Tag Archives: SOP

Matrix to construct first phase of American Pacific Borates’ Fort Cady mine

American Pacific Borates Ltd has appointed Matrix Service Company to complete the construction of Phase 1A of the Fort Cady borate mine, in USA.

Matrix, as the prime contractor, has already begun integration with the company’s Fort Cady borate mine office and engineering consultants to ensure completion of the initial borate operation in the September quarter of 2021.

American Pacific Borates CEO and Managing Director, Mike Schlumpberger, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Matrix to complete the construction of Phase 1A of our Fort Cady Borate Mine. Matrix is a leading North American industrial engineering and constructor contractor headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Matrix’s core values of safety and community involvement align perfectly with American Pacific’s core values and intention to ensure the mine is delivered safely and with positive community involvement. This is another important step in the fulfilment of our aspiration to become a globally significant producer of borates and specialty fertilisers.”

The company says its current intention is to retain Matrix for the balance of the three production phases of the Fort Cady borate mine.

The enhanced DFS for Fort Cady, released in April 2020, outlined sulphate of potash production (in full production) of 363,000 t/y and boric acid production of 408,000 t/y. Phase One A production is scheduled to be 8,200 t/y of boric acid, alongside 36,287 t/y of sulphate of potash.

RA International to set up camp at Colluli sulphate of potash mine

Danakali reports that the Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC) has appointed RA International Group as its preferred contractor for the supply of accommodation, support services and other infrastructure buildings in support of the Colluli sulphate of potash project development, in Eritrea.

RA, listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM board, specialises in building, operating and maintaining facilities in remote and challenging conditions across Africa, providing complex humanitarian, governmental, mining, and other commercial developments and services, Danakali says.

Colluli has a JORC-2012 compliant measured, indicated and inferred resource of 1,289 Mt at 11% K20 equivalent and 7% kieserite. Development is already underway with expected production in 2022.

As part of the agreement with CMSC, owned 50:50 by Danakali and the Eritrean National Mining Corporation, RA will supply, deliver and install a mine accommodation camp as well as a plant administration and service facilities for the Colluli mine site. Additionally, it will provide comprehensive camp services incorporating catering, cleaning, laundry, pest and vector control, grounds keeping and waste management.

The plant administration and services facilities will incorporate administration offices, medical clinic, warehouses, and workshops (see graphic above, credit: RA International). The accommodation camp, meanwhile, has been designed to accommodate 600 personnel during the production phase with the flexibility to accommodate 1,115 during the construction phase. The 600 person camp capacity is exclusive of camp services personnel, which will have an additional camp, provided by RA, located within the overall camp boundary.

Niels Wage, CEO of Danakali, said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of RA International as our preferred accommodation and support services contractor. They have significant experience in executing projects of the scale and quality required for the Colluli project. We are confident in RA International’s capabilities to deliver a high-quality product and service.”

Soraya Narfeldt, CEO of RA International, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the preferred contractor to work with Danakali and its partners on this project which we see as globally significant.

“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has indicated Colluli has the potential to significantly boost the Eritrean economy and have a substantial positive impact on the Sustainable Development Agenda of Eritrea. The appointment of RA International is testament to sound execution of our growth strategy, highlighting continued new business momentum with another significant award in the mining sector.”

DRA to design, supply and construct SOP processing plant for Kalium Lakes

DRA Global says it has been awarded the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Kalium Lakes-owned Beyondie sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.

The scope of work will be the design, supply, and construction of the 90,000 t/y SOP processing plant, with a provision for future expansion to 180,000 t/y, the company said.

“As a total solutions partner, the awarding of the Beyondie EPC contract highlights the confidence in DRA’s specialised expertise,” Greg McRostie, Executive Vice President of DRA Global in APAC, said. “We are excited to be partnering with Kalium Lakes Limited on this innovative Australian project.”

DRA was already involved with the purification plant at Beyondie, having been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management contract last year.

