The pre-feasibility study (PFS) for potash exploration and development company Kore Potash’s Dougou extension (DX) at the Sintoukola potash project, in the Republic of Congo, is on track to be completed on budget in April 2020, with potentially improved financial outcomes.
Technical studies completed to date have identified a number of improvements over the scoping study with the potential to reduce both the capital cost and the operating cost of the project compared to the scoping study, the London- and Johannesburg-listed company said on Tuesday.
Some of these improvements included a reduction of about 40% in the circulating brine flow rates, potential gas requirement reduction of up to 40% and an increase in the cavern footprint of up to 27%.
Further, Kore on Tuesday said that the life of the project extraction ratio might be improved with the potential to increase initial project life to 25 years, while the processing of the two-dimensional seismic survey data had reinforced and improved upon earlier interpretations of the sylvinite boundaries within the deposit.
With the current focus on the development of the lower capital cost of the DX project, the company said that it would continue to explore options to reduce the Kola capital cost but noted that it would not be planning further expenditure on the optimization of Kola in the near-term.
"This positive progress on the DX pre-feasibility study is very pleasing to see, the company is progressing high quality work to improve our understanding of the deposit and the chosen processing route,” Kore CE Brad Sampson said in a statement.
In the interim, however, the Kola bill of quantities exercise had identified a capital savings of more than $300-million in comparison to the definitive feasibility study capital cost.
Discussions with European engineering and construction groups also indicated that further optimisation activity, including design revisions, were likely to generate additional capital cost reductions.
Shifting Kore's focus onto a smaller, less capital-intensive project within the wider Sintoukola basin should allow the company to get to production faster and preserves optionality on the other deposits, Sampson concluded.