Kalium Lakes has yielded its first sulphate of potash (SOP) at the Beyondie SOP project in Western Australia during the product commissioning process.
The company is the first in Australia to produce SOP, with Kalium Lakes chief executive officer Rudolph van Niekerk hailing it as a significant achievement.
“Kalium Lakes has delivered another major milestone for the Beyondie SOP project, producing its first SOP seven years after the company was founded in September 2014,” he said.
“It has been a remarkable journey to reach this stage and we thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the project during the past seven years, particularly our long-term shareholders, management team and employees.
“We have always said that it was not a race and we were focussed on getting it right rather than being first, but in the end we have been fortunate to achieve both.”
The Beyondie SOP product achieved its (required) product specification and a ramp up to commercial production remains on track.
Beyondie’s construction and commissioning activities also remain within the company’s capital expenditure budget.
Kalium Lakes has completed a feasibility study to expand Beyondie from 90,000 tonnes per annum to 120,000 tonnes per annum of SOP by the fourth quarter of 2022.
Beyondie has a 50-year mine life with the first 30 years based on 88 per cent reserves only at 120,000 tonnes per annum.
The company has highlighted the strong potash market with the forecast 2022 average standard grade SOP price at $US617 ($846.47) per tonne.
According to Kalium Lakes, there is scope to further expand beyond Beyondie’s 120,000-tonne production rate with further studies.
Kalium Lakes uses brine processing to create SOP which provides low costs and emissions compared to traditional methods.
The most common way potash is produced outside of Australia is by combining potassium chloride and sulphuric acid at high temperatures to create muriate of potash (MOP) which produces high emissions and costs.