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Salt Lake Potash Ltd - Lake Way Water Soluble Sulphate of Potash Produced

RNS Number : 7656M
Salt Lake Potash Limited
18 September 2019

18 September 2019








Ø Salt Lake Potash has completed Pilot Plant test work on Lake Way confirming a premium SOP product with a +53% K2O grade

Ø The Pilot Plant operation was conducted by SRC over two separate trials utilising 5 tonnes of salt harvested from Lake Way

Ø Potassium Chloride (KCl) was successfully added into the process to utilise the excess of sulphate naturally present in the Lake Way brine

Ø The Lake Way process flowsheet confirms the addition of KCl provides an increase in the SOP output from equivalent Lake Way brine volumes with no material additional capital expenditure

Ø Testing demonstrates Lake Way SOP to be highly water soluble, positioning the product in the highest premium SOP market

Salt Lake Potash Limited (Salt Lake Potash or the Company) is pleased to announce it has completed the Pilot Plant test work of the Lake Way salts at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC). The test work has yielded a premium Sulphate of Potash (SOP) product that is highly water soluble with a +53% K2O grade. 

SRC, the world leading potash processing laboratory, has completed a Pilot Plant operation that is representative of the proposed Lake Way Project process flowsheet. The Pilot Plant operation included the addition of Potassium Chloride to take advantage of the excess sulphate that naturally occurs within the Lake Way brine.

SRC has completed two separate Pilot Plant runs utilising 5 tonnes of salt harvested from Lake Way site evaporation trials, producing premium grade, highly water soluble SOP. The Total Solubility and Dissolution Rate indicates the product would be suitable for application in drip irrigation (otherwise known as fertigation) systems.

Table 1: Lake Way Pilot Plant 2 Specifications
















Total Solubility

(g/100g H2O)


Dissolution Rate

% in 1 minute


Note 1: Results of composite sample from Pilot Plant 2.

The Pilot Plant runs successfully confirmed that high quality soluble SOP can be generated via the process flowsheet with the inclusion of KCl. Importantly the positive results of the inclusion of the KCl within the process flowsheet will provide significant benefits to the Lake Way Project by increasing the SOP output from an equivalent volume of Lake Way brine. This can be achieved without significant changes to the processing equipment and no material additional capital expenditure.

The outstanding results achieved from the Pilot Plant indicate that the product is comparable with other premium grade soluble products on the market and supports Salt Lake Potash's marketing strategy to supply into the premium SOP market. The premium achievable for soluble grade SOP can be up to 20% (CRU SOP Market Study May 2019) above the standard pricing.

The process flowsheet that has been developed and confirmed as part of the Pilot Plant test work has been incorporated in the Lake Way Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) which is scheduled for completion in early October 2019.


Salt Lake Potash's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Swiericzuk, said:

"The outstanding results from the Pilot Plant testwork confirm the addition of KCl into the process will enable Salt Lake Potash to utilise the excess sulphate within the Lake Way brine to produce additional premium grade SOP.

This is a significant outcome for the Company and will strengthen the already compelling economics for the Lake Way Project. We are focussed on finalising the BFS which will reflect the Pilot Plant results and confirm the excellent potential of Lake Way."


For further information please visit www.so4.com.au or contact:


Tony Swiericzuk

Salt Lake Potash Limited

Tel: +61 8 6559 5800

Colin Aaronson / Richard Tonthat /
Ben Roberts

Grant Thornton UK LLP

(Nominated Adviser)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 5100

Derrick Lee / Beth McKiernan

Cenkos Securities plc (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 131 220 6939

Rupert Fane / Ernest Bell

Hannam & Partners (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7907 8500


The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.




Forward Looking Statements

This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Salt Lake Potash Limited's expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Salt Lake Potash Limited, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Salt Lake Potash Limited makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.


Competent Persons Statement

The information in this report that relates to Process Testwork Results is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled by Mr Bryn Jones, BAppSc (Chem), MEng (Mining) who is a Fellow of the AusIMM. Mr Jones is a Director of Salt Potash Limited. Mr Jones has sufficient experience, which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking, to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr Jones consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.


