PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed American Pacific Borates (ABR) has inked a letter of intent (LoI) with a subsidiary of NYSE-listed Compass Minerals International, over the sales and marketing of sulphate of potash (SoP) from the Fort Cady borate mine, in southern California.
“There is a strong alignment between ABR and Compass Minerals relative to our ambitions to supply SoP to the growing North American agricultural market. Compass Minerals has well established customer markets and supply chains, so we think the collaboration on SoP sales is a sensible one,” said ABR executive director Anthony Hall on Monday.
“The partnership will allow ABR to focus on its rare borate business, while also leveraging the combined expertise on the potential to develop new boron-enriched speciality fertilisers.”
Under the LoI, the two parties have agreed to determine the appropriate structure for a sale and marketing agreement for ABR’s SoP production, and to progress crop trials and agronomy studies for boron-enriched fertilisers.
ABR is currently planning initial production of boric acid from Fort Cady in the third quarter of this year, with SoP production set to start shortly thereafter.
The starter project would target a production rate of 40 000 t/y SoP and 9 000 t/y of boric acid, increasing to 90 000 t/y SoP and 80 000 t/y boric acid during Phase 1B.
The Phase 2 project would ultimately increase production to 109 000 t/y SoP and 408 000 t/y boric acid, while the Phase 3 development would push production to 400 000 t/y of SoP and 450 000 t/y of boric acid.