Aspiring sulphate of potash (SOP) producer Agrimin’s (ASX: AMN) environmental review document (ERD) for its proposed Mackay potash project in Western Australia has been accepted by the state’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The company believes this milestone in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is keeping the project in line to be “shovel ready” this year.
The EPA will now assess the project at a public environmental review level with a four-week public comment period to occur during May.
“The ERD is a comprehensive document detailing the environmental and social impacts relating to the Mackay potash project,” Agrimin chief executive officer Mark Savich said.
“With the EIA process well-advanced, Agrimin is in an excellent position with record high potash prices and a tier one potash project that remains on track to be shovel ready this year,” he added.
Mackay potash project
Agrimin is aiming for its Mackay potash project to be the world’s lowest cost producer of SOP. The project’s definitive feasibility study demonstrated strong economics with a post-tax real net present value of US$655 million and an internal rate of return of 21%.
The planned project comprises a mine at Lake Mackay, a processing plant designed to operate at a steady state of 450,000 tonnes per annum of SOP grading 52% potassium oxide, an integrated logistics chain and a proposed facility at the Port of Wyndham, the northernmost port in WA.
Today’s news follows Agrimin’s announcement at the start of April that it had secured its third long-term offtake agreement to supply SOP from the Mackay project.
Under the binding deal, US fertiliser wholesaler Gavilon Fertilizer LLC will purchase SOP from the project for seven years with initial offtake totalling 30,000tpa SOP and expanding to 50,000tpa when steady-state production is achieved.
The environmental approval process
Agrimin has completed a range of detailed surveys and studies to support the EIA over the past six years.
Mr Savich expressed his pride in the “many years of high-quality, industry-leading environmental work” that has been completed to produce the ERD.
“We believe the rigour and effort that has gone into the ERD strongly demonstrates Agrimin’s commitment to managing the Mackay potash project in a socially acceptable and environmentally responsible manner,” he said.