Kalium crosses the line as Australia’s first SOP producer
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Kalium Lakes is claiming the crown as Australia’s first sulphate of potash producer after its Beyondie project produced its first batch during commissioning.
The production of high-grade SOP, a premium fertiliser that is invaluable for chloride intolerant crops such as avocados, is the culmination of seven years of work since the company was founded in September 2014.
Kalium Lakes (ASX:KLL) will now continue product commissioning as performance testing is completed.
It added that scheduled commercial production ramp-up remains on track while both construction and commissioning activities remain within the capital expenditure budget.
“Kalium Lakes has delivered another major milestone for the Beyondie SOP Project, producing its first SOP seven years after the company was founded in September 2014,” chief executive officer Rudolph van Niekerk.
“We have always said that it was not a race and we were focused on getting it right rather than being first, but in the end we have been fortunate to achieve both!”
The company has also awarded additional contracts for SOP product haulage services.
Beyondie is a potash brine project in Western Australia’s eastern Pilbara region that comprises 16 granted exploration licences, two mining leases and several miscellaneous licences that cover a total area of about 1,800 sq km.
Offtake for the first 120,000 tonne per annum stage is already committed to a 10-year deal with German fertiliser giant K+S, which currently supplies more than 60% of Australia and New Zealand’s SOP markets.
Work is currently underway to finalise offtake and marketing plans for the planned 120,000tpa expansion project.
Kalium is also finalising the expansion study that will accelerate an increase in SOP production capacity off the back of increasing SOP prices.
Mine life is currently expected to be about 50 years with exploration offering further potential for this to be extended.
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