Verde Potash announced on April 1 the results of a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its Cerrado Verde ThermoPotash project in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The company had previously reported on March 19, that Inova Agro, a special financing program of the Brazilian government, has confirmed selection of the company to obtain financing for the project.
Verde Potash plans to build a greenfield plant capable of producing 330,000 mt/y of ThermoPotash and also is seeking performance guarantees for a large-scale potassium chloride (KCl) kiln. Thermo-Potash is a controlled-release, non-chloride, multinutrient fertilizer that is ideally suited for Brazilian soils.
Cerrado Verde project capital cost is estimated at $113.6 million, including $14.7 million in contingency. Total production costs are estimated at $55.29/mt of ThermoPotash. Payback of initial capital expenditure is estimated at five years. Mine life is projected at 31 years.
The proven and probable mineral reserve estimate for the ThermoPotash project stands at 7 million mt grading 10.8% K2O. Measured and indicated mineral resources are estimated at 1.47 billion mt at a grade of 9.2% K2O. The potash resources are located at surface with little to no overburden, making the deposit amenable to open-pit mining.
Cerrado Verde is a unique project: its high-grade potash rock outcrops and is amenable to strip mining, allowing fast construction of a scalable operation; it is located in the midst of the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing fertilizer market; it connects to Brazil’s largest fertilizer distribution districts via existing, high-quality infrastructure; and it has the potential to supply both ThermoPotash and KCl to Brazil’s agriculture market from its large potash-rich deposit.