PERTH (miningweekly.com) – A definitive feasibility study on the Colluli potash project, in Eritrea, is expected by the fourth quarter of this year.
Joint project owner Danakali noted on Monday that, while a number of enhancements to the project would be fully explored by the end of September, discussions with equipment suppliers have indicated that firm costings would not be available until the fourth quarter.
A March prefeasibility study into the Colluli project estimated that it would require a capital investment of around $442-million. The study examined a two-module development with expected production of 425 000 t/y sulphate of potash (SoP) for the first five years of operation, increasing to 850 000 t/y for the remainder of the proposed 30-year mine life.
Since that time, Danakali, previously known as South Boulder Mines, has completed pilot tests to demonstrate the Colluli process design and to generate high-purity SoP.
The company, which owns 50% of the project, has also undertaken significant optimisation testwork for the processing plant, which has yielded a number of positive results, the most significant of which was a 60% reduction in processing plant water requirements.
With the completion of all site-related geotechnical work, detailed mine scheduling was also advancing, Danakali told shareholders.
Danakali was hoping to start production at the project by 2018.
The Eritrean National Mining Company owns the other 50% of the Colluli project.