By Mining Weekly,
POTASH developer South Boulder Mines has started pilot testing of the process design of its Colluli project, in Eritrea, at the Saskatchewan Research Council, in Canada.
South Boulder Managing Director Paul Donaldson said on Thursday that the pilot plant would use potassium-bearing salts from the Colluli resource.
“We are pleased that we have been able to develop the test programme and commence its execution well ahead of the prefeasibility study (PFS) completion. This will allow a seamless integration of the pilot plant data with the definitive feasibility study design and final costings,” said Donaldson.
He noted that given the process was relatively simple and had been commercially proven, the pilot plant was simply an exercise to ensure all of the plant equipment was correctly sized for the final process.
The PFS on the Colluli project was scheduled for completion in February next year.
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South Boulder Mines Commences Pilot Testing for Colluli Potash
By Proactive Investors,
South Boulder Mines (ASX:STB) continues to advance the Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea, and has now commenced pilot testing of the Colluli process design at the Saskatchewan Research Council in Saskatoon, Canada.
Colluli hosts a highly-favourably suite of potassium bearing salts for low cost production of potassium sulphate (SOP or sulphate of potash) using simple mineral processing units (flotation and mixing).
Commercial grade SOP has already been produced from Colluli salts at the Saskatchewan Resource Council.
SOP achieves a substantial price premium over the more common potassium chloride.
Paul Donaldson, managing director for South Boulder, commented:
“We are pleased that we have been able to develop the test program and commence its execution well ahead of the pre-feasibility study completion.
“This will allow a seamless integration of the pilot plant data with the definitive feasibility study design and final costings.
“Given the process is relatively simple, and commercially proven, the pilot plant is simply an exercise to ensure all of the plant equipment is correctly sized for the final process.”
South Boulder and the Eritrean National Mining Company (ENAMCO) are equal shareholders of the Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC) which will develop the Colluli Potash project.
At Colluli over 1 billion tonnes of potassium bearing salts have been defined, which are suitable for the production of potash fertilisers.
The testing is being conducted under the supervision of Global Potash Solutions, and follows the Pre-Feasibility design testwork, which was done as bench scale testing.
The pilot plant will provide the following critical information:
– Confirmation of the potassium sulphate (SOP) tonnes per seawater tonne;
– Confirmation of decomposition kinetics;
– Confirmation of precipitation kinetics and retention time;
– Enhancement of particle size; and
– Samples for marketing.
The pilot plant will utilise potassium bearing salts from the Colluli resource. Samples were dispatched to the test facility and preparation for pilot plant testing has been completed.
WHAT IS POTASSIUM SULPHATE (SOP)
SOP is a high value potash fertiliser, which provides both potassium and sulphur in soluble forms.
It has a lower alt index than MOP (no chloride), and is suitable for chloride sensitive crops such as fruit, berries, vines, nuts, coffee and tobacco.
SOP is ideal for arid areas where chlorides cannot be washed away, and is used when soil or irrigation water salt levels are high and MOP is undesirable.
South Boulder has now commenced pilot testing of the Colluli process design at the Saskatchewan Research Council in Saskatoon, Canada.
Commercial grade SOP achieves a substantial price premium over the more common potassium chloride, and has already been produced from Colluli salts at the Saskatchewan Resource Council.
Colluli is strategically located closer to port than potassium sulphate peers with trucking a low cost option to access port, with deepwater access at Anfile Bay suitable for loading vessels up to Panamax size.
The company expects the Colluli PFS to be complete in February 2015.
South Boulder is well funded with cash at hand of $10.2 million as at 30 September 2014.
Major shareholders include Sprott Asset Management with 10.96% and Kam Lung Investment Development with 7.17%.