Salt Lake Potash Limited (SLP or the Company) is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s Lake Way project since following the execution of an MOU with Blackham Resources Limited’s (Blackham) outlining the potential to incorporate Blackham’s Mining Lease tenure into the development of a Sulphate of Potash (SOP) operation.
Highlights of work completed include:
Surface Sampling Program
Ø A preliminary surface sampling program on Blackham’s tenements confirms the Lake’s average SOP grade of over 14kg/m3, making Lake Way one of Australia’s highest grade SOP brine sources.
Ø An initial geological and geotechnical investigation by the Company and Knight Piesold confirmed the availability of in-situ clays amendable for on-lake evaporation pond construction. A total of 24 auger holes were excavated across Blackham’s tenements and laboratory tested.
Surface Aquifer Exploration
Ø Review and modelling of the large volume of historical exploration data for Lake Way confirms the likelihood of a large hypersaline brine pool on both Blackham and SLP’s tenements.
Ø The Company is in the process of mobilising a drill rig and an amphibious excavator on the Lake to complete an initial surface aquifer exploration program.
Ø The surface aquifer program will include the construction of test pits and trenches for long-term pump testing.
Ø The Company has commenced a range of process development testwork including process pathway modelling by international experts, a bulk sample evaporation trial and site-based evaporation trial at Lake Way.
CEO Matt Syme said “These initial results are very pleasing and support the Company’s view that Lake Way is an ideal site for our SOP Demonstration Plant and subsequent expansions. It appears to have the best combination in Australia of scale, brine chemistry, playa surface, shallow clays for pond construction, permitting pathway and infrastructure access, which should result in substantial time and cost advantages.”
Lake Way is located in the Goldfields region of Western Australia, less than 15km south of Wiluna. The surface area of the Lake is over 270km2.
The Wiluna region is an historic mining precinct dating back to the late 19th century. It has been a prolific nickel and gold mining region and therefore has well developed, high quality infrastructure in place.
The Goldfields Highway is a high quality sealed road permitted to carry quad road trains and passes 2km from the Lake. The Goldfields Gas Pipeline is adjacent to SLP’s tenements, running past the eastern side of the Lake.
SLP has entered an MOU with Blackham to investigate the development of an SOP operation on Blackham’s existing Mining Leases at Lake Way including, initially, a 40-50,000tpa Demonstration Plant (see announcement dated 12 March 2018).
Lake Way has some compelling advantages which make it potentially an ideal site for an SOP operation, including:
Ø Substantial likely capital and operating savings from sharing overheads and infrastructure with the Wiluna Gold Mine, including the accommodation camp, flights, power, maintenance, infrastructure and other costs.
Ø The site has an excellent freight solution, adjacent to the Goldfields Highway, which is permitted for heavy haulage 4 trailer road trains to the railhead at Leonora.
Ø A Demonstration Plant would likely be built on Blackham’s existing Mining Licences, already subject of a Native Title Agreement.
Ø SLP would dewater the existing Williamson Pit on Lake Way, prior to Blackham mining, planned for early 2019. The pit contains an estimated 1.2GL of brine at the exceptional grade of 25kg/m3 of SOP. This brine is potentially the ideal starter feed for evaporation ponds, having already evaporated from the normal Lake Way brine grade, which averages over 14kg/m3.
Ø The high grade brines at Lake Way will result in lower capital and operating costs due to lower extraction and evaporation requirements.
Ø There would be substantial savings to both parties from co-operating on exploration activities on each other’s ground.
Ø The presence of clays in the upper levels of the lake which should be amenable to low cost, on-lake evaporation pond construction.
SLP will complete a Scoping Study for a potential SOP operation at Lake Way, including a Demonstration Plant, by mid-2018, in time to allow a decision on dewatering the Williamson Pit under the MOU. There is substantial historical data available for Lake Way and, along with the extensive, high quality technical work undertaken at SLP’s other lakes, which has substantial application at Lake Way, a Scoping Study can be undertaken in a much shorter timeframe than would normally be the case.
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