Engineering design reviews have been completed and the final capital and operating cost reviews are being completed.
These will be a precursor to finalising an economic assessment.
Shares are up almost 17% intra-day to 2.8 cents.
Preparing for next development stages
Verdant intends to draw a line under the study phase in the next few weeks and position the project to begin the next development stages.
These include a formal construction contractor engagement process, project optimisation and value engineering in co-operation with selected constructors as well as financing.
The latter will include due diligence by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF).
Verdant is also progressing environmental approvals and financing activities.
Verdant’s exploration areas in the Northern Territory, southeast of Tennant Creek.
The project is 220 kilometres from Tennant Creek and contains the billion tonne Ammaroo phosphate resource, the Ammaroo South resource and Rockhole prospect.
Environmental work progresses
Verdant has completed the Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement and this is with the NT Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for an adequacy check.
Assuming the check does not result in additional work, it is anticipated that the draft supplementary EIS will be submitted for formal assessment early next month.
Once the formal assessment starts, the EPA has a statutory 35 days to complete the assessment and make its recommendations to the Minister.
It is expected that the NT EIS process will be completed during June.
At the national level, the Department of Environment and Energy is in its final phase of assessing the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act preliminary documentation review process.
Verdant recently entered a non-binding offtake MoU for up to 350,000 tonnes per annum of phosphate rock concentrate or other phosphate products that may be produced at Ammaroo.
The agreement was signed with Wilson International Trading, which annually procures up to 1 million tonnes of phosphate rock concentrate for India’s Greenstar Fertilisers,
Offtake discussions continue with a number of other regional importers of phosphate rock.
Two additional fertiliser manufacturers have requested and received samples of Ammaroo rock concentrate in the last few weeks for assessment.
Verdant expects that the transition of discussions to binding agreements will benefit from the completion of environmental approvals and a line of sight to project financing.
Project development agreement discussions with the NT Government are continuing while Native Title Agreement negotiations with Native Title Holders and their advisers are underway.