Davenport Resources (ASX: DAV) has announced a large JORC resource of the fertiliser nutrient magnesium sulphate at its Nohra-Elende potash project in Germany.
Reviews of 300 historical drill holes has underpinned an inferred resource of 768 million tonnes at an average magnesium sulphate grade of 8.1%.
The magnesium sulphate is contained within the mineral kieserite of which 72Mt has been identified.
Kieserite is marketed globally in three forms depending on the water content. The most common form, used predominantly in agriculture, is magnesium heptahydrate (also known as Epsom Salt).
Magnesium sulphate can be sold in pure form, blended with potash to produce muriate of potash (MOP), or reacted with MOP to manufacture sulphate of potash (SOP).
Germany needs a replacement source
Germany is the sole producer of mined natural kieserite. However, ore reserves are being depleted and a replacement source is required, Davenport said.The only other significant source is China — but they produce magnesium sulphate synthetically in a process using hot acids.
Davenport has what it describes as a significant landholding in the South Harz region of central Germany, which has been a potash-producing region for more than 100 years. The district was once located in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany).
The company has established inferred potash resources exceeding 5 billion tonnes at a grade of 10.8% potassium, across four deposits.
Nohra-Elende is one of those four standalone projects in the company’s portfolio.
Davenport managing director Dr Chris Gilchrist said the company now has the potential to produce significant amounts of attractively priced sulphate salts as well as MOP from Nohra-Elende.
“The global magnesium market is increasing rapidly as farmers are recognising the importance of these nutrients,” he added.
Davenport could be world-class producer
The company believes Nohra-Elende may have the potential to support a large, long-life mine.
Together with its other projects in the South Harz region, Nohra-Elende will contribute to Davenport developing into a world-class producer of both conventional and specialty fertiliser products, Dr Gilchrist said.
In particular, the company could become a major supplier to Europe.
All exploration data used in the calculation of the inferred resource is historical, with records dating back to 1889.
But most of the work was done during the communist era of the GDR, with drilling campaigns in the 1960s, and another in the 1970s and 1980s.