The mining license provides exclusive access over the 4.9 Bt potassium resource contained within the 365 km² license area for an initial period of 20 years. It is renewable indefinitely for further 10 year periods, provided that financial viability continues to be demonstrated.
Circum Minerals is a private company focused on the development of a significant potash deposit in the Danakil basin of Ethiopia. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Circum Minerals Potash, the company holds a 100% interest in a mining license.
The license allows the exploitation of potassium-bearing minerals, which exist at relatively shallow depths within the vast license area. Circum Minerals said the minerals will be exploited by solution mining, the lowest risk mining method suitable to this region, and will be processed by crystallisation in solar ponds prior to final refining in a process plant.
The combination of these techniques, which have already been proven by field trials in the license area, will deliver operating costs projected to be among the lowest in the global potash industry for both potassium chloride (MOP) and potassium sulphate (SOP).
The award of the license follows the submission of a comprehensive set of pre-requisite data, which included a definitive feasibility study, a social and environmental impact assessment and associated management plans and detailed production and financial models.
Chairman and co-founder of Circum Minerals, Stephen Dattels, commented: “We are delighted that the Ethiopian government has approved the mining license for this world-class project. This represents a significant milestone for both the company and the country.
“We now have a compelling investment case that supports the development of this project given our discovery and proving of its vast resource, our demonstration of its outstanding financial viability, the successful operation of our solution mine and subsequent production of potash products and most importantly, the strong level of government support we have been afforded.”
Feature image credit: Circum Minerals