Tag Archives: sulphate of potash

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 draws a liner under Beyondie sulphate of potash ponds

Jaylon Environmental Systems is to supply and install the evaporation pond liner at Kalium Lakes’ Beyondie sulphate of potash project (BSOPP), in Western Australia, as part of a contract agreed between the two parties.

The contract includes the supply, management of delivery and installation of 1 mm HDPE liner covering a total evaporation area of approximately 400 ha for the Stage 1 BSOPP 90,000 t/y sulphate of potash (SOP) facility.

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, Kalium Lakes said.

Earlier this month, Kalium Lakes secured gas supply and transport for Beyondie SOP project following deals with APA Group and Shell Energy Australia.

In 2017, Jaylon successfully completed the supply and installation of the liner for the BSOPP’s 10 ha pilot scale ponds, according to Kalium Lakes. “Jaylon has now submitted the most competitive and compliant offer for the full project works, resulting in this A$15 million ($10.3 million) major contract award,” the company said.

The scope under this contract has already commenced, with an initial order of A$1 million worth of liner placed in May 2019 as part of early works and first deliveries to site already completed. The balance of the contract scope will commence following a final investment decision (FID) by Kalium Lakes, due shortly.

Kalium Lakes Chief Development Officer, Rudolph van Niekerk, said: “The use of Jaylon during the pilot scale trials continued to validate Kalium Lakes’ de-risking strategy, where we work collaboratively to develop bespoke, low cost and fit for purpose solutions for the BSOPP.

“The use of an evaporation pond liner has been a much-debated topic. For Kalium Lakes, the cost of the supply and installation of the liner represents less than 7% of the project’s total capital cost but results in an increased SOP process recovery of more than 15%.

“Our lined pond design provides a pond system constructed on trafficable, off lake surfaces, allowing for harvesting by heavy machinery months, if not years, ahead of the alternatives.

“With lined ponds there is virtually no leakage of the high value concentrated brines, delivering excellent recovery rates, a smaller pond area, less brine pumping, low operating costs and an extended mine life. It simply is a ‘no brainer’,” he said.

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.”

BCI Minerals brings in GR Engineering for Mardie potash DFS

BCI Minerals says it has appointed GR Engineering Services as the lead engineer for the Mardie salt and potash project definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the northwest coast of Western Australia.

As lead DFS engineer, GR Engineering will be responsible for coordination and integration of the process and engineering design packages for the ponds and crystallisers, salt plant, sulphate of potash (SOP) plant and port facilities. It will also prepare and verify the DFS level capital and operating cost estimates and will undertake the design and supervision of pre-final investment decision site works and supporting infrastructure during 2019.

BCI said: “GR Engineering is a reputable Perth-based engineering group with significant experience in study management, engineering design and construction of resource projects in Western Australia and globally, both as engineering, procurement, construction and management and EPC contractor.

“Members of the GR Engineering team nominated for this engagement have appropriate experience in salt operation and sulphate of potash study management.”

Following completion of a prefeasibility study during the June 2018 quarter, BCI commenced the Mardie DFS. As well as improving design accuracy and further de-risking the project, BCI is aiming for the DFS to improve on the PFS development plan and business case in a number of key areas, including:

  • Increasing the production capacity to 4 Mt/y salt and 100,000 t/y SOP;
  • Establishing the tenure, approvals and designs for a fit-for-purpose export facility at the Mardie site, which will eliminate haulage costs to the Cape Preston East Port site, and;
  • Establishing test ponds and completing construction of project support infrastructure to bring forward the target date for first salt and SOP production.

The site works GR Engineering will initially carry out include a 135-ha trial pond, seawater intake pumps, circa-20 km upgrade of access roads, initial accommodation camp and power generation.

BCI’s Managing Director, Alwyn Vorster, said: “We are focused on delivering a high quality DFS that will place BCI in a strong position to reach a final investment decision by the first (March) quarter of 2020. GR Engineering’s technical ability and project management strengths will make them a valuable partner to BCI as Mardie is progressed towards full project construction.”

BCI’s areas of focus in the period to June 30, 2019, include:

  • Appointments of process design engineers (ponds, two plants and port);
  • Geotechnical drilling programme of pond, plant and port areas completed;
  • Construction of small-scale trial evaporators completed;
  • Port tenure negotiations with the Pilbara Port Authority(PPA);
  • Environmental Review Document submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority(EPA);
  • Construction of the 135-ha trial pond and supporting facilities (camp, roads, power, pumps) commenced;
  • Funding discussions with Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and other entities progressed;
  • Product offtake potential developed, and;
  • Significant potential investor/financier briefings.

BCI said all activities until the final investment decision in Q1 2020 – estimated at A$25 million ($17.8 million) – will be funded from BCI’s existing A$36 million cash and the ongoing quarterly royalties from Iron Valley, the company said.

Australian Potash close to sulphate of potash milestone at Lake Wells

ASX-listed Australian Potash says it is poised to become the country’s first producer of sulphate of potash (SOP) from field evaporated salts after its pilot plant facility received 3 t of the final potassium-rich harvest salts from the Lake Wells pilot evaporation programme.

This announcement, made at the end of December, should lead to the company producing SOP from the project, in Western Australia, this month, according to Managing Director and CEO, Matt Shackleton.

“One area of focus for Australian Potash’s project team over the past 12 months has been to develop and refine the site evaporation model,” he said. “Understanding the chemistry of the salts that are produced through the natural evaporation cycle is crucial to planning both the commercial scale development and SOP processing strategies.”

“In January 2019, we plan to produce Australia’s first field evaporated SOP, which will be of enormous value to Australian Potash and our MOU (memorandum of understanding) offtake partners, as we will be able to detail the chemical composition of the SOP we can produce.”

Shackleton said 2019 was set to see the commissioning of a greenhouse SOP-MOP (muriate of potash) trial managed by the University of Western Australia’s School of Agriculture and Environment. “The trial will also be supported by field trials across at least five sites, examining the effect of SOP versus MOP,” he added.

Australian Potash expects to publish a definitive feasibility study on the Lake Wells potash project, around 500 km northeast of Kalgoorlie, in the second half of 2019. This will build on the results of a scoping study, which showed a stage one production rate of 150,000 t/y of “premium-priced” SOP (years one to five), a stage two production rate of 300,000 t/y of “premium-priced” SOP (years six to 20) and a pre-production capital expenditure of $135 million for stage one and $125 million for stage two.