First SOP produced for domestic market

Kalium Lakes has commenced deliveries of Sulphate of Potash (SOP) from the Beyondie SOP Mine to local Western Australian fertiliser manufacturer and distributor CSBP Fertilisers.

Product is expected to be despatched in regular weekly deliveries over the next month as part of the first sale made under the 10-year offtake agreement the company executed with major potash producer and distributor K+S Asia Pacific in 2019.

Kalium Lakes’ standard grade SOP is expected to find its way to local WA farmers for the 2023 season, reducing the reliance on imported SOP.

Kalium Lakes chief executive officer Len Jubber said the move was an important milestone in the commissioning of Beyondie as the sole Australian producer of SOP.

“It also heralds the start of the era of domestic SOP production in Australia, for distribution to the Australian and international agricultural markets,” he said.

K+S Asia Pacific managing director Marcus Ross said the commencement of deliveries by Kalium Lakes was a major leap towards the commercial supply of SOP into the agricultural sector.

CSBP Fertilisers general manager Mark Scatena said as the only WA producer of compound nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) products, CSBP was pleased to be receiving the first tranche of locally produced SOP, a key feedstock in the manufacture of CSBP’s premium NPK compound fertiliser MacroPro Extra.

“While CSBP has long maintained strong and diverse global supply relationships, local SOP production has the potential to improve the security of supply for WA industry, enabling CSBP to continue the local manufacture of its premium fertiliser range tailored to WA conditions and the requirements of WA growers,” he said.

In the coming months, Kalium Lakes will begin the fine tuning of the Koppern compaction plant that was partially commissioned in June. This is also expected to result in higher-priced granular SOP comprising an increasing proportion of the company’s sales.

Kalium Lakes has begun delivering into an SOP market that has seen prices double from their long-term average in the last 12 months. These price increases have largely been the result of economic and financial sanctions on Belarus and Russia, which together account for more than 35 per cent of the global Muriate of Potash market, with it being the primary input in the production of approximately half the world’s SOP.

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).
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