Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has implemented the inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Innovation Day at Laverton as part of its Community Engagement and Economic Capacity strategy (CEEC).
The event was supported by local and regional stakeholders, including Laverton Shire and Laverton School, incorporating the remote schools of Mt Margaret, Cosmo Newberry and Mulga Queen, and Leonora School.
Local miners AngloGold Ashanti Limited (ASX:AGG) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX:SBM) also supported the day, continuing their long-established financial and in-kind support for regional community initiatives and local employment.
“Commitment to community engagement”
APC managing director and CEO Matt Shackleton said: “Over the time we have been working at the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash project we have placed great importance on the development of local relationships.
“Our commitment to community engagement and the development of economic capacity has a broad focus, from engaging the school cohort to defining local and indigenous employment and contracting opportunities to be offered through development and operations.
“This inaugural STEM Innovation Day was a fantastic success with children from the surrounding remote and isolated communities of Mulga Queen, Cosmo Newberry and Mt Margaret joining students from Leonora and Laverton in an expo style, interactive program across drone, robotics, coding and VR technologies.”
“Medium-term STEM augmentation program”
Students from five regional and remote communities attended the interactive event with the company confident that the positive feedback and support received from the local communities will feed into medium to longer-term STEM augmentation programs to encourage participation and school attendance.
Shackleton said: “We very much look forward to continuing our engagement with the local schools and stakeholders to develop and implement the medium-term STEM augmentation program.
“In the broader sense under our CEEC strategy, we are working closely with local aboriginal corporations and stakeholders to advance employment and contracting opportunities through the pending development and operation of the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash project.”
Students from the isolated communities of Mulga Queen, Cosmo Newberry and Mt Margaret attended the STEM event.
FEED and NAIF progressing
The FEED program is scheduled to deliver optimised capex, opex and production models through quarter four 2020.
Five of the seven development packages of work are being tendered under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracting strategy, which is designed to mitigate schedule, cost and performance risk.
The formal financing due diligence process has commenced, and APC is requesting indicative terms sheets by the end quarter-three/beginning quarter-four 2020.
Independent technical and marketing experts have been appointed to review the FEED outputs and prepare reports for the several domestic and international commercial financial institutions considering the opportunity.
The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or NAIF, will be conducting detailed due diligence concurrently.
Australian Potash is continuing with discussions in the offtake program, with a particular focus on the North and South American continental markets.