Potash Ridge files mining permit for Utah SOP project

26 December 2013 20:08 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Potash Ridge has filed the mining permit with Utah regulators for its flagship Blawn Mountain Project which will be focused on production of sulfate of potash (SOP) the Canadian fertilizer producer confirmed on Thursday. 

The Blawn Mountain site is located is southwest Utah and consists of approximately 15,400 acres of state-owned land in Beaver County.  Toronto-based Potash Ridge said the project will be developed to produce significant volumes of SOP, which is premium priced fertilizer used with special crops and soil types.

Company officials said it filed a required notice of intent to commence large mining operations with the state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. The mining permit required significant environment and baseline assessments by Potash Ridge. Company CEO Guy Bentinck said the company will be working further with state and local officials to advance the project.

“Our filing of this notice is another significant milestone culminating from considerable effort over the last 12 months,” said Bentinck. “The corporation has made major advances on the project since we started development just over two years ago.”

While the approval of the mining permit does not have a deadline the company said it anticipates a timely approval of its application. Air quality and ground water permits for the project are expected to be filed in early 2014.

The company is projecting annual SOP production of 645,000 tonnes when at full capacity with the extractable deposits estimated at 26.4m tonnes over the 40 year lifecycle of the mine. It is also anticipated an average of 1.4m tons of sulphuric acid will be produced at the site per year.

SOP produced will be marketed domestically and globally. The sulphuric acid will be marketed to existing US phosphate producers as well as to copper and gold miners in the region.

Potash Ridge previously said construction would begin in late 2015 with production starting in 2017 and the operation reaching full capacity by 2019. Initial capital cost for the project has been calculated at $1.1bn with the company anticipating possibly spending approximately $641m in additional funding for infrastructure and utility upgrades.





By Mark Milam