The Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and the Environment has awarded potash developer Emmerson a mining licence for its 100% owned Khemisset potash project.
The mining licence, which covers an area of 558 km2 and covers all of the current mineral resource estimate area, provides Emmerson with the exclusive right to develop and mine the potash deposit, within the perimeter of the mining licence, which is located in the Khemisset basin ahead of the anticipated initiation of construction by the end of 2021
The grant of the mining licence, which is valid for an initial 10-year period and renewable in 10-year increments until the resource is exhausted, follows a successful application process including the submission of a proven JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate and the confirmed technical and economic viability of the project, which was satisfied by the feasibility study.
In fact, the feasibility study highlighted Khemisset’s outstanding attributes including industry leading capital and operating costs and delivered an initial mine life of 19 years, based on less than 50% of the global resource base for the project.
Importantly, the mining licence encompasses the full resource base allowing simple expansion of the operations in the future without the requirement to re-permit.
“This is another major milestone in the development of what is to become the first large scale potash mine in Africa. We are grateful to the Ministry that provided considerable support, greatly assisting us throughout the application process,” says Emmerson CEO Graham Clarke.
“By producing up to 800 000 tpa of potash, for export or domestic consumption, Khemisset is forecast to deliver considerable economic benefits to our stakeholders including an anticipated 1% increase to the national tax revenues of Morocco. At the local level, the benefit to our stakeholders is even more important, with an estimated 40% increase to the local area GDP,” adds Clarke.
“We are all extremely proud to have achieved this most recent milestone, with the help of an expert team focused on putting this potash mine into production. I want to thank our hosts in Morocco and all the key members of the Emmerson team who have worked hard to deliver this well ahead of our original timeline.
“We continue to make strong progress with our financing discussions, including engagement with several potential equity funding partners, and we look forward to delivering updates on this in the near future.”