28 August 2013 17:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Elemental Minerals has received approval of its environmental and social impact assessment for its Sintoukola Potash Project in the Republic of Congo, the Australia-based fertilizer producer announced on Wednesday.
The assessment grants approval for all the construction and operational activities of the project, which includes ore mining, transport and processing, residue storage and brine disposal for the company’s project.
With the permitting stages completed, Elemental can now proceed with construction. Production could begin by 2016.
Elemental officials have said the Sintoukola project has the potential to be among the world’s lowest cost producer of potash.
Sintoukola is in the Kouilou province, which is in the southwestern corner of Congo.
“We are extremely excited about the approval of the environmental and social impact assessment for the Sintoukola Potash Project. This is the second of two key permitting stages and further demonstrates the Republic of Congo government’s commitment to the development of mining assets in the region,” said Iain Macpherson, Elemental CEO.
“It also highlights the advanced nature of the engineering, environmental planning and social engagement that has gone into the development of this exciting project and further confirms the near term production potential of Sintoukola as an independent, low cost, long term significant potash producer.”
Company officials said construction, including infrastructure, might take as long as three years to complete. It has said it hopes to ship the first loads of potash by Q3 2016. The conventional underground mine has a life cycle of approximately 23 years. Once fully operational, it is expected to have a capacity of 2m tonnes/year of muriate of potash.
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