Fertoz Ltd (ASX:FTZ) has signed a bulk sample permit with authorities in Canadian province British Columbia for the Alberta section of the company’s Fernie project, which will allow it to mine and distribute phosphate ore to Canadian organic farms.
This will complement Fertoz’s already-secured exploration licence for Barnes Lake and the bulk sample permit for the Martens area at Fernie.
The company also signed a distribution agreement with Ontario-based agri-business Thompsons Limited and added to its supply agreement with Humic Growth Solutions (HGS) to include Canadian sales.
Fertoz executive chairman Patrick Avery said the company was excited to have been granted the permit, coming hot on the heels of the exploration licence for Barnes Lake.
Avery said: “Bulk sample permits allow us to mine our own deposits and achieving this milestone will empower us to send high-quality, high-availability phosphate ore to the numerous organic farms in Canada looking to trial our products.
“The ore we mine from our Fernie leases will complement that which we have stockpiled at Deer Lodge, Montana, and ore that we intend to mine from the approved Alberta leases.”
Exploration planned at Barnes Lake will test for additional high-quality, low-impurity phosphate resources.
The distribution agreement with Thompsons will give Fertoz exposure to the eastern Canadian organic sector through Thompsons 12 Ontario branches.
Thompsons provides specialised farm services to crop and vegetable growers in the areas surrounding its branches.
Having already secured a sales and supply contract for the USA with HGS last year, Fertoz has now signed a second agreement which covers Canadian manufacturing and sales.
HGS is a global supplier of soluble humic powder, granulated and liquid products.
The two parties are actively working towards establishing a joint venture to facilitate a series of value-added rock phosphate and humic products.
The 10-year sales and supply contract for the USA targets 12,000 tonnes in CY19 and 28,000 tonnes in CY20, followed by yearly increases.
Avery continued: “Fertoz’s relationship with Humic has developed positively since the company first announced a sales and supply agreement between the parties on 22 November 2018, which initially covered only the USA.
“This new supply agreement expands the scope of the partnership to include Canada.
“Our recent progress on permitting, operations and partnerships reinforces our confidence in hitting our 30,000 – 50,000 tonne volume target for 2019, representing another year of significant growth.”
Avery said the company had recently added a high-quality gypsum product to its mix, noting that “many farmers ask for this and until now we have not been able to supply it.”
He added: “We are pleased to have now signed an agreement with Pacific Recycling in Surrey, BC, to supply powdered and granulated gypsum products for our customers, in a deal which will see Fertoz make a margin on each sale.”
Fertoz has now secured distribution agreements with:
Federated Co-Operatives Ltd – 170 branches including 98 retail centres across western Canada;
Blairs – 10 branches in Saskatchewan;
Thompsons Limited – 12 branches in Ontario with extensive organic input experience;
Seven Springs Farms – Virginia, USA; and
Ag Unlimited – now part of the GrowWest brand, a Lyman Ag company based in California with three farm supply centres in the state.
The company is also progressing distributor initiatives with Limoges Seed Farms, Providence Grain Solutions and others, with more expected in the coming months.