SOUTH Boulder Mines (ASX:STB) is on the road to securing a mining licence for its Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea after completing and submitting the first phase of environmental baseline assessments.
This follows the company attracting a $1.8 million investment from Hong Kong based Kam Lung Investment Development Company (KLID) in late July.
These were submitted on behalf of the Colluli Mining Share Company and are aligned with its revised development strategy of processing all three types of potassium-bearing salts.
The remaining assessments will be submitted in two further tranches and will be followed by the submission of a draft Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), which will be completed as part of the Feasibility Study.
This will allow sufficient time, in the unlikely event that any issues arise prior to the completion of the definitive feasibility study.
Metallurgical studies on Colluli ore aimed at confirming that each of the three salt types which make up the resource can be processed are well advanced.
“This is a significant milestone for the project as it represents the first step of the approval process for the mining license for Colluli,” managing director Paul Donaldson said.
“The DFS must be completed and submitted prior to the license being allocated to the joint venture company, but getting an early start on the environmental submissions will support the compression of the project timelines by ensuring sufficient time is available to respond to any queries that may arise from the work.
“We have been working closely with Eritrea’s Ministry of Environment for the past two years on both the terms of reference for the social and environmental impact assessment and the supporting baseline reports required.
“Given that we are submitting an SEIA consistent with World Bank standards and the Equator Principles, it speaks volumes about the quality of the local employees and consultants we have secured in Eritrea.”
ENAMCO General Manager Berhane Habtemariam said: “These assessments are an important step forward for Colluli and early submission is a good indication that appropriate consideration is being given to reducing the project timelines.
“They have also provided an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate Eritrea’s expertise in these areas.
“Responsible social and environmental management is very important to us and our people, and although our mining industry is in its infancy, we believe it is important to ensure that the assessments and management plans are done to the appropriate standards, and are accompanied by the right level of engagement and discussion with all stakeholders.”
ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE ASSESSMENTS
The environmental baseline assessments submitted to Eritrea’s Ministry of Energy and Mines included:
– Landforms and Aesthetics
– Terrestrial Wildlife and Habitat
– Geology and Soils
– Land Use and Land Cover
– Cultural Heritage
COLLULI POTASH PROJECT
The Colluli resource is a unique combination of potassium bearing salts suitable for the production of potassium fertilisers.
It hosts 1 billion tonnes of potassium salts and has a current JORC Compliant Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource.
This is comprised of 261.81Mt at 17.94% KCl or 11.33% K2O of Measured Resources, 674.48Mt at 17.98% KCl or 11.36% K2O of Indicated Resources and 143.50Mt at 18.00% KCl or 11.37% K2O of Inferred Resources.
The total is 1,080 Mt at 18.0% KCl or 11.35% K2O (total contained potash of 194.09Mt KCl or 122.61Mt K2O).
A Pre-Feasibility Study is currently underway and progressing well.
The submission of the environmental baseline assessments places South Boulder Mines on the first step of the approval process for the mining license for the Colluli Potash Project.
That it follows the investment from KLID is a further step towards development.
Some of the share price catalysts ahead include the delivery of the Pre-Feasibility study as well as the Definitive Feasibility Study in 2015.