Potassio do Brazil discovers new potash deposits in Amazon Basin

12 November 2013 22:20  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Potassio do Brasil has discovered two new potash deposits in the Amazon Basin that could help to end the country’s dependence on imports of the product, the Brazilian fertilizer producer said on Tuesday.

The deposits were discovered in the regions of Novo Remanso and Itacoatiara, and are in addition to four previous discoveries in the Amazon Basin, two of which are owned by Potassio do Brasil and two by Brazil’s state energy company, Petrobras.

The capacities of the two new discoveries have not yet been determined, while the potential of the four existing deposits, none of which has entered into commercial production, is around 2m-2.5m tonnes/year of potash each, the company said.

Potash is the primary source of potassium and is mainly used as an agricultural fertilizer, as well as in commercial and industrial products such as soap. Brazil imported 6m tonnes of the product in 2012, or 90% of total consumption for the year.

The investment required to develop the company’s Amazon Basin project could total some $2bn (€1.5bn), with an initial production of at least 2m tonnes/year of potash beginning in 2018, Potassio do Brasil said.

The financial outlay would be relatively low as the potash deposits in the region are located 1,000 metres or less below the surface. Deposits sitting at 1,100 metres or more require more advanced and costly technology, Potassio do Brasil said.

Approval of the project could come at the end of 2014 once economic and technical studies had been completed, the company added.

Potassio do Brasil is a subsidiary of Canada-based Brazil Potash.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Simon West

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