Sunday 22nd Sep, 2019

Sulphate of potash project garners NAIF interest

Graphic: Agrimin

Fertiliser developer Agrimin says its plan to build a $545 million sulphate of potash project in WA has received interest from the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

Agrimin wants to build the Mackay Sulphate of Potash (SOP) project north of Lake Mackay, just north of the Tropic of Capricorn in far-east Western Australia.

The company on September 12 said it had received “interest” from the board of the NAIF, a Federal Government entity providing long-term concessional loans to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure in northern Australia.

$120 million of the project’s $545 million cost is for infrastructure, Agrimin said.

“The Mackay SOP Project has the potential to be a catalyst for significant investment in economic infrastructure throughout northern Australia,” Agrimin chief executive Mark Savich said.

“We are delighted that NAIF has expressed interest in investigating the potential for NAIF support for the project.”

The project would produce up to 426,000 tonnes of SOP, a fertiliser, each year, at full capacity.

The project would extract SOP mineralisation which is dissolved within the brine within Lake Mackay. A network of shallow trenches would extract brine from the top three metres of the salt lake.

Logistics group Qube has said Agrimin could transport the product 980 kilometres north to a multi-user port facility at Wyndham, in quad road trains each with a 114-tonne payload.

Covered storage sheds with up to 80,000 tonnes of capacity would be used to stockpile the POS ahead of export.