenting process independently established extraction would have no significant impact on fishing yields or profitability, marine mammals or seabirds.

Neither the Exchange, its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined under the policies of the Exchange), or NZX Limited has in any way passed upon the merits of the Transaction and associated transactions, and has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this press release.

SOURCE Chatham Rock Phosphate

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Copyright CNW Group 2018

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