25 Sep 2012

Phosphate firm attracts potential investors

8:12 pm on 25 September 2012

Fertiliser company Chatham Rock Phosphate says it has received significant interest from across the world from people looking to invest in the company.

The company wants to mine seabed phosphate for use as a fertiliser, and will apply for a license at the end of this week to explore more than 4,000 square kilometres of seafloor on the Chatham Rise, 450 kilometres east of Christchurch.

An independent business case for potential investors is due to be released on Wednesday.

Chatham Rock says the project will be an immediate benefit to the New Zealand economy of about $1.3 billion as soon as it goes into production.

Shareholders voted on Monday to increase to 20% the stake in the company held by Netherlands-based dredging company, Royal Boskalis Westminster.

Chatham Rock has a target of $25 million and has so far secured $15 million.

Chief executive Chris Castle says it's approaching institutions in New Zealand and high net-worth individuals and overseas investors for the remaining $10 million.

The remainder of the target money will help fund the company until the end of 2014, and Mr Castle says it should have a dual listing on the Toronto and the New Zealand Stock Exchange Alternative Market towards the end of 2012.