The government will initially introduce a new rental rate for potash projects which will reduce the existing rate of mining leases from $18.70 per hectare to $2.32 per hectare in the first five years and to $4.64 per hectare in years following.
READ: Salt Lake Potash crosses a milestone towards developing Australia’s first sulphate of potash project
Salt Lake chief executive officer Tony Swiericzuk said: “The commitment by the government towards the development of the potash industry will provide significant benefits as we progress the Lake Way Project.
“We look forward to working with the government in the development of a new industry in Western Australia that will create vast opportunities to remote regions including Wiluna.”
The government initiative comes at an opportune time for Salt Lake which is accelerating works at its Lake Way Project.
Work includes construction of the Williamson Ponds and the ‘whole-of-lake’ resource program to enable the consideration of larger-scale production scenarios.
Construction equipment will be mobilising shortly and completion of the work program will result in the construction of Australia’s first commercial-scale sulphate of potash evaporation ponds.
Work is also underway to enable Salt Lake to report a resource estimate for the lake bed brine and the paleochannel aquifer for the whole lake, which will enable the company to examine larger production options.
In a statement regarding the initiative, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston MLA