Fertiliser explorer Kalium Lakes (ASX:KLL) is a close to locking in a $120 million loan to fund its Beyondie sulfate of potash (SOP) development project in Western Australia.

Kalium has inked non-binding terms with German-owned KfW IPEX-Bank, which is finalising its due diligence and has initiated its credit approval process, the company says.

This potential funding goes nicely with a $74 million pledge from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).

Kalium is one of a handful of ASX-listed juniors involved in the SOP projects where salt lake brines are to be tapped for the valuable fertiliser — and they are attracting strong investor interest on the back of the need-to-feed-the-world thematic.

It’s low cost, long life Beyondie SOP project will need $159 million to build an initial 82,000 tonnes a year operation.

An extra $125 million will be required down the track to ramp Beyondie up to 164,000 tonnes a year.

KfW IPEX-Bank is mandated to support key export industries, develop economic and social infrastructure, fund environmental and climate protection projects, and secure the supply of raw materials.

The bank is funding Altech’s (ASX:ATC) high purity alumina (HPA) plant in Indonesia, and was appointed by TNG (ASX:TNG) to lead a $US600m debt raising to underpin the development of the Mt Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project.

Kibaran Resources (ASX:KNL) is also in “advanced discussions” with the bank to partially fund the development of its  Epanko graphite project in Tanzania.

The Kalium share price over the past 12 months.
The Kalium share price over the past 12 months.

Kalium Lakes boss Brett Hazelden says the funding is on attractive terms compared to traditional project financing.

“We are delighted with the level of support shown by the German and Australian governments for this incredible venture to produce a premium fertiliser which we know will benefit not just Australians but many other countries around the world,” he says.

“With the support of NAIF, KfW IPEX-Bank, Euler Hermes, our investors, management and staff, the development of Australia’s first Sulphate of Potash production is now one step closer.”