Bacanora taps Veolia Water Technologies for Sonora lithium carbonate flowsheet

Veolia’s exhaustive testing program and process design expertise with its HPD® evaporation and crystallisation technologies recently validated Bacanora Lithium’s product purity requirements at the Sonora lithium project in Mexico, while removing potassium and converting a waste stream into a high-value-added fertiliser, according to the water- and chemical-focused technology company.

The company’s Veolia Water Technologies division engineered and designed the production process that recovers lithium carbonate and sulphate of potash from clay deposits using HPD systems.

Veolia explained: “Although lithium is a relatively abundant metal, high-purity lithium chemicals used by battery makers are rarer because lithium extraction, either from brines or hard rock, consists of a series of complex operations that make design production rates hard to achieve.”

While these issues are also common in other mining sectors, the problems with lithium are compounded because of the reduced number of lithium plants in operation, meaning industry knowhow is limited, according to the company.

To mitigate the risks of the Sonora project and confirm that the proposed technical and commercial process is both feasible and scalable, Bacanora, a lithium exploration and development company, relied on Veolia’s lithium production expertise to test the process flowsheet developed during the feasibility study and simulate the unit operations planned for the project. The outline was an integrated mine in northern Mexico designed to reach a capacity of 17,500 t/y of battery-grade Li2CO3 (lithium carbonate) operation in its first phase.

Different from most of the world’s lithium produced from hard-rock mines in Australia or from brines in South America, the lithium at Sonora is mined from clay — a rare type of deposit with the potential to become one of the world’s largest and lowest-cost lithium resources, according to Veolia.

Integrated to this plant, Veolia designed an evaporation circuit with a double crystallisation sequence featuring HPD® thermal separation technologies to maximise the recovery of potassium sulphate – also known as sulphate of potash (SOP) – and sodium sulphate, a valuable salt recycled upstream as the reagent in the clay roasting process.

The production line is completed by ion-exchange purification, solid-liquid centrifugal separation and drying systems to achieve >99.5% battery-grade lithium carbonate.

“We are proud to help game-changing miners in search of a partner with the knowhow to produce lithium from a variety of feedstocks. Veolia looks forward to further supporting the transformation of Bacanora into a major supplier of battery-grade lithium chemicals,” Jim Brown, Executive Vice President Veolia Water Technologies Americas, said.

Primero starts engineering process plant for Agrimin’s Mackay SOP project

ASX-listed Agrimin has awarded Primero Group the engineering design contract for the process plant at the Mackay potash project, in Western Australia.

With Agrimin’s process consultants at Novopro Projects having already completed the process modelling and flowsheets for the definitive feasibility study at Mackay, Primero has commenced the engineering design for the plant.

A prefeasibility study for Mackay, 785 km south of the Port of Wyndham, envisaged the process plant having a capacity of 426,000 t/y of sulphate of potash (SOP) as a dry granular product, with the same study assuming a product mix of 50% granular and 50% standard product.

The engagement of Primero, a multi-disciplinary engineering group which specialises in the design, construction and commissioning of global resource projects, is on an early contractor involvement basis, with the initial awarded stage being the process plant design works.

“This engagement follows a competitive process to select a contractor with suitable experience and capabilities to undertake both the engineering design and subsequent construction of the process plant and associated site based non-process infrastructure,” Agrimin said.

The 2018 PFS outlined a 20 year project at Mackay that came with a $409 million capital cost and an average SOP grade of 8 kg/cu.m.

Kalium Lakes secures gas supply and transport for Beyondie SOP project

Kalium Lakes has secured key contracts with APA Group and Shell Energy Australia for the transportation and supply of gas to meet the requirements of its Beyondie sulphate of potash project (BSOPP), in Western Australia.

These contracts will provide 1 Tj/d of gas to produce 90,000 t/y of SOP and also allows for expansion to support increased production and production of magnesium by-products, according to Kalium Lakes.

Shell Energy’s gas will be used at the BSOPP site for power generation, steam generation and product drying during operations, while APA Group’s 88.2%-owned Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP) will transport and deliver gas via a new, purpose built metering and connection facility. Early works have commenced with APA on the design of the new metering facility.

