North Dakota Assay Results
Monday, 24 January 2011 00:00

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Sirius Minerals Plc

(Sirius or the Company)

North Dakota Assay Results

The Directors of Sirius Minerals Plc (AIM: SXX, OTCQX: SRUXY), the globally diversified potash development group, are pleased to announce the company has received the assay results for its initial drill hole conducted on its 100% owned Dakota Salts Project in North Dakota.

While Sirius is still awaiting the finalisation of the technical report and recommendations from North Rim Exploration Limited (North Rim), the following observations can be made:

  • The total intersection is interpreted to include the White Bear marker bed (1.57m) followed by 15.05m of interbed halite with 8.69m of Esterhazy Member mineralisation at the base;
  • The total Esterhazy Member intersection was 27.9 ft (8.5 metres) with an average grade of 11.8% K2O;
  • Peak value of K2O within the Esterhazy intersection of 41.0% K2O and 10.3% Carnallite over 1.1 feet (0.34 meters); and
  • The potash mineralisation is in the form of both sylvite and carnallite which is similar to Esterhazy Member type mineralisation seen in the Saskatchewan Prairie Evaporite Formation.

Sirius and its consultants are continuing to review these results and are planning the next stages of its exploration programme which may include additional seismic lines, geochemical and regional studies prior to initiating further drilling.

Chris Fraser, Managing Director of Sirius, commented:

“We are very pleased that our first hole has confirmed the continuity of the Saskatchewan potash beds into North Dakota and more importantly in our Dakota Salts Project. Sirius is now working with its technical team to properly analyse and interpret these results to plan the next phase of our ongoing exploration activities in North Dakota.

Drill Hole Technical Summary

Drilling of the Dakota Salts EBY-1 wellbore in Burke County, North Dakota, USA, began 14 November 2010. The well was drilled to a final depth of 9167 ftKB (KB=Kelly Bushing) or 2794 mKB on 15 December 2010.

Schlumberger Limited was the drilling and safety manager for the project and Saxon Energy Services was the drilling contractor. SAXON 147 was the rig used to drill the well. North Rim was responsible for the Geological Technical Coordination of the project including core retrieval supervision, detailed geological logging and assay sample selection. Boyd PetroSearch, of Calgary Alberta, Canada provided 2D seismic interpretation.

Three inch core was cut from the lower Dawson Bay Formation 8652 ftKB (2637.1 mKB) to part way through the Prairie Evaporite Formation 8978ftKB (2736.5 mKB). Samples were taken in both the Esterhazy Member and the Whitebear potash marker bed. The cores were first cut in half, and one half of the core was sent for geochemical assaying. A total of 54 assays with an average length of 0.8 feet (0.24 metres) were taken over 43.1 feet (13.1 metres) of core for EBY-1. Within the Esterhazy Member a total of 37 samples over 27.9 feet (8.1 metres) were taken with a maximum length of 1.3 feet or 0.38 metres and an average length of 0.75 feet (0.23 metres). These assay samples were collected by North Rim using industry recognized standards.

The samples were forwarded to the Geoanalytical Laboratories at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on the 21st of December, 2010. The samples were crushed, split, and analysed using SRC basic potash package (soluble digestion ICP-OES, % weight insolubles and % weight moisture). Quality assurance and quality control measures were strictly adhered to, including the use of standards, blanks and repeats throughout the analyses. SRC is ISO accredited to 17025.

The assay results and technical content of this release have been reviewed by Tabetha Stirrett, P. Geo. of North Rim. Mrs. Stirrett is a Professional Geologist registered in the province Saskatchewan and is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 and AIM.

A summary of the results is set out in the Annexure.

For further information, please visit the Company’s website www.siriusminerals.com. Alternatively please contact:

Sirius Minerals Plc
Chris Fraser
(MD & CEO)
Tel: +44 7582711382 or+61 404073288 Richard Poulden
(Deputy Chairman)
Tel: +971 504 524 994
NOMAD Joint Brokers Media Enquiries
Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nomad) XCAP Securities Plc Daniel Stewart & Company Plc Gth Media Relations
Roland Cornish John Grant, Karen Kelly, David Newton Christopher Theis / Emma Earl Toby Hall/Christian Pickel
Tel: +44 207 628 3396 Tel: +44 20 7101 7070 Tel: + 44 20 7776 6550 Tel: + 44 20 3103 3903

About Sirius Minerals Plc

Sirius Minerals is a globally diversified potash development company. Its primary focus is to bring on stream major potash mining facilities through the acquisition and development of projects overlying recognised potash deposits. Today it holds properties in the United Kingdom (Yorkshire), North America (North Dakota), and Australia (Queensland and Western Australia).

The Company is additionally progressing ongoing Research and Development initiatives into the secondary uses of salt and potash beds for energy storage and carbon dioxide sequestration.

Incorporated in 2003, Sirius Minerals shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange AIM market. Its shares are also traded in North America on the OTCQX through the use of a sponsored ADR facility. Further information on the Company can be found at www.siriusminerals.com.

