Karinga Lakes Potash Project (KLPP)

(PWN 15%, increasing to 40%, conditional option for 50.1%)

  • An extensive brine lake system that covers approximately 1,109km2 over pastoral land in the Northern Territory, Australia.

  • Consists of a chain of dry salt lakes and is located within the Central Australian Groundwater Discharge Zone.

  • Extensive resource appraisal studies have been performed by JV partner Verdant Minerals since 2010.

  • Ideally located, with major road and rail infrastructure located in close proximity to the project, with regional gas options also available. 

Introduction

The Karinga Lakes Potash Project (KLPP), represents an attractive opportunity to develop a specialised brine mining operation, to produce a high-quality, soluble grade, sulphate of potash (SOP) product, targeting key domestic markets, in Australia.

 

The KLPP is located approximately 230km to the south west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia. The production of various salt products from the brine resources in the vicinity of the KLPP was proposed as early as the late 1980’s. More recently, the KLPP project operator (Verdant Minerals) published a scoping study in 2014, which was followed by a more recent scoping study in early 2019, based on a more innovative process route, incorporating the aMES™ technology. In contrast to prior studies, the aMES™ based process route, provided sufficient encouragement for the project operator and Parkway Minerals to commence a pre-feasibility study (KLPP-PFS) on 11 May 2020. Parkway Minerals assembled an integrated project team, led by study manager Worley, supported by leading industry consultants and a range of key equipment vendors. The KLPP-PFS was completed on 5 Nov 2020.

Development Concept

The KLPP development concept involves the processing of naturally occurring hypersaline brines from a series of salt lakes at the KLPP, in order to produce 40,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of high-purity sulphate of potash (SOP), over an initial mine life of 20 years. The development concept is divided into two broad areas of operation, upstream and downstream operations.

Upstream Operations

  • 1 - Brine Harvest – extraction of raw brine from trenches and pumping to evaporation ponds.

  • 2 - Brine Concentration – the raw brine is concentrated, through a i) pre-concentration pond, then pumped to, ii) a Halite crystallisation pond, where waste sodium salts are precipitated, and then pumped to the, iii) final potassium salts crystallisation pond, where the potassium enriched mixed salts are harvested.

  • 3 - Salt Stockpile - the harvested potassium enriched mixed salts, are then transported a short distance to a stockpile, near the processing plant, ready for processing in the SOP processing plant.

  • 4 - Process Plant – the aMES™ based process plant, then processes the potassium enriched mixed salts, to produce SOP, which is then packaged on-site.

  • 5 - Site Logistics – packaged SOP is then transported to key domestic markets, via the proposed access road leading to the Lasseter Highway to the north of the project area.

Downstream Operations

  • 1 - Salt Stockpile – the downstream operations in the processing plant, commence with the potassium enriched mixed salts, harvested from the evaporation ponds, during upstream operations.

  • 2 - Salt Preparation – the potassium enriched mixed salts are screened and milled, to ensure adequate dissolution of potassium minerals.

  • 3 - Salt Extraction – the milled salts are dissolved in warm water, ensuring the transfer of potassium and sulphates from the mixed salts, into the warm leach solution, to form a concentrated brine.

  • 4 - Core aMES™ Plant – the concentrated brine from the salt extraction step, is processed through a proprietary aMES™ based flowsheet, in order to:

    • Remove impurities (mostly sodium and magnesium chlorides).

    • Recover pure water.

  • 5 - Produce intermediate products:

    • Sylvite (KCl).

    • Leonite (K2SO4.MgSO4.4H2O).

  • 6 - SOP Synthesis - as a result of reacting the Sylvite and Leonite intermediate products, with the addition of recovered process water.

  • 7 - SOP Logistics – the drying, packaging, storage and dispatch of the produced SOP product.

Karinga Lakes Potash Project - Pre-Feasibility Study (KLPP-PFS)

A number of significant advantages of the proposed KLPP-PFS development concept have been established through the KLPP-PFS, including:

  • Strong Financial Performance - Despite the relatively small-scale of the project which would ordinarily be considered sub-economic, the development concept outlined in the KLPP-PFS appears to be financially attractive.

  • High Potassium Recoveries & Grade - The unconventional processing route based on the aMES™ technology is capable of achieving high potassium recoveries.

  • Efficient Water Use - As the aMES™ technology recovers freshwater during the processing of brines, the development concept outlined in this study, is highly efficient, in terms of water use. In comparison to other major SOP projects, the KLPP-PFS envisages a water use intensity of approximately half that of the peer group, with a realistic pathway to potentially reducing the intensity of water use, by approximately half again.

Resource Appraisal Status

The potash brine investigations including those utilised for the purposes of resource appraisal and reporting were based on data acquired over several years, including:

  • 93 brine samples from hand dug pits

  • 4 small backhoe trenches which were pump tested

  • 8 vibracore drill holes, 73 sonic drill holes & 200 aircore drill holes

  • 42 installed 50mm piezometers around drill holes & 48 piezometers around trenches

  • 47 installed 100mm wells

  • 10 pumping tests from 100mm wells

  • 4 long term pump tests from 3 trenches and a well

  • 142 porosity samples.

  • “Additional information regarding the mineral resource at the KLPP is outlined in the Sulphate of Potash Resource and Production Plan (KLPP-SOPRPP), as reference below in the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) section, below.

Additional Information regarding the KLPP-PFS is outlined in the following documents:

  • Sulphate of Potash Resource and Production Plan (KLPP-SOPRPP)

  • Pre-Feasibility Study (KLPP-PFS)

  • ASX Announcement (5 Nov 2020), incorporating the KLPP-SORPP and the KLPP-PFS.

 

 

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