31/03/2021 - 12:00

Kalium on track for September production

31/03/2021 - 12:00

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Kalium Lakes has begun commissioning its Beyondie potash plant in the Pilbara, with first production and sales expected in September.

Kalium on track for September production
The Beyondie project is one of six major potash developments in WA. Photo: Kalium Lakes

Kalium Lakes has begun commissioning its Beyondie potash plant in the Pilbara, with first production and sales expected in September.

The $248 million project sits 160 kilometres south-east of Newman and is one of six major potash developments in Western Australia.

Today, Kalium said several commissioning activities at Beyondie were underway, including the gas supply infrastructure and on-site power station. The gas is being supplied from a delivery station through low-pressure pipelines to the power station, boiler, and other process plant equipment.

Commissioning of the power station is nearing completion, Kalium says, with load testing expected ahead of schedule in early April.

“The pace of activity at the project continues to increase rapidly as we transition from construction to start-up of operations,” Kalium chief executive Rudolph van Niekerk said.

Kalium recently lifted Beyondie’s planned production capacity to 100,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash (SOP) per annum – up from its previous forecast of 90,000tpa – while additional work is being undertaken to expand to 120,000tpa.

The company was trading 2.3 per cent higher at 2:17pm AEDT to 22 cents per share.

Meanwhile, Salt Lake Potash will become the first SOP producer in Australia, having begun commissioning of its Lake Way process plant last week.

First production and sales from the $264 million project is expected in the June quarter. It is one of 11 lakes owned by the company that, once ramped up, is expected to produce 245,000t of SOP per annum.

More recently, BCI Minerals awarded earthworks and project management contracts for its $779 million Mardie salt and potash development on the Pilbara Coast.

Mardie is expected to produce 4.4 million tonnes of high purity salt and 120,000t of SOP per annum.

BCI is due to make a final investment decision for the project in the June quarter, ahead of main construction works.

First salt sales are expected by mid-2024 and SOP by mid-2025.

Agrimin, Australian Potash and Reward Minerals are also developing SOP projects in WA.

Australian Potash recently secured $140 million from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to develop its Lake Wells asset in WA’s Goldfields-Esperance region.

The $208 million project is expected to produce 150,000t of SOP per annum from a mid-2023 start.

NAIF has also awarded loans to BCI Minerals ($450 million) and Kalium ($74 million).

Meanwhile, Agrimin’s $637 million Lake Mackay project is expected to produce 450,000tpa of SOP from mid-2024 while Reward Minerals’ $345 million Lake Disappointment is estimated to produce 400,000tpa.

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