Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, recently signed off on a Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan to assist in developing infrastructure for Kalium Lakes Limited’s Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project .
Kalium Lakes aims to become Australia’s first commercial producer of Sulphate of Potash (SOP) – a high yield, premium fertiliser, for both domestic and international markets. SOP is used to cultivate fruits, vegetables, berries, potatoes, beans, cocoa, tobacco and tree nuts.
The Beyondie SOP comprises 15 granted exploration licences, two mining leases and several miscellaneous licences, covering an area of approximately 2,400 square kilometres.
The sub-surface brine deposit will supply an evaporation and processing operation located near Newman in Western Australia.
A Beyondie SOP Bankable Feasibility study was completed in September 2018, Front End Engineering and Design works concluded in March 2019 and in October 2019, the Company’s Board approved full development of the project.
Kalium Lakes aims to commence production at 90ktpa of SOP, prior to ramping up to 180ktpa of SOP for domestic and international sale.
Construction at the project has commenced, which is expected to create 170 construction positions and 70 production positions.
The NAIF Board has made an Investment Decision to provide loans of up to $74 million to support the project.
The Investment Decision will enable Kalium Lakes to construct vital infrastructure including a 78-kilometre lateral gas pipeline (to be connected to the Goldfields Gas Pipeline), a gas-fired power station, upgrade of a connecting road (to the Great Northern Highway), communication facilities and an accommodation village.
Mr McGowan said: “The Beyondie SOP has a mine life of 30-plus years, so this is a win for local regional communities who will benefit from the creation of long-term, sustainable jobs.”
Kalium Lakes Managing Director, Brett Hazelden, acknowledged and appreciated the ongoing support of the Premier and the Western Australian Government for the development of a new Australian industry.
“This approval of the NAIF loan documentation is one of the final steps which will shortly enable Kalium Lakes to obtain Financial Close and commence using the debt funding facilities,” he said.
Mr Hazelden added that their mission to supply Australian farmers with locally produced SOP remains ‘as strong as ever’, with first production scheduled for around this time next year.
“The recognition of the Company as the leader in an emerging national industry, at both a State and Federal level, reflects the hard work and dedication of a relatively small number of people during the past five years,” he said.