Salt Lake Potash has an extensive portfolio of nine salt lakes in the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia (totaling over 4,750km2 - granted and application exploration licenses) with the objective to become a globally significant Sulphate of Potash (SOP) crop nutrient source. 

 

Lake Wells

The Lake Wells Project is located in the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia approximately 200 km north of Laverton. The area is well served by existing infrastructure, including the Great Central Road, the Goldfields Highway, the Goldfields Gas Pipeline and the railway sidings at Malcolm and Leonora. 

Salt Lake has undertaken extensive drilling, sampling and geophysical surveys at Lake Wells since acquisition in mid-2015, to understand the geological setting and define brine resources within the Lake Wells Playa

Salt Lake completed a positive Scoping Study at Lake Wells which confirmed the potential of the Project to produce low cost SOP by solar evaporation of lake brines for domestic and international fertiliser markets. 

Based on the positive results of the Scoping Study, the Company will commence a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) immediately. During the PFS phase, the Company will undertake more detailed hydrological modelling, brine extraction optimisation and further infrastructure assessment aimed at identifying opportunities to enhance the Project economics through capital and operating cost reductions. 

Exploration activities including drilling, test pumping and other testwork are already underway, to upgrade the resource classification and increase the overall resource base. The targeted outcomes include an improved hydrogeological understanding of the performance of basal sand (deep bores) bores including draw down rates, productivity rates and bore positions as well as improved understanding of the potential productivity of the fractured siltstone aquifer.

 

Mineral Resource

The Lake Wells Mineral Resource was estimated by Groundwater Science Pty Ltd, an independent hydrogeological consultant with substantial salt lake brine expertise, and is reported in accordance with the JORC Code 2012. The resource estimate is based on 32 shallow auger holes averaging 16m deep and 27 aircore holes averaging 63m deep.

 

Scoping Study

A Scoping Study (accuracy ±30%) was completed by global engineering firm, Amec Foster Wheeler, and other international experts, demonstrating excellent project fundamentals based on well-established solar evaporation and salt processing techniques. Based on the positive results of the Scoping Study, the Company has commenced a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). (see announcement dated 29 August 2016 for full details of the Scoping Study).

Lake Wells has the potential to be one of only five large scale salt lake SOP producers around the world and the Project’s estimated cash production costs of A$185 per tonne (Stage 2) would be amongst the lowest in the world. 

The Project will produce SOP from hypersaline brine extracted from Lake Wells via trenches and a combination of shallow and deep production bores. The extracted brine will be transported to a series of solar evaporation ponds built on the Lake where selective evapo-concentration will precipitate potassium double salts in the final evaporation stage. These potassium-rich salts will be mechanically harvested and processed into SOP in a crystallisation plant. The final product will then be transported for sale to the domestic and international markets.

The Scoping Study is based on a two stage development plan for Lake Wells:

- Stage 1 is based on shallow trenching and bore production with 100% of brine feed drawn from the near surface Measured Resource. 

- Stage 2 also includes pumping additional brine from the deeper Inferred Resource, to increase production to 400,000 tpa of SOP. 

The Scoping Study utilises the Project’s Mineral Resource Estimate of 80-85 Mt of SOP in 9,691 GL of brine at an average of 8.7 kg/m3 of K2SO4. The Mineral Resource Estimate includes Measured and Indicated Resources of 26 Mt of SOP in the shallowest 20m of the Lake.

The Study has established the indicative costs of a two stage production operation, initially producing 200,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and then 400,000 tpa of dried organic SOP. Stage 1 produces 200,000 tpa but includes most of the capital works required for a 400,000 tpa operation. Stage 2 will commence after initial capex is repaid by cashflow generated from the shallow Measured and Indicated Resource.

The Scoping Study results highlight the benefits of Lake Wells’ location in the Northern Goldfields, with excellent access to gas and transportation infrastructure. Total Capex of A$268 million for 400,000 tpa of SOP is amongst the lowest capital intensity of any proposed potash project worldwide. 

Opportunities have been identified to further optimise capital and operating costs through equipment lease financing, further operational refinements and partnerships. The Company will also continue to investigate potential additional revenue streams for the project.

For the full Scoping Study Announcement click here

 

 

Cautionary Statement  and Important Information 

The information in the website that relates to the Scoping Study is extracted from the report entitled ‘Scoping Study Confirms Potential Confirms Lake Wells Potential’ dated 29 August 2016 (Scoping Study Announcement). The Scoping Study has been prepared and reported in accordance with the requirements of the JORC Code (2012) and relevant ASX Listing Rules. 

The primary purpose of the Scoping Study is to establish whether or not to proceed to a Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) and has been prepared to an accuracy level of ±30%, the Scoping Study results should not be considered a profit forecast or production forecast. As defined by the JORC Code, a “Scoping Study is an order of magnitude technical and economic study of the potential viability of Mineral Resources. It includes appropriate assessments of realistic assumed Modifying Factors together with any other relevant operational factors that are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that progress to a Pre-Feasibility Study can be justified.” (Emphasis added)

The Modifying Factors included in the JORC Code have been assessed as part of the Scoping Study, including mining (brine extraction), processing, metallurgical, infrastructure, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and government factors. The Company has received advice from appropriate experts when assessing each Modifying Factor.

Following an assessment of the results of the Scoping Study, the Company has formed the view that a PFS is justified for the Lake Wells project, which it will now commence. The PFS will provide the Company with a more comprehensive assessment of a range of options for the technical and economic viability of the Lake Wells project. 

