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Verdant Minerals Ltd

Verdant Minerals continues to progress Australia’s largest phosphate resource

The project is close to underutilised rail, road and gas infrastructure with access to key Asian markets through the Port of Darwin.

project works
Competitive advantage derived from low mining and beneficiation costs

Verdant Minerals Ltd (ASX:VRM) is making steady progress on developing its 100%-owned long life, low-cost Ammaroo Phosphate Project in the Northern Territory.

The company has completed a feasibility study for producing an initial one million tonnes per annum of phosphate rock concentrate, followed by a subsequent expansion to two million tonnes after year 5.

READ: Verdant Minerals feasibility study values phosphate project at $344 million

Ammaroo contains ultra-low cadmium rock, ideally suited as feedstock to produce phosphoric acid.

The resource is shallow, free-digging, moderate grade phosphate ore resulting in very low mining costs.

Ammaroo JORC resource

Verdant has developed a mine plan for 20 years of mining utilising less than 10% of the known resource. This is likely to expand to a 50+ year operation.

The regional exploration potential is significant and may underpin a major phosphate province.

Key financial parameters for the first 20 years of mine life

Verdant has already received the environmental approval from the Australian federal government for the Ammaroo Phosphate Project.

This key milestone was achieved after the Department of Environment and Energy’s assessment of the project in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

READ: Verdant Minerals receives federal government environmental approval for Ammaroo Phosphate Project

Furthermore, Verdant’s recent $2 million capital raising has enabled the finalisation of Northern Territory environmental impact assessment process and continued progression toward a final investment decision to develop the project.

Overview of the environmental assessment and project authorisation process

The Northern Territory government environmental assessment process is now expected to be completed in October 2018 as regulators have been unable to meet their statutory assessment timeframes.

READ: Verdant Minerals progressing environmental impact assessment for Ammaroo Phosphate Project

The development of Ammaroo could be an evolutionary step in creating an integrated fertiliser industry in Northern Australia.

The Northern Territory is one of the few parts of the world where most of the key fertiliser ingredients are available within close proximity along with competitive access to a number of significant markets.

key fertiliser ingredients

Phosphate rock prices are starting to rise off their lows in both US dollar and Australian dollar terms.

The demand is growing primarily in Asia, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa with Chinese supply reforms and environmental controls reducing fertiliser exports from China.

It is expected that up to 4 million tonnes of Chinese fertiliser exports could exit the market over the next 4 years, tightening demand and supply balance and holding up prices for downstream products.

Moreover, growth in African and South American demand is absorbing much of the new capacity additions in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

READ: Verdant Minerals signs offtake MoU with fertiliser manufacturer

Ammaroo is in close proximity to the Central Australian Railway, providing access to export markets through the Port of Darwin, and to domestic markets via existing rail networks.

The project is also proximate to existing gas (Amadeus gas pipeline) infrastructure, which has unutilised capacity.

Ammaroo is close to the necessary infrastructure

Verdant is continuing to engage with the global fertiliser industry to establish partnerships for financing the project and for offtake agreements.

Significantly, the company has already signed offtake MOUs (memorandum of understanding) for up to 450,000 tonnes per annum of phosphate rock concentrate.

 

Verdant also has a portfolio of sulphate of potash projects in central Australia including the Karinga Lakes Project and the Lake Amadeus Project.

Karinga Lakes is a joint venture established with Consolidated Potash Corporation and Activated Water Technologies.

The companies are testing the performance of the aMES™ technology on brine and salt samples sourced from the Karinga Lakes Project.

Verdant is also exploring the Dingo Hole Silica Project which covers about 117 hectares of silica outcrop located 10 kilometres from the Ammaroo Phosphate Project. The project has the potential to supply high-purity quartz.

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