Emmerson, a natural resources exploration and production company, based in the Isle of Man, said earlier this week that it would acquire the holding company of Morocco’s Khemisset potash project located near Rabat. The all-share deal is worth GBP 10 million. A binding memorandum of understanding regarding acquisition of 100% of the share capital was finalized and the holding company Moroccan Salts Ltd will be acquired in a reverse takeover.
Emmerson is going to issue 333.3 million new shares at an implied price of 3 pence per share and the firm will also take on a few liabilities of the holding company as well as raise working capital for the enlarged group to take the potash project forward. “Moroccan Salts has a substantial ground position in, and extensive technical information on the Khemisset potash basin, and has recently conducted confirmatory drilling on the project area. Both the recent and historic drilling results inform the view of Moroccan Salts Limited, shared by the Company, that the Project could emerge as a top tier global potash mine with potential to return substantial gains for new and existing shareholders,” said the company’s chairman, Cameron Pearce.
Morocco is a growing player in the world’s phosphate industry and already the largest exporter of phosphate rock globally. Its phosphate production is currently around 30 million metric tons but it is bound to go up by 2020 following the growing government investment. Morocco’s Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), which is owned 94% by Morocco and holds a disproportionate share of global phosphate reserves (85%, or 50 billion metric tons), has committed to investing about $5 billion over the next 10 years to develop the infrastructure for new mines and wash plants.