AUSTRALIAN POTASH HARVESTS FIRST POTASSIUM RICH SALTS
Australian Potash Limited has advised the successful completion of the final transfer of brine into Harvest Pond 3 at the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash project’s pilot evaporation pond network.
Australian Potash Managing Director Matt Shackleton said: “With this transfer of brine into the final harvest pond, the pilot evaporation pond program is rapidly concluding. Once the evaporation step is complete, which we anticipate in the next 14 – 21 days, a blend of about 2 tonnes of the Potassium rich salts from all the harvest ponds will be processed into SOP at the Company’s purpose-built pilot processing plant. The production of SOP in Perth will be supervised by one of Novopro’s expert engineers on secondment to APC.
“We plan to provide trade samples of APC’s Lake Wells SOP to our existing MOU-off-take partners, Sino-Agri and Hubei-Agri as we look to move the relationships with those parties to a more formal off-take position. We are also constantly engaged with Australian users and distributors of SOP, and we look forward to providing evidence of the quality of our product to those parties too” Mr Shackleton said. Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project With granted Mining Leases in place, the Lake Wells SOP Project is targeting the production of 150,000 tonnes per annum through an initial Stage-1 development, rising to 300,000 tonnes per annum on development of Stage-2. Costs of production place the project in the lowest quartile on the global operating costs curve.
Located just 280kms from bulk rail terminals at Leonora (Figure 4), the Lake Wells SOP Project is well supported by local government. The Shire of Laverton allows APC to off-set annual rates payable on the recently granted Mining Leases against the maintenance and upgrade of the Lake Wells access road. In addition to this, the Shire has committed to sealing the surface of the Great Central Road a further 100 kms east of Laverton, effectively providing APC with an additional 70kms of sealed road in its infrastructure solution.
APC has in place Memorandums of Understanding with two of China’s largest agricultural companies for a combined 200,000 tonnes per annum of off-take. Australian Potash is committed to supplying SOP to Australian farmers and is actively engaged with large fertiliser distributors in Western Australia. Annual consumption of all potash types
in Australia is approximately 500 – 600 thousand tonnes, including 50 – 60kT SOP. With effective incentive pricing, the volume of SOP consumed in Australia will increase materially. APC is conducting a Definitive Feasibility Study into the development of a solar salt SOP operation at Lake Wells and is targeting H1 2019 to release the findings of this DFS.