Glossary of Certain Technical Terms

Bed In geology a bed is the smallest division of a geologic formation or stratigraphic rock series marked by well-defined divisional planes (bedding planes) separating it from layers above and below.
Carnallite Carnallite is an evaporite mineral, a hydrated potassium magnesium chloride with formula: KMgCl3·6(H2O). It is variably coloured yellow to white, reddish, and sometimes colorless or blue.
Evaporite Evaporite is a name for a water-soluble mineral sediment that results from the evaporation from an aqueous solution and has been concentrated by evaporation. There are two types of evaporate deposits, marine which can also be described as ocean deposits, and non-marine which are found in standing bodies of water such as lakes. Evaporites are considered sedimentary rocks.
Halite Commonly known as rock salt, is the mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colourless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities.
Interbed To interleave between other beds or strata having different characteristics. Interbedding occurs when beds (layers or rock) of a particular lithology lie between or alternate with beds of a different lithology.
K2O Potassium Oxide
Member The formal lithostratigraphic unit next in rank below a formation. A member possesses lithologic properties distinguishing it from adjacent parts of the formation.
Potash Any of several compounds containing potassium, especially soluble compounds such as potassium oxide, potassium chloride, and various potassium sulphates. Used chiefly in fertilizers.
Saskatchewan Prairie Evaporite Formation The Saskatchewan Prairie Evaporite Formation is a geological formation consisting mainly of Halite, Sylvite, and Carnallite observed and mined in the Williston Basin in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Sylvite Sylvite is potassium chloride (KCl) in natural mineral form. It forms crystals in the isometric system very similar to normal rock salt, halite (NaCl). Sylvite is colourless to white with shades of yellow and red due to inclusions. Its principal use is as a potassium fertilizer.

ANNEXURE

From (m) To (m) Thickness (m) Member %K2O %MgO %Carn %Insols
2685.43 2685.67 0.24 16.70 0.06 0.41 1.90
2685.67 2686.02 0.35 Whitebear 2.60 0.10 0.69 8.10
2686.02 2686.22 0.2 Whitebear 17.40 0.04 0.28 0.60
2686.22 2686.45 0.23 Whitebear 0.22 0.02 0.14 0.40
2686.45 2686.51 0.06 Whitebear 1.04 0.31 2.14 37.00
2686.51 2686.83 0.32 Whitebear 0.45 0.07 0.48 1.30
2686.83 2687.24 0.41 Whitebear 1.34 0.10 0.69 6.20
2687.24 2687.5 0.26 0.56 0.10 0.69 5.80
2687.5 2687.84 0.34 0.34 0.06 0.41 1.80
2701.35 2701.73 0.38 0.73 0.12 0.83 6.00
2701.73 2701.97 0.24 1.02 0.14 0.96 10.10
2701.97 2702.27 0.3 0.72 0.16 1.10 12.80
2702.27 2702.45 0.18 1.44 0.14 0.96 9.90
2702.45 2702.81 0.36 Esterhazy 22.60 0.14 0.96 6.40
2702.81 2702.9 0.09 Esterhazy 33.30 5.56 38.31 0.60
2702.9 2702.97 0.07 Esterhazy 23.50 0.67 4.62 2.70
2702.97 2703.17 0.2 Esterhazy 12.10 6.45 44.45 1.80
2703.17 2703.38 0.21 Esterhazy 8.14 6.56 45.21 0.10
2703.38 2703.65 0.27 Esterhazy 22.60 4.09 28.18 <0.1
2703.65 2703.93 0.28 Esterhazy 16.10 8.81 60.71 <0.1
2703.93 2704.1 0.17 Esterhazy 25.10 4.35 29.98 <0.1
2704.1 2704.35 0.25 Esterhazy 9.89 2.60 17.92 0.10
2704.35 2704.56 0.21 Esterhazy 2.84 0.53 3.65 47.00
2704.56 2704.86 0.3 Esterhazy 0.34 0.21 1.45 7.20
2704.86 2704.95 0.09 Esterhazy 1.92 0.41 2.83 16.60
2704.95 2705.07 0.12 Esterhazy 3.29 0.36 2.48 6.10
2705.07 2705.15 0.08 Esterhazy 9.58 0.43 2.96 24.20
2705.15 2705.42 0.27 Esterhazy 18.40 0.40 2.76 15.00
2705.42 2705.76 0.34 Esterhazy 41.00 1.49 10.27 2.90
2705.76 2706.09 0.33 Esterhazy 37.70 1.40 9.65 3.80
2706.09 2706.34 0.25 Esterhazy 17.60 2.94 20.26 1.40
2706.34 2706.69 0.35 Esterhazy 8.61 0.12 0.83 1.00
2706.69 2706.99 0.3 Esterhazy 3.32 0.08 0.55 1.20
2706.99 2707.33 0.34 Esterhazy 3.85 0.08 0.55 1.00
2707.33 2707.65 0.32 Esterhazy 3.00 0.10 0.69 1.50
2707.65 2707.94 0.29 Esterhazy 4.17 0.08 0.55 0.60
2707.94 2708.26 0.32 Esterhazy 2.07 0.05 0.34 0.50
2708.26 2708.4 0.14 Esterhazy 1.37 0.02 0.14 <0.1
2708.4 2708.57 0.17 Esterhazy 1.63 0.07 0.48 2.20
2708.57 2708.62 0.05 Esterhazy 3.44 0.26 1.79 22.10
2708.62 2708.86 0.24 Esterhazy 2.01 0.06 0.41 1.80
2708.86 2708.89 0.03 Esterhazy 1.78 0.11 0.76 5.70
2708.89 2709.16 0.27 Esterhazy 5.29 0.03 0.21 0.20
2709.16 2709.31 0.15 Esterhazy 7.72 0.04 0.28 <0.1
2709.31 2709.46 0.15 Esterhazy 37.40 0.04 0.28 1.00
2709.46 2709.69 0.23 Esterhazy 20.50 0.03 0.21 0.40
2709.69 2709.97 0.28 Esterhazy 3.21 0.02 0.14 0.20
2709.97 2710.25 0.28 Esterhazy 8.74 0.09 0.62 6.90
2710.25 2710.63 0.38 Esterhazy 5.83 0.08 0.55 6.20
2710.63 2710.96 0.33 Esterhazy 2.78 0.07 0.48 3.80