PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SoP) project has been granted full environmental approval by Western Australia Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
ASX-listed Australian Potash MD and CEO Matt Shackleton on Tuesday said the company was pleased with another significant milestone in the development of the Lake Wells SoP project.
“Receiving this full environmental approval allows us to now secure the operating licences and permits to develop the project and proceed to development on making a final investment decision.
“Conditions agreed with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and contained in the Minister’s statement allow Australian Potash to develop an environmentally sustainable project with effectively no impact on social surrounds. Flora, fauna and water management plans proposed by the company were all accepted by the EPA.”
Shackleton said that the project was now positioned with environmental approval to develop, and with all of its forecast output under binding take-or-pay agreements.
“Due diligence by lenders, including the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility, Export Finance Australia, and commercial lenders are either complete or nearing completion. We expect to update shareholders on the financing programme over the balance of the quarter,” he added.
The A$208-million Lake Wells SoP project could deliver 150 000 t/y of SoP, based on the maiden reserve of 3.6-million tonnes, and will have a mine life of 30 years.
In November last year, Australian Potash inked a ten-year take-or-pay term sheet with HELM AG for 20 000 t/y of K-Brite SoP from the Lake Wells project for distribution in the US, covering all of the projected 150 000 t/y under offtake arrangements.