Salt Lake Potash Ltd's (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) Lake Way Project near Wiluna in Western Australia is nearing completion, with the process plant 88% complete and the overall project, including all on-lake infrastructure 81% complete.
Process plant commissioning is expected to begin in February, with introduction of first feed salts to the plant in March.
The project’s capital budget remains unchanged at A$264 million.
In January 2021, the Organic Farmers & Growers Association in the UK (OF&G) approved the Lake Way SOP product for use in organic farming in the UK, the first organic certification received.
Premium SOP supplier in second quarter
SO4 chief executive officer Tony Swiericzuk said: “I am extremely proud of the way the GRES and SO4 teams have worked to safely and efficiently deliver the Lake Way project.
“Significant progress was made in a challenging environment in 2020 with minimal impact on the project and we now look forward to supplying the domestic and global agricultural industries with premium SOP in the second quarter of 2021.”
Process plant reaches 88% completion
As at December 31, 2020, the process plant was 88% complete on a value-earned basis, with site concrete work, including additional non-process infrastructure and bagging infrastructure, 94% complete, structural steel 80% complete and tanks/vessels 81% complete.
Four primary conveyor structures that feed the plant and discharge waste have been fully erected and will be commissioned in the next few weeks.
The raw water pond has been lined and commissioned, and both the Southern and West Creek Raw Water Borefields supplying the plant and village have been commissioned.
Procurement for process plant
Total procurement for the process plant reached 96% on December 31, 2020.
The company is working closely with GRES and its suppliers to minimise the impact of any potential delays following some minor delays experienced due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global shipping markets.
At this stage, the delays in shipping will not impact commissioning.
Plant feed salt harvesting starts
Harvesting of potassium-rich kainite and schoenite salts from Train 1 was undertaken with about 27,000 tonnes of salts now stockpiled ahead of plant commissioning.
Assays from the harvest salt stockpiles have returned grades in-line with the system curve and planning models.
UK organic use certification
OF&G certifies more than half of organic land in the UK and ensures that the European Organic standards are carried out on organic farms and businesses across the UK.
The OF&G certification confirms its use for organic markets in the UK.
Other organic certification
In addition to the OF&G certification, SO4 is also seeking organic certification from several other domestic and international bodies, including EU Ecological Certification, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) the ACO (Australian Certified Organic) and UK Soil Association.
SO4 will update the market on progress with these certifications in the months ahead.
Grant Coyle appointed interim CFO
Grant Coyle has been appointed as an interim chief financial officer.
An experienced corporate finance executive, he was appointed the company’s head of corporate development in July 2018, where he played a lead role in delivering the US$138 million Taurus/CEFC funding package.
Grant previously worked at Rio Tinto, across the business analysis and business development areas within the Iron Ore division.
A former investment banker at Macquarie Bank and corporate tax accountant for an international accounting firm. Coyle has extensive experience in finance, budgeting, project evaluation, commercial negotiations and strategic planning.
The company is undertaking an external search ahead of the appointment of a permanent CFO.
AMEC community contribution award
In December 2020, the company received the Community Contribution Award at the Association of Mining and Exploration Company (AMEC) annual awards.
The award was in recognition of SO4’s efforts to deliver sustainable and long-lasting social and economic benefits to the Wiluna region through strategic partnerships, community investment and opportunities in employment and training.