Australia Trigg Minerals making progress on alternative processing method at SOP project
HOUSTON (ICIS)–Australian Trigg Minerals Limited said it has achieved encouraging progress into an alternative processing method for producing potassium-rich feed salts from the Lake Throssell sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.
Trigg said the ongoing testing has the potential to deliver a simpler and more commercially robust method for processing feed salts which could significantly derisk Lake Throssell.
In addition the company said if commercially proven, the technology also has significant positive implications for the broader SOP industry in Western Australia.
The testing has also been designed to provide an alternative to the secondary evaporation ponds where the concentrated brine needs to be maintained in an equilibrium to precipitate the complex potassium rich salts.
Trigg said maintaining this part of the process in a steady state when open to the atmosphere, with all of the consequent changes in temperature, pressure and humidity, has proven to be problematic for the SOP industry.
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of this new technology, which has the potential to improve the processing reliability of the much needed and essential mineral fertilizer required for sustainable food production,” said Keren Paterson, Trigg Minerals managing director.
“In addition to its broader industry implications within the SOP sector, it may also have implications for the extraction of other minerals in brine. “We look forward to keeping shareholders updated on our progress as we continue to generate further information and move towards the pivotal pilot scale test work program.”
In a market update the company noted global potash markets have continued to ease on weak demand and reduced sentiment.
Trigg said the benchmark price is down approximately 40% year on year since sanctions and other trade restrictions pushed potash prices to record highs.
It added that values remain above the long-term price assumption used in the Lake Throssell scoping study but the situation highlights the imperative for Trigg to continue to learn from the industry first movers and seek alternative methodologies to mitigate technical and commissioning risks.
The project’s scoping study previously indicated the potential for the project to be a top 10 global producer with an initial 21-year mine life with an output estimated at 245,000 tonnes/year of SOP. It also said its possible to expand the project and extend mine life with further exploration.
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