The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has given its approval for Kalium Lakes’ Beyondie sulphate of potash (SOP) project in the eastern Pilbara, Western Australia.
The EPA’s findings are now with the Western Australian Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson, who will make a final decision that allows Beyondie launch its construction.
Once the decision is reached, Beyondie will produce Australia’s first commercial SOP.
Kalium Lakes has worked closely with the officers at the EPA during the past four years, with project referral in October 2017, according to Kalium Lakes managing director Brett Hazelden.
“[The company completed] the environmental scoping document and the environmental review document during 2018, culminating in the EPA board recommending approval this month,” Hazelden said.
“Achieving an EPA approval recommendation for the Beyondie project is another first for the fledgling SOP industry in Western Australia.”
Kalium Lakes has received considerable funding to advance the project, including $74 million from the government-backed Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) in February 2019 and $102 million from Germany-based KfW IPEX-Bank in the following month.
The Beyondie project includes 15 exploration licences and two mining leases over a 2400-square kilometre area. It is expected to be one of the world’s lowest cost potash producers, with estimated costs of $US179–$207 ($252–$291) a tonne over a 30-year-plus mine life.
Production at Beyondie remains on schedule to commence in 2020.