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Kola potash project, Congo-Brazzaville – update

Image of drill from the Kola potash project

Photo by Kore Potash

22nd July 2022

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
Potash development company Kore Potash.

Project Description
Kore Potash completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) in 2019, in which it proposed the production of about 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 since decreased from 2.2-million tonnes a year 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 by 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 by 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 has decreased by $520-million to $1.83-billion on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis, compared with the capital cost of $2.35-billion on an equivalent EPC basis in the DFS.

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
Kore Potash expects the EPC contract proposal for the construction of the Kola potash project to be ready by August.

The proposal will be based on the outcomes of the optimisation study and follows a heads of agreement (HoA) that was signed on June 28 for the project’s construction.

The HoA confirmed the timeline for construction engineering company Sepco Electric Power Construction to complete its discussions with Kore ahead of presenting the company with an EPC contract proposal for Kola.

The agreement also provided additional clarity on matters that Sepco was required to finalise in advance of presenting Kore with the construction contract proposal.

The financing proposal for the complete construction of Kola was expected after Kore’s receipt of the EPC contract proposal and agreement on key EPC terms, the company announced on July 18.

The process to potentially finance the construction of Kola has progressed in line with the memorandum of understanding signed with alternative investment group Summit Africa in April 2021.

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.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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