Appendix A: JORC Table One

Section 1: Sampling Techniques and Data


JORC Code explanation


Sampling techniques

·     Nature and quality of sampling (e.g.  cut channels, random chips, or specific specialised industry standard measurement tools appropriate to the minerals under investigation, such as downhole gamma sondes, or handheld XRF instruments, etc.).  These examples should not be taken as limiting the broad meaning of sampling.

·     Include reference to measures taken to ensure sample presentively and the appropriate calibration of any measurement tools or systems used.

·     Aspects of the determination of mineralisation that are Material to the Public Report.

·     In cases where 'industry standard' work has been done, this would be relatively simple (e.g.  'reverse circulation drilling was used to obtain 1 m samples from which 3 kg was pulverised to produce a 30 g charge for fire assay').  In other cases, more explanation may be required, such as where there is coarse gold that has inherent sampling problems.  Unusual commodities or mineralisation types (e.g.  submarine nodules) may warrant disclosure of detailed information.

The Pilot Plant operation processed a bulk sample of nearly 5 tonnes of harvested salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials (SET).

The SET utilised solar ponds consisting of re-purposed temporary above-ground swimming pools and HDPE aquaculture tubs.  These solar ponds were filled with brine drawn from either the Lake Way playa brine from a 4m deep test pit excavated next to the trial, or from the Williamson Pit directly. The majority (99%) of the harvest salts processed in the Pilot Plant operation were from Lake Way playa brine.

Brine samples were taken from each solar evaporation pond regularly and routinely during the solar evaporation process.

Brine samples were taken manually by initially rinsing out the sample bottle with brine from the source then filling the bottle. Samples were analysed for K, Mg, Ca, Na, Cl, SO4, TDS and specific gravity.

The temperature and level in each pond were logged electronically with piezometers.

Once the brine in a particular solar pond had concentrated to pre-determined point it was pumped to another solar pond downstream in the process. Salt was then extracted from the drained solar pond.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.

Metallurgical test work and the pilot plant operation were conducted under control conditions by laboratory professionals with experience in operating and handling salts and potash processes at Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC).

The continuous pilot plant operation involved a small closed circuit operation whereby harvested salt from the SET was crushed before reverse flotation to remove halite. The flotation concentrate then underwent a two stage decomposition process, complete with brine recycle, to form the SOP product.

In circuit samples were taken regularly for process control and monitoring purposes. Final samples of SOP product were taken every 4 hours from 8hrs to 56hr during the pilot operation.

The product slurry was collected and dewatered in a centrifuge.  Each dewatered 4hr sample was homogenised and sub-sampled for assay.  The total 4 hour composite sample quantity was typically 19 kg.

Drilling techniques

·     Drill type (e.g.  core, reverse circulation, open-hole hammer, rotary air blast, auger, Bangka, sonic, etc.) and details (e.g.  core diameter, triple or standard tube, depth of diamond tails, face-sampling bit or other type, whether core is oriented and if so, by what method, etc.).

No drilling was undertaken.  Metallurgical testing involved processing harvested salt from the SET.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.

Drill sample recovery

·     Method of recording and assessing core and chip sample recoveries and results assessed.

·     Measures taken to maximise sample recovery and ensure representative nature of the samples.

·     Whether a relationship exists between sample recovery and grade and whether sample bias may have occurred due to preferential loss/gain of fine/coarse material.

No drilling was undertaken.  Metallurgical testing involved the processing harvested salt from site evaporation trials.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.




·     Whether core and chip samples have been geologically and geotechnically logged to a level of detail to support appropriate Mineral Resource estimation, mining studies and metallurgical studies.

·     Whether logging is qualitative or quantitative in nature.  Core (or costean, channel, etc.) photography.

·     The total length and percentage of the relevant intersections logged.

No logging was undertaken.  Metallurgical testing involved the processing harvested salt from site evaporation trials.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.



Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation

·     If core, whether cut or sawn and whether quarter, half or all core taken.

·     If non-core, whether riffled, tube sampled, rotary split, etc.  and whether sampled wet or dry.

·     For all sample types, the nature, quality and appropriateness of the sample preparation technique.

·     Quality control procedures adopted for all sub-sampling stages to maximise representivity of samples.

·     Measures taken to ensure that the sampling is representative of the insitu material collected, including for instance results for field duplicate/second-half sampling.

·     Whether sample sizes are appropriate to the grain size of the material being sampled.

Core sampling is not applicable, to process test work.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.

Wet harvest salts or process generated samples are homogenised and split using a riffle splitter.

Brine samples are typically taken in sterile plastic bottles of 50ml or 250ml capacity. Brine is a homogenous fluid below the surface, while salt is coned and quartered to homogenise and sample.

Salt samples are crushed to -2mm and 100-200g sub sample taken (representative for the grain size) using a riffle splitter. The sub sample is pulverized to -106 microns using a puck and ring grinding mill. The pulp is then transferred to a labelled plastic snap top vial.

An aliquot of pulp is placed in a test-tube with 15 mls of 30°C DI water. The sample is shaken. The soluble solution is then analyzed by ICP-OES.

If XRD is required, approximately 50 g of the wet homogenised sample is air dried at ambient temperature and sent for XRD. The XRD sample is typically crushed with a mortar and pestle to <120um. It is then packed into a pellet to undergo XRD analysis.

Quality of assay data and laboratory tests

·     The nature, quality and appropriateness of the assaying and laboratory procedures used and whether the technique is considered partial or total.

·     For geophysical tools, spectrometers, handheld XRF instruments, etc., the parameters used in determining the analysis including instrument make and model, reading times, calibrations factors applied and their derivation, etc.

·     Nature of quality control procedures adopted (e.g.  standards, blanks, duplicates, external laboratory checks) and whether acceptable levels of accuracy (i.e.  lack of bias) and precision have been established.

The samples were taken, prepared and analysed by Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and SRC Geoanalytical Laboratories.

ICP-OES analysis to determine the chemical ion analysis, and ICP-MS to determine chloride content was performed by SRC Geoanalytical Laboratories.

XRD analysis to determine the salt crystal mineralogy at was performed by SRC.

No laboratory analysis was undertaken with geophysical tools.

SRC Geoanalytical Laboratories' management system operates in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (CAN-P-4E), General Requirements for the Competence of Mineral Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

The Potash Method for Analysis of Major Water Soluble Components of Evaporites are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.

Geoanalytical Laboratories participates in a number of interlaboratory analyses. These results are used to assess the quality of all the methods used at the laboratory.

The quality control processes at the laboratory are continuously monitored by our Quality Assurance Department.

Quality control measures applied at the laboratory include:

·      Sample preparation QC checks

·      Analysis of Certified Reference Standards

·      Analysis of in-house reference materials and standards

·      Traceable calibration standards for instrumentation

·      Analyzing duplicate and blind QC samples

·      Spiking samples to monitor process recoveries

·      Proficiency Testing and Interlaboratory Comparisons QC monitoring


Verification of sampling and assaying

·     The verification of significant intersections by either independent or alternative company personnel.

·     The use of twinned holes.

·     Documentation of primary data, data entry procedures, data verification, data storage (physical and electronic) protocols.

·     Discuss any adjustment to assay data.

Significant intersections not applicable to process flowsheet test work. Harvest salt bulk samples are crushed, homogenised and sampled to ensure representative mineral characterisation. 

Twinned holes not applicable to process flowsheet test work.

All sampling and assaying results are reported in test report documentation, SRC Publication No. 14205-3C19, subject to standard SRC protocols.

No adjustments have been made to assay data.

Location of data points

·     Accuracy and quality of surveys used to locate drill holes (collar and down-hole surveys), trenches, mine workings and other locations used in Mineral Resource estimation.

·     Specification of the grid system used.

