ASX-listed South Boulder Mines has finalised the prefeasibility study processing plant design for the Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea, East Africa following successful completion of metallurgical testing.
In August 2014, South Boulder announced that further metallurgical test work had the potential to reduce both capital and operating costs. These tests have been successfully completed, resulting in the elimination of some grinding and thickening infrastructure from the initial process design.
Potassium yields from flotation tests in excess of 80% have been achieved from testwork to date. Overall recovery will be further enhanced by capturing the brines leaving the processing plant and processing them through a series of recovery ponds. The precipitated potassium salts from the recovery ponds will be reclaimed and combined with the processing plant feed streams. Importantly the improved capital and operating costs combined with improved yields are expected to have a material positive economic impact.
South Boulder Mines Managing Director, Paul Donaldson, said: “The most exciting thing about the Colluli development path is that we actually lower our cost base to make a product with a substantial price premium.
“We are extremely happy with the progress the project team has made on the processing plant design and testwork. The simplicity of the process, the utilisation of all potassium bearing salts, the highly favourable yields and the robustness of the mine plan are positioning the project for an exciting future.
“Colluli is a potash resource of global significance and the work that has been done over the past 18 months is creating a solid platform that underpins a compelling development story. We are looking forward to the completion of the preliminary feasibility study, and are in the process of collecting samples to provide feed material to pilot a number of elements of the process to support the definitive feasibility study.
“Building a platform for growth and adopting the principles of modularity, resource utilisation and risk mitigation are at the core of our go forward strategy, and the Colluli Mining Share Company board is aligned to that approach.”
South Boulder previously announced that it had extended its prefeasibility study on the Colluli Resource to February 2015 in order to consider positive findings from the preliminary design for the production of potassium sulphate (sulphate of potash) from the Colluli Resource.