04 March 2013 23:13 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Canadian-listed fertilizer company Verde Potash said on Monday it has applied for a preliminary environmental permit for the company’s wholly-owned Cerrado Verde potash project in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.
An initial 1,500-page report was submitted with the state environmental agency (SUPRAM) in August, the company said. Additional information, requested by SUPRAM, was filed on 19 February.
The company is currently awaiting a final decision from the agency, Verde said.
Verde is also in negotiations with a number of Brazilian fertilizer buyers about an off-take agreement for the company’s granular potassium chloride product (KCI).
Expressions of interest (EOI) for an off-take have already been received, the company said, adding that it expects to announce details in the second quarter.
“Verde is focussed on advancing the engineering, permitting and financing of the Cerrado Verde project,” said Verde President and CEO Cristiano Veloso.
According to the company, Brazil is the world’s third largest and fastest growing fertilizer market, with 2012 potash consumption increasing by 9.3% year on year to a record 8.1m tonnes of KCI.
However, the country currently has just one other potash mine – Vale’s Taquari-Vassouras mine in the state of Sergipe – and is forced to import over 90% of the potash it consumes each year.
“The continuing strength of the Brazilian agriculture market, coincident with record potash consumption and strong imports, is a testament to the need for increased domestic potash production,” Verde said.
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