10 October 2013 20:29 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Canadian fertilizer producer IC Potash announced on Thursday it expects to complete the feasibility study on its Ochoa SOP Project in New Mexico by December.
Located in southeastern New Mexico, the Ochoa project encompasses approximately 90,000 acres and is considered to be a site of advanced polyhalite mineral deposits with calculated reserves of more than 340m tons (308m tonnes) of ore. The project will consist of an underground mine with surface processing facilities.
Officials with Toronto-based ICP said the company is focused on the mining of polyhalite to process into sulphate of potash (SOP) and completion of the feasibility study will allow ICP to finalise financial negotiations for the project.
SOP is a non-chloride based fertilizer and is considered a premium potash product that is primarily utilised in the growth of fruits and vegetables, especially in soil that is considered salt sensitive.
Company officials said a pilot plant testing was conducted in September and that testing had proven that converting polyhalite to SOP could be completed economically. ICP anticipates that the remaining approval and permitting process to be completed by Q1 2014. The current schedule calls for production of the fertilizer to begin in 2016.
“We firmly believe that the investment of time and resources to developing our long-life asset in southeastern New Mexico will provide a strong foundation for future growth and deliver long-term value for our shareholders for decades to come,” said Sidney Himmel, ICP CEO.
“While the company continues to enjoy sufficient liquidity to complete the feasibility study and several months of operations thereafter, we recognize that the financial market environment for project funding could remain challenging for junior mining companies for the next 12-18 months.”
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