These contracts – and others, such as ones associated with engineering, procurement, construction management and commissioning – are subject to a final investment decision (due shortly) and subsequent notice from Kalium Lakes that it is ready to commence commissioning and production operations, the company said.

Kalium Lakes’ Chief Development Officer, Rudolph van Niekerk, said: “The close proximity and ease of access to the GGP offers significant cost advantages to the BSOPP, which has allowed Kalium Lakes to own and operate its own gas pipeline, spur and gas fired power station with funding provided by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

“Importantly, the award of the gas supply and gas transport operations contracts to Shell and APA are also within the budget allocated in the BFS and FEED outcomes. We can now also confirm that approximately 50% of our FOB cash operating costs have now been locked in, again on budget.”

The BSOPP project aims to commence production at 82,000 t/y of SOP in 2020, before ramping up to 164,000 t/y of SOP for domestic and international sale. An initial mine life of between 30-50 years is anticipated for a project designed to be a low cost, long life and high margin producer, it said.

Beyondie SOP project advances with Ebtec, DRA, Köppern, Firm Construction contract awards

Kalium Lakes has awarded the key contracts for the engineering, procurement, construction management and commissioning associated with the development of the Purification Plant facilities at its Beyondie sulphate of potash project (BSOPP) in Western Australia.

The total value across the four key contracts awarded is in excess of A$60 million ($41 million), according to Kalium Lakes, and will see Ebtec GbR, DRA Global, Maschinenfabrik Köppern GmbH & Co and Firm Construction Pty join the project team.

The Beyondie SOP project aims to commence production at 82,000 t/y of SOP in 2020, before ramping up to 164,000 t/y of SOP for domestic and international sale. An initial mine life of between 30-50 years is anticipated for a project designed to be a low cost, long life and high margin producer, it said.

The contracts allow commencement of early works with the full scope subject to a final investment decision (FID), Kalium Lakes said.

“Importantly, all the contracts awarded are within the budget outlined in the bankable feasibility study (BFS) and front-end engineering and design,” the company said, with the agreements confirming the 15-month construction schedule, post FID, followed by a commissioning and ramp-up period.

The consortium Ebtec GbR is an arrangement between K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies and Ebner GmbR to provide engineering, procurement and supervision (EPS) services for the BSOPP, Kalium Lakes said. Kalium Lakes said both parties have worked together recently to provide similar services for a SOP plant in Austria that has been successfully running for several years. Ebtec will supply the process plant and provide equipment installation supervision, followed by the commissioning of the plant.

Ebtec’s EPS contract includes performance guarantees to ensure the quality of SOP production is in line with the requirements of an offtake agreement with fertiliser producer K+S and includes liquidated damages for performance and schedule, Kalium Lakes said.

An engineering, procurement and construction management contract has been executed with DRA, with that company taking the lead on overall BSOPP development and commissioning, according to Kalium Lakes. “DRA brings significant global and Western Australia specific project development experience, combined with SOP specific knowledge and experience that was developed with the involvement of DRA, since the prefeasibility study stage of the BSOPP,” the company said, adding that DRA has developed the basis for the overall project scope, budget and schedule.

Köppern has been awarded the engineering and supply of key equipment associated with the compaction plant for the production of granular SOP, Kalium Lakes said. “Köppern brings SOP-specific compaction experience and have successfully delivered these plants for other SOP projects, including K+S.”

A construction contract with Firm Construction has also been awarded for various construction services for the BSOPP. Firm is accredited under the WHS Scheme with the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, a requirement of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility financing the company has agreed, Kalium Lakes said.

Kalium Lakes’ Chief Development Officer, Rudolph van Niekerk, said: “Companies with SOP-specific experience and capabilities are hard to find, especially when looking for those that have taken projects from design into execution, then on to production. After years of investigation and months of negotiation, we have compiled a contracting strategy that brings a bankable solution, as well as achieving the next significant milestone to take us into the development stage of the project.”