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Kola potash project, Congo-Brazzaville – update

Image of a drill bit from a drill rig at the Kola project

Photo by Kore Potash

26th January 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Kola potash project.

Location
Sintoukola basin, Congo-Brazzaville.

Project Owner/s
Kore Potash and Summit Consortium.

Project Description
Kore Potash completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) in 2019, in which it proposed a production estimate of 2.2-million tonnes a year of muriate of potash (MoP). This is based on a mine life of 33 years comprising 23 production years, exploiting ore reserves of 152.4-million tonnes and 9.7-million tonnes of inferred mineral resources, and an additional ten production years exploiting 70-million tonnes of the remaining inferred mineral resources.

Total MoP production has decreased from 2.2-million tonnes a year in the 2019 DFS to 2.14-million tonnes a year in the 2022 optimisation study.

The optimisation study estimates a 31-year mine life, which includes 25 production years exploiting ore reserves of 152.4-million tonnes, together with 9.7-million tonnes of inferred mineral resources, and an additional six production years exploiting 49-million tons of the remaining inferred mineral resources.

The Kola orebody is planned to be mined using conventional underground mechanised methods, extracting the ore within ‘panels’ using continuous miner equipment of the drum-cutting type. Mine access will be provided through two 270-m-deep vertical shafts, each 8 m in diameter. The shafts will be sunk near the centre of the orebody.

Underground access will be provided through equipping the intake shaft with a hoist and cage system to transport persons and material.

The exhaust shaft will be equipped with a pocket lift conveyor system to continuously convey the mined-out ore to the surface.

Ore from underground will be transported to the process plant using a 24-km-long overland conveyor. A conventional potash flotation plant with a maximum design capacity of 2.24-million tons a year of MoP has been designed for the project. As a result of the low insolubles content, no separate process circuit will be required to extract insoluble material. The final MoP product will then be transported 11 km using a conveyor belt from the process plant to the marine export facility at the coast.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The optimisation study estimates an ungeared after-tax net present value (NPV), at a 10% discount rate, of $1.62-billion and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20%, compared with an NPV, at a 10% discount rate, of $1.42-billion and an IRR of 17.2% in the DFS.

Capital Expenditure
The capital cost of the project is estimated at $2.1-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
The construction period has been reduced from 46 months in the DFS to 40 months in the optimisation study.

Latest Developments
The Summit Consortium has advised that the financing proposal for the total construction cost of the project will be provided for Kore within six weeks of the engineering, procurement and construction contract terms being finalised.

Kore Potash maintains that the consortium members can provide the required financing for the construction of Kola, and that pursuing this financing opportunity remains the best path forward for Kore Potash’s shareholders.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Met-Chem DRA Global (mineral resource estimate); and SRK Consulting (environmental- and social-impact assessment).

Contact Details for Project Information
Tavistock, on behalf of Kore Potash, tel +44 207 920 3150 or email kore@tavistock.co.uk.

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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