Western Potash has received an independent positive prefeasibility study from AMEC Americas for its 100%-owned Milestone potash solution mining project 30 km southeast of Regina in southern Saskatchewan. Agapito Associates completed the solution mining design for the study, which includes a solution mining plan and schedule, well field design, cavern layout, and recovery modeling and subsidence analysis. The study confirmed that the project shows positive economics and is of sufficient size and grade to support primary and secondary solution mining for more than 40 years at a production rate of 2.8 million mt/y.
Initial capital to develop the Milestone project is estimated at C$2.458 billion, plus C$300 million for a port. Production cost is estimated at C$62.35/mt. Payback is estimated at five years.
The Milestone study includes all facilities required to operate a potash solution mine, including a two-train multiple effect evaporization-crystallization plant, a dry processing plant, product storage, load-out, and all other necessary site infrastructure. The annual production rate can be increased through a higher level of capital expenditure.
The Milestone project hosts 64 million mt of measured potash resources (contained KCl), 180 million mt of indicated resources, and 701 million mt of inferred resources. Construction is assumed to take place over a three-year period, with production beginning in project year three. Full primary and secondary production would be achieved over a six-year ramp-up period.
Western Potash CEO and President Patricio Varas said, “The PFS confirms the compelling opportunity that the Milestone project represents for the company and the province of Saskatchewan to develop a world-class potash mining operation. In addition to the 40-year scope of mining contemplated in the PFS, the known resource is sufficient to support ongoing mining for an additional 40 years and beyond.”