How to trade Sirius Minerals shares

Sirius Minerals is a leading fertiliser development company, recently burdened by bankruptcy rumours and a dwindling share price. Learn more about Sirius Minerals and find out how you can take advantage of changes in the company.

How to buy Sirius Minerals shares

If you want to buy Sirius Minerals shares, you can choose between owning the physical shares or betting on the share price. Derivatives trading lets you speculate on price movements without owning the shares.

If you choose derivatives trading, you only need a small deposit (called margin), as you’ll trade using leverage.

Trading Sirius Minerals shares

If you use derivatives such as CFDs to trade Sirius Minerals shares, you can buy (go long) if you think the Sirius Minerals share price will go up or sell (go short) if you think the share price will go down. To buy, follow these easy steps:

  1. Log in to your trading account
  2. Search for ‘Sirius Minerals’ in the ‘finder’ panel
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Select ‘buy’ in the deal ticket and confirm the trade

How to sell Sirius Minerals shares

How you sell your Sirius Minerals shares will depend on whether you own them or if you’re speculating on share price movements. Trader and investors often sell their shares to avoid a loss, or to realise a profit.

Shorting Sirius Minerals shares

If you’re trading Sirius Minerals shares with derivatives, you can short the stock if you think the share price is heading down. If you already have an IG trading account, follow the steps below to short (sell) Sirius Minerals shares:

  1. Log in to your trading account
  2. Search for ‘Sirius Minerals’ in the ‘finder’ panel
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Select ‘sell’ in the deal ticket and confirm the trade

Understanding Sirius Minerals: a brief history

Sirius Minerals was founded in 2003, and it listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in August 2005. The share price at the time of listing was 6.5p. Originally, the business was focused on mining potash in the American state of North Dakota, but this shifted in 2010 when chief executive officer (CEO) Chris Fraser announced his interest in mining in the UK.

Fraser was introduced to Peter Woods and Rick Smith, who first discovered polyhalite in North Yorkshire. And so, in 2011, an application was submitted to the North York Moors National Park Authority to start drilling at its location. By mid-November, the share price had rocketed to 32p.

In September 2013, Sirius Minerals had to put its plans on hold to re-evaluate the project’s environmental impact. The share price dipped to 7p by November of the same year. The company resubmitted its plans the following year, but they weren’t approved until June 2015. As a result, shares were finally approaching the 20p mark again.

Construction and mining started while Sirius Minerals was making plans to get all the capital it required. However, it ran into some trouble in 2019 when it postponed the sale of a $500 million bond, causing the share price to plummet by 39%. This development has cast doubt over the future of the North Yorkshire project.

Sirius Minerals shares: the basics

Sirius Minerals shares are listed on the LSE under the ticker symbol SXX. It is also a constituent of the FTSE 250.

Sirius Minerals has had quite a tumultuous few months – with share prices dropping by roughly 85% from April to August 2019. The share price is largely driven by the status of the North Yorkshire mining developments as it has been struggling to raise the funds it needs for the project.

As uncertainty surrounds the future of the Sirius Minerals share price, it has become a popular option for short-sellers. In May 2019, more than 9% of Sirius Minerals’ shares were being shorted.

Sirius Minerals key personnel: who manages the company?

Sirius Minerals has five senior executives that manage the company.

Chris Fraser CEO and managing director
Thomas Staley Chief financial officer (CFO)
Simon Carter Chief development officer
Nicholas King General counsel
JT Starzecki Chief marketing officer

Sirius Minerals also has a board of non-executive directors, which consists of eight members and includes Thomas Staley.

What is Sirius Minerals’ business model?

Sirius Minerals’ business model is based on developing and delivering an industry-leading fertiliser product. The focus is on obtaining the world’s largest deposit of polyhalite from its mining project in North Yorkshire. The business aims to maintain long-lasting, low-cost production of its product to deliver the most value to customers, shareholders and other stakeholders.

The Sirius Minerals business model focuses on three key areas:

  • Research, which proves that the use of polyhalite as a fertiliser is suitable for farmers
  • Sustainable development, which considers risk management, safety and environmental care
  • Sales and marketing, which aim to build a market for the product

Sirius Minerals fundamental analysis: how to analyse SXX

Before buying or selling Sirius Minerals, you should conduct thorough fundamental analysis. A business’s fundamentals include different factors that affect its operations, such as management structure and financials. Further to this, you must also investigate the health of the sector in which the company operates, and the overall economy. By gathering as much information as possible, you can make an informed decision about Sirius Minerals.

Sirius Minerals’ share value can be studied by using metrics such as the earnings per share (EPS), price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, the return on equity (ROE) and the dividend yield.

  • Sirius Minerals’ EPS outlines the value of each share and whether the company is profitable or not. To calculate EPS, divide Sirius Minerals’ profit by the number of outstanding shares
  • Sirius Minerals’ P/E ratio defines how much you must spend on shares to make $1 in profit. To calculate P/E ratio, divide Sirius Minerals’ current market value per share by its EPS
  • Sirius Minerals’ ROE measures how much income it makes on assets compared to shareholder investments. To calculate ROE, divide Sirius Minerals’ net income by its stakeholder equity
  • Sirius Minerals’ dividend yield compares the annual dividends to the share price. It is expressed as a percentage. To calculate dividend yield, divide the dividend amount by the share price, and then multiply it by 100

Learn more about fundamental analysis


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

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