BUSINESSDESK: Royal Boskalis, one of the world’s biggest dredging companies, will acquire up to 20 percent of Chatham Rock Phophate in exchange for the first stage of its work on a project to extract the fertiliser chemical from the sea floor.
Boskalis has been issued shares equivalent to 15 percent of the company at a price of 22 cents apiece and, subject to shareholder approval in September, will be issued further stock that would take its holding to 19.9%, Chatham Rock managing director Chris Castle says.
That is a discount from Chatham Rock’s last trading price of 24 cents. The shares are up 41% this year. A Boskalis nominee will also be appointed to the Chatham Rock board.
The Papendrecht, Netherlands, based company is the project’s technical partner to design a process to extract phosphate nodules from the seabed.
Under the agreement, Boskalis may pay for the balance of the shares in cash or provide the balance of the issue price for the shares to CRP either in cash or in exchange for services rendered on the second and third phases of the work.
If the issue price isn’t met in full within 12 months, the unpaid shares will transfer back to Chatham Rock and be cancelled.
Boskalis chief executive Peter Berdowski says the project “offers a unique opportunity for Boskalis to get involved in the fledgling deep-sea mining industry”.
Chatham Rock holds an offshore prospecting permit covering 4726sq km on the central Chatham Rise. The initial term of the permit is two years with rights to either extend the prospecting permit or apply for a mining licence.
Separately, Chatham Rock issued 3.96 million shares at 20 cents apiece to Subsea Investments II in an allotment stemming from the partial conversion of a convertible loan from Subsea.
That will reduce the amount owed under the loan by about $800,000 to $2.55 million and keep Subsea’s holding in the company at 19.99%.
Chatham Rock plans to seek approval from shareholders to allow Subsea to lift its holding above 20% to allow full conversion of the loan.