The Company has concluded it has a reasonable basis for providing any of the forward looking statements included in this announcement and believes that it has a reasonable basis to expect that the Company will be able to fund its stated objective of completing a PFS for the Lake Wells project. All material assumptions on which the forecast financial information is based are set out in the Scoping Study Announcement.

In accordance with the ASX listing rules, the Company advises the Scoping Study referred to in the Scoping Study Announcement is based on lower-level technical and preliminary economic assessments, and is insufficient to support estimation of Ore Reserves or to provide assurance of an economic development case at this stage, or to provide certainty that the conclusions of the Scoping Study will be realised. 

Production Target

The Production Target stated in this website is based on the Company’s Scoping Study for the Lake Wells Project as released to the ASX on 29 August 2016. The information in relation to the Production Target that the Company is required to include in a public report in accordance with ASX Listing Rule 5.16 was included in the Company’s ASX Announcement released on 29 August 2016. The Company confirms that the material assumptions underpinning the Production Target referenced in the 29 August 2016 release continue to apply and have not materially changed.

The Production Target referred to in this website and the Scoping Study Announcement is based on 100% Measured Mineral Resources for Stage 1 and 70% Measured Mineral Resources and 30% Inferred Mineral Resources for Stage 2. There is a low level of geological confidence associated with Inferred Mineral Resources and there is no certainty that further exploration work will result in the determination of Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources or that the production target or preliminary economic assessment will be realised.

Forward Looking Statements

This presentation contains ‘forward-looking information’ that is based on the Company’s expectations, estimates and projections as of the date on which the statements were made. This forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements with respect to pre-feasibility and definitive feasibility studies, the Company’s business strategy, plans, development, objectives, performance, outlook, growth, cash flow, projections, targets and expectations, mineral reserves and resources, results of exploration and related expenses. Generally, this forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as ‘outlook’, ‘anticipate’, ‘project’, ‘target’, ‘potential’, ‘likely’, ‘believe’, ‘estimate’, ‘expect’, ‘intend’, ‘may’, ‘would’, ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘scheduled’, ‘will’, ‘plan’, ‘forecast’, ‘evolve’ and similar expressions. Persons reading this news release are cautioned that such statements are only predictions, and that the Company’s actual future results or performance may be materially different. Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, including but not limited to the risk factors set out in Schedule 2 of the Company’s Notice of General Meeting and Explanatory Memorandum dated 8 May 2015.

Competent Persons Statement

The information in the website that relates to the Scoping Study is extracted from the report entitled ‘Scoping Study Confirms Potential Confirms Lake Wells Potential’ dated 29 August 2016. The announcement is available to view on www.saltlakepotash.com.au. The information in the original announcement that relates to processing, infrastructure and cost estimation are based on and fairly represents information compiled or reviewed by Mr Zeyad El-Ansary, who is a Competent Person as a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.  Mr Zeyad El-Ansary has 9 years’ experience relevant to the activities undertaken for preparation of these report sections and is a employed by Amec Foster Wheeler. Mr Zeyad El-Ansary consents to the inclusion in the report/press release of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

The information in this website that relates to Mineral Resources for Lake Wells, is extracted from the reports entitled ‘Lake Wells Resource Increased By 193 Percent to 85Mt of SOP’ dated 22 February 2016 and ‘Significant Maiden SOP Resource of 29Mt at Lake Wells’ dated 11 November 2015  and is available to view on the Company’s website www.saltlakepotash.com.au. The information in the original ASX Announcement that related to Exploration Results for Lake Wells based on information compiled by Mr Ben Jeuken, who is a member Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Jeuken is employed by Groundwater Science Pty Ltd, an independent consulting company. Mr Jeuken has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity, which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Jeuken consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

The information in this website that relates to Exploration Results, not including geophysical and test pumping results for Lake Wells, is extracted from the reports entitled ‘Aircore Drilling Confirms Deeper Potential At Lake Wells’  dated  23 November 2015, ‘Successful Shallow Core Drilling Completed at Lake Wells’ dated 22 September 2015 and ‘Wildhorse Acquires Two Large Scale High Grade Sulphate Of Potash Brine Projects’ dated 9 April 2015 and is available to view on the Company’s website www.saltlakepotash.com.au. The information in the original ASX Announcement that related to Exploration Results, not including geophysical and test pumping results for Lake Wells based on information compiled by Mr Ben Jeuken, who is a member Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Jeuken is employed by Groundwater Science Pty Ltd, an independent consulting company. Mr Jeuken has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity, which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Jeuken consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.

The information in this website that relates to Exploration Results on geophysical and test pumping results for Lake Wells, is extracted from the reports entitled Geophysics and Test Pumping Reinforce Lake Wells Potential ’ dated  10 August 2016 and ‘Excellent Initial Pump Test Results at Lake Wells ’ dated 12 May 2016 and is available to view on the Company’s website www.saltlakepotash.com.au. The information in the original ASX Announcement that related to Exploration Results on geophysical and test pumping results for Lake Wells based on information compiled by Mr Adam Lloyd, who is a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and International Association of Hydrogeology. Mr Lloyd was an employee of Salt Lake Potash Limited. Mr Lloyd has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity, which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. Mr Lloyd consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears. The Company confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement. The Company confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.