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Salt Lake Potash confirms Lake Wells Project potential

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Salt Lake Potash has released its interim results, confirming the potential of the Lake Wells Project to product sulfate of potash (SOP) through solar evaporation.

The scoping study was prepared by Amec Foster Wheeler and other international experts, and demonstrated excellent project fundamentals based on well-established solar evaporation and salt processing techniques. The company is expected to proceed to a pre-feasibility study (PFS).

Lake Wells has the potential to be one of only five large scale salt lake SOP producers around the world and the Project’s estimated cash production costs of AUS$185/t (Stage 2) would be amongst the lowest in the world.

The Scoping Study is based on a two stage development plan for Lake Wells:

  • Stage 1 is based on shallow trenching and bore production with 100% of brine feed drawn from the near surface Measured Resource.
  • Stage 2 also includes pumping additional brine from the deeper Inferred Resource, to increase production to 400 000 tpy of SOP.

All-in estimated capital costs total AUS$268 million for the 400 000 tpy production scenario, amongst the lowest capital intensity for any proposed potash project worldwide.

An 8.5 t amphibious excavator completed 127 shallow test pits and 7 trial trenches in the shallow aquifer at the Lake Wells Project. Sustained pump tests were completed on two 4.5 m deep trenches in the southern part of the Lake. Here, modelled annual flow rates of 1.1 – 1.3 L/s based on a 1 year simulated model of the results recorded during the 50m trial trench pump test. Modelled annual flow rates of 0.23 – 0.28 L/s based on a 1 year simulated model of the results recorded during the 25 m trial trench pump test.

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