Wednesday 8th Jul, 2020

Potash fertiliser project wins federal support

Major project status has been granted to the Mackay Potash Project, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Mineral fertiliser company Agrimin Limited’s potash project aims to extract potash minerals from Lake Mackay, which according to the company, is the largest undeveloped potash-bearing salt lake in the world.

Major project status is a way for the Federal Government to recognise the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.

Federal Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the project would provide significant economic benefits at such a critical time.

“The project will create approximately 300 jobs during construction and 200 jobs during operations, and is estimated to support more than 600 jobs through the broader region and supply chain,” Andrews said.

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“New jobs and more revenue for the sector will be crucial as the economy continues to deal with and recover from the effects of COVID-19.

“Value-adding to our critical minerals offers Australia huge economic opportunities but given this fertiliser is used extensively by our farmers, it can also further strengthen our sovereign capability.”

Agrimin plans to produce up to 426,000 tonnes of premium Sulphate of Potash (SOP) fertiliser per year across its 20-year lifespan. This would make the project one of the largest global suppliers of SOP fertiliser, generating an estimated sales revenue of $315 million.

Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt said there is growing international demand for Australia’s critical minerals.

“Potash is recognised as a critical mineral in the United States and is important to other countries around the world.”

“Overseas markets represent growing opportunities for Australia’s critical minerals, especially as they look to build their industry capabilities,” Pitt said.