22/12/2021 - 16:04

Kalium hits bump in Beyondie ramp-up

22/12/2021 - 16:04

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Shares in potash hopeful Kalium Lakes were down almost 16 per cent after the company flagged likely short-term production and technical issues at the Beyondie project.

Kalium hits bump in Beyondie ramp-up
Kalium Lakes' Beyondie project. Photo: Kalium Lakes

Shares in potash hopeful Kalium Lakes were down almost 16 per cent after the company flagged likely short-term production and technical issues at the Beyondie project.

The company updated the market on the $280 million Pilbara SOP operation this morning, confirming it had produced a small quantity of standard grade salt of potash and obtained an operating licence for the site.

However, early analysis of potassium salts production has indicated output could be less than initially targeted over the summer and subsequently for the calendar year.

But the exact impact on the company’s CY22 harvested potassium salt production forecast is yet to be pinned down.

Kalium has attributed the revision to previously announced brine supply interruptions having a greater impact on evaporation pond performance than first expected.

In addition, Kalium said it had identified later-stage commissioning issues, including initial variability in harvested potassium salt feed grades as well as non-critical mechanical issues at its purification plant.

Kalium Lakes considers that many of these variability issues, although initially impacting the commissioning and ramp-up programme, are readily and regularly managed under commercial operations,” the company said in a statement.

Difficulty in getting international experts of the original equipment manufacturers on site due to COVID-induced travel restrictions has also contributed to these issues.

The company concluded that the current status of ramp-up is expected to have an impact on production dates.

“The focus of the Kalium Lakes’ team and its project partners remains unchanged,” Kalium chief executive Len Jubber said in a statement.

“Delivering Beyondie to commercial production and then nameplate capacity in a safe and sustainable manner as rapidly as possible.”

Kalium Lakes shares closed the day down 16.13 per cent to trade at 13 cents.

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