Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has submitted the Environmental Review Document (ERD) for the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project in Western Australia to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The ERD comprises a thorough understanding of the environmental setting in the project area which has been developed through detailed flora and fauna surveys and studies.
This comprehensive document is assessed prior to the granting of licences and permits required for project development.
The SOP project was referred to the EPA in December 2017, which determined that the project’s development proposal, as detailed in the ERD, will be assessed under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 by way of an Environmental Review with No Public Consultation.
In September 2018 APC received approval from the EPA for the Environmental Scoping Document (ESD) submitted for review.
This defines the form, content, timing and procedure of the ERD.
Along with details of the project’s operation, the information in the ERD is assessed by the EPA to determine its approval for project implementation under Part IV of the EP Act 1986.
The Lake Wells SOP Project development approvals, permits and licensing timeline.
Following ERD approval under Part IV, other decision making authorities (DMAs) can begin providing operating licences and permits through Part V of the Environmental Protection Act and Mining Act 1978 etc.
DMAs, including the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) will only progress with APC’s licence and permit applications once the ERD is approved under Part IV.
The 100%-owned Lake Wells project is around 500 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields region and APC remains firmly on track to meet project approvals development timeline.
Following the release of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) in August 2019, APC is focused on the FEED study, finalising offtake discussions and securing financing to develop the project.
The DFS confirmed that the Lake Wells project will be a long-life, low capital intensity and high-margin SOP producer.
Key DFS outcomes include:
- 30-year mine life annually producing 150,000 tonnes of premium grade SOP;
- Long mine life underpinned by a 3.6 million tonnes ore reserve and 18.1 million tonnes drainable SOP Measured Resource estimate;
- Pre-tax NPV8 of A$665 million and an IRR of 25%;
- Development capex of A$208 million with sector-leading capital intensity of A$1,387/tonne; and
- First quartile industry opex of US$262/tonne providing high cash operating margins.