12/05/2022 - 16:36

Potash to win in $1.3bn diversification fund

12/05/2022 - 16:36

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A special royalty rebate for potash producers was announced in the budget today, as big hopefuls such as BCI Minerals develop projects.

Potash to win in $1.3bn diversification fund
BCI Minerals had a sod turning earlier this year. Photo: Simone Grogan

A special royalty rebate for potash producers was announced in the budget today, as big hopefuls such as BCI Minerals develop projects.

Premier Mark McGowan said the government would spend $1.3 billion through a fund to diversify the economy, and touted the state’s 3.4 per cent unemployment rate as a sign its strategy so far had been successful.

There would be an extra $70 million for tourism, $41 million for international education, $50 million for land development and $80 million more for industry attraction.

The tally included $332 million for Geraldton Port, an iron ore and grain export terminal, and $78 million for Lumsden Point at Port Hedland.

Mr McGowan also reeled off sectors such as space, critical minerals, potash, and call centres, which would receive government support.

Potash producers will get a 50 per cent royalty rebate costing the government about $10 million over the next three years.

It is understood the potash royalty rebate follows requests from industry.

Reports have indicated the price of potash, used in fertiliser, had last year soared to levels not seen for more than a decade.

Other commodities had previously been given temporary royalty rebates to help new industries get off the ground, including magnetite in 2013 and lithium in 2020.

A series of potash projects have been in the pipeline in Western Australia, with the biggest being BCI Minerals’ Mardie development.

BCI held a sod-turning event in March for the $1.2 billion project. 

In March, Business News reported almost 40 per cent of BCI was owned by WA entrepreneur Kerry Stokes, whose empire also includes Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings.

The list of local potash players also includes Kalium Lakes, Agrimin, Australian Potash and Trigg Mining.

The proponent of the Lake Way potash project, Salt Lake Potash, entered receivership in October owing $170 million.

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