Australian Potash has been granted mining leases for the development of its Lake Wells potash project in Western Australia.
The mining leases cover the development area required for its two-stage operation, with each stage producing about 150,000 tonnes per annum (t/y) sulphate of potash (SOP).
It is an area in excess of 30,000 hectares of the Lake Wells playa and underlying palaeochannel system.
Australian Potash managing director Matt Shackleton said, “This is a major milestone on the approvals pathway and a significant step towards completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS).
“With the grant of these mining leases, the next two quarters are shaping up to deliver some of the most significant de-risking events for the Lake Wells project’s development cycle.”
The granted mining leases area includes a proposed brine bore-field, evaporation ponds, processing plant and associated infrastructure — such as accommodation village, airstrip and power station — 180 kilometres northeast of Laverton.
Twenty per cent of the stage one project capacity will be built, commissioned and pump-tested prior to the completion of its DFS.
Shackleton said, “We have some additional work to do around a reserve estimate, which combined with our geotechnical program will form the basis of the field work over the next quarter. We look forward to providing regular updates to shareholders on our progress as we achieve further milestones,”
The project currently carries a 2012 JORC compliant mineral resource estimate of 14.7 million tonnes of recoverable SOP.