·     Quality and adequacy of topographic control.

Location data is not relevant for this process test and so was not taken.


Data spacing and distribution

·     Data spacing for reporting of Exploration Results.

·     Whether the data spacing and distribution is sufficient to establish the degree of geological and grade continuity appropriate for the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation procedure(s) and classifications applied.

·     Whether sample compositing has been applied.

Not applicable to this process flowsheet test work. The Company is not reporting a Mineral Resource estimate in this announcement.

Process samples for the pilot plant operation were taken regularly and composite samples were taken every 4 hours.


Orientation of data in relation to geological structure

·     Whether the orientation of sampling achieves unbiased sampling of possible structures and the extent to which this is known, considering the deposit type.

·     If the relationship between the drilling orientation and the orientation of key mineralised structures is considered to have introduced a sampling bias, this should be assessed and reported if material.

Not applicable as harvest salts were homogenised.

Drilling orientation is not applicable to this process flowsheet test work. The entire mass of salt produced by the solar pond was harvested, homogenised and sent for assay.



Sample security

·     The measures taken to ensure sample security.

Process test work, sampling and analysis was conducted solely by SRC in accordance with their protocols.

Audits or reviews

·     The results of any audits or reviews of sampling techniques and data.

All processes performed at SRC Geoanalytical laboratory are subject to a strict audit program, which is performed by approved, trained professionals.


Section 2: Reporting of Exploration Results


JORC Code explanation


Mineral tenement and land tenure status

·     Type, reference name/number, location and ownership including agreements or material issues with third parties such as joint ventures, partnerships, overriding royalties, native title interests, historical sites, wilderness or national park and environmental settings.

·     The security of the tenure held at the time of reporting along with any known impediments to obtaining a licence to operate in the area.

The Lake Way Project comprises tenements held by Salt Lake Potash and Blackham Resources Limited (Blackham).

Salt Lake Potash holds tenements covering the south east of the lake, including granted Exploration licences E53/1878, E53/1897, Exploration Licence Applications E53/2057, E53/2059 and E53/2060, and Mining Lease application M53/1102.

On the 9th March 2018 Salt Lake Potash and Blackham signed a gold and brine minerals memorandum of understanding. Under this MOU Blackham has granted the brine rights on its Lake Way tenement free from encumbrances to Salt Lake Potash.

In April 2019, Salt Lake Potash and Blackham signed a binding Split Commodity and Access Agreement (in relation to the development of the Lake Way Project) on terms in line with the previously executed MOU.

Tenure granted to Blackham and its subsidiaries that is covered by the Split Commodity Agreement includes: Exploration licence E53/1862, Exploration Licence applications E53/1905 and E53/1952, Mining Licences M53/121, M53/122, M53/123, M53/147, M53/253, M53/796, M53/797, M53/798 and M53/910, and Prospecting Licences P53/1642, P53/1646, P53/1666, P53/1667 and P53/1668.

The Company has subsequently entered into a Sales Agreement with Blackham to acquire a package of tenements (including the tenements listed above plus the following additional tenure: Miscellaneous licence L53/51, L53/207, Exploration Licence 53/1863, Exploration Licence applications E53/1966 and E53/2049, and Prospecting Licences P53/1643, P53/1644 and P531645) and other key assets for the Lake Way Project. This acquisition is expected to complete in September 2019.

Exploration done by other parties

·     Acknowledgment and appraisal of exploration by other parties.

Process test work results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.

Bench scale process flowsheet test work has previously been completed on potassium harvest salts generated from wind tunnel tests using Lake Way brine.

The Company has previously reported a brine resource over the Blackham tenements - refer ASX Announcement 18 March 2019.

There is a database of approximately 6200 boreholes across Lake Way of which some 1000 are within the Blackham tenements.  The primary source for the information is the publicly available Western Australian Mineral Exploration (WAMEX) report data base.

Recent sterilisation drilling has also been undertaken by Blackham Resources.

The data from previous exploration work by other parties has not been used in appraising the results of the process testwork included in this announcement.


·     Deposit type, geological setting and style of mineralisation.

The deposit is a salt-lake brine deposit.

The lake setting is typical of a Western Australian palaeovalley environment. Ancient hydrological systems have incised palaeovalleys into Archaean basement rocks, which were then infilled by Tertiary-aged sediments typically comprising a coarse-grained fluvial basal sand overlaid by palaeovalley clay with some coarser grained interbeds. The clay is overlaid by recent Cainozoic material including lacustrine sediment, calcrete, evaporite and aeolian deposits.

The brine is concentrated in solar evaporation ponds and the salt is precipitated into the evaporation ponds as fine (0.5 - 5mm) crystals that form a single, homogeneous salt bed.

Drill hole Information

·     A summary of all information material to the understanding of the exploration results including a tabulation of the following information for all Material drill holes:

·     easting and northing of the drill hole collar

·     elevation or RL (Reduced Level - elevation above sea level in metres) of the drill hole collar

·     dip and azimuth of the hole

·     downhole length and interception depth

·     hole length.

·     If the exclusion of this information is justified on the basis that the information is not Material and this exclusion does not detract from the understanding of the report, the Competent Person should clearly explain why this is the case.

No drilling was undertaken.  Lake Way playa brine was sourced from a pit next to the site evaporation trial with the following coordinates (26°46'25.55"S, 120°18'27.46"E). Williamson pit brine was drawn from the bottom of the pit ramp.


Data aggregation methods

·     In reporting Exploration Results, weighting averaging techniques, maximum and/or minimum grade truncations (e.g.  cutting of high grades) and cut-off grades are usually Material and should be stated.

·     Where aggregate intercepts incorporate short lengths of high grade results and longer lengths of low grade results, the procedure used for such aggregation should be stated and some typical examples of such aggregations should be shown in detail.

·     The assumptions used for any reporting of metal equivalent values should be clearly stated.

Process testwork results for the production of harvest salts from the Lake Way Site Evaporation Trials were previously reported on 29 January 2019.

In process flowsheet test work, where sample quantities are generated, the entire sample is homogenised and a representative sub-sample is taken using a riffle splitter.  The sub sample is assayed and reported.

Relationship between mineralisation widths and intercept lengths

·     These relationships are particularly important in the reporting of Exploration Results.

·     If the geometry of the mineralisation with respect to the drill hole angle is known, its nature should be reported.

·     If it is not known and only the downhole lengths are reported, there should be a clear statement to this effect (e.g.  'down hole length, true width not known').

Not applicable to this process flowsheet test work.



·     Appropriate maps and sections (with scales) and tabulations of intercepts should be included for any significant discovery being reported These should include, but not be limited to a plan view of drill hole collar locations and appropriate sectional views.

Maps and sections not included for process test work.

Balanced reporting

·     Where comprehensive reporting of all Exploration Results is not practicable, representative reporting of both low and high grades and/or widths should be practiced to avoid misleading reporting of Exploration Results.

An average composition of SOP has been reported. Noting that all SOP product sample results have been included in the body of SRC Publication No. 14205-3C19, which meet or exceed the reported average.


Other substantive exploration data

·     Other exploration data, if meaningful and material, should be reported including (but not limited to): geological observations; geophysical survey results; geochemical survey results; bulk samples - size and method of treatment; metallurgical test results; bulk density, groundwater, geotechnical and rock characteristics; potential deleterious or contaminating substances.

All material process data has been reported.

Further work

·     The nature and scale of planned further work (e.g.  tests for lateral extensions or depth extensions or large-scale step-out drilling).

·     Diagrams clearly highlighting the areas of possible extensions, including the main geological interpretations and future drilling areas, provided this information is not commercially sensitive.

Field evaporation trials are ongoing, including operation of a commercial scale SOP evaporation pond containing the brine from the Williamson Pit.

Metallurgical test work and optimisation work will continue throughout the design phase, including; filtration, flotation, salt precipitation, and crystallisation tests.




This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.

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