Kalium Lakes has upgraded the capacity of the Beyondie sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia to produce 100,000 tonnes per annum, with potential for further increases.
The company has completed the final plant design parameters to support the 100,000-tonne-per-annum capacity, which is expected to be achieved by mid-2022.
The current 100,000 tonne-per-annum capacity was achieved through a “debottlenecking” review of Beyondie’s SOP purification plant.
This has been successful due to higher potassium grades in brines, improvements in the availability of the SOP purification plant and a conservative plant design
In the short term, Kalium Lakes expects there is an opportunity for the project to produce 120,000 tonnes per annum of SOP.
Kalium Lakes is also seeking a long-term expansion to 400,000 tonnes per annum of SOP, while commercialising by-products from the project including magnesium.
According to Kalium Lakes chief executive officer Rudolph van Niekerk, Beyondie is well positioned to produce 400,000 tonnes per annum of SOP for over 20 years.
“We are pleased to announce that a ‘debottlenecking’ style review of the plant design for the Beyondie SOP project confirms that an annual steady-state production rate of at least 100,000 tonnes per annum is achievable,” he said.
“Additionally, the current evaporation ponds’ performance indicates that this production rate can be achieved by mid-2022.
“The company is also confident that a production increase to 120,000 tonnes per annum can be achieved without the need for substantial plant modifications and is currently examining pathways to deliver this outcome.”
According to Kalium Lakes, Beyondie’s ore reserve of 5.13 million tonnes with a SOP grading of 13.15 kilograms per cubic metre which only represents 16 per cent of the total mineral resource.
“Previous work has confirmed the embedded optionality in the Beyondie’s enormous resource endowment,” van Niekerk said.
“The current resource would support 400,000 tonnes per annum of SOP production for 20-plus years and, consistent with our strategy to be a growth company, the company is considering how best to leverage this asset and maximise value for shareholders.”