The optimisation study presents an attractive investment case, with key financial metrics as follows:
BCI’s June 2018 pre-feasibility study (PFS) report had supported the technical and financial viability of the Mardie Project.
Following completion of the PFS, BCI had initiated a definite feasibility study (DFS) and is currently progressing project designs, tenure, environmental approvals and early construction works for the project.
As part of initial DFS planning activities, BCI investigated a number of optimisation opportunities, most notably an increase of salt and SOP production along with the development of an export facility at the Mardie site.
The PFS optimisation study has incorporated these initiatives into the development case, proving that they will add significant value to, and further de-risk, the Mardie Project.
Key changes to the development case and improved project economics in the PFS optimisation study include:
• Salt production increased from 3.5Mtpa (million tonnes per annum) to 4.0Mtpa;
• SOP (sulphate of potash) production increased from 75,000tpa to 100,000tpa;
• Salt and SOP now exported via a port at Mardie, eliminating all road haulage costs;
• Salt cash cost reduced by 19% to $16/t FOB;
• SOP cash cost reduced by 16% to $211/t FOB; and
• Total capital cost increased to $498 million allowing increased production and development of a port at Mardie.
Changes in key assumptions
BCI managing director Alwyn Vorster said: “The recent approval by the Minister for Ports for an export facility at the Mardie Project site and PFS flowsheet optimisation work resulting in higher production targets, support important amendments to our DFS scope.
“The PFS Optimisation Study has shown these amendments will deliver lower operating costs and improve the overall project economics.
“With salt, Mardie is expected to be cost competitive with existing large WA salt operations owned by major companies.
“Given SOP is a by-product of salt production and its location on the coast, Mardie should logically have a SOP on-ship cost of A$50-100/t lower than any other WA SOP projects that are located 800-1,000km from their preferred port.”