Australian Potash harvests first potassium salts from Lake Wells SOP project

Harvest pond two with crystallised potassium rich salts. Image: Australian Potash

Australian Potash has completed its final brine transfer at the Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.

The 40-tonne transfer into the final harvest pond signals the rapid conclusion of Lake Wells’ pilot evaporation pond program.

Australian Potash anticipates the evaporation step to be completed in the next 14–21 days. A blend of around two tonnes of potassium rich salts will be processed into SOP at the company’s pilot processing plant.

Company managing director Matt Shackleton said, “We plan to provide trade samples of Australian Potash’s Lake Wells SOP to our existing memorandum of understanding offtake partners Sino-Agri and Hubei-Agri [in China] as we look to move the relationships with those parties to a more formal offtake position.

“We are also constantly engaged with Australian users and distributors of SOP, and we look forward to providing evidence of the quality of our product to those parties too.”

Sino-Agri and Hubei-Agri are two of China’s largest agricultural companies, which have signed for a combined 200,000t/y offtake.

The production of SOP in Perth will be supervised by one of Novopro’s expert engineers on secondment to Australian Potash.

The Lake Wells SOP project aims to produce 150,000t/y during its initial stage one development, increasing to 300,000t/y on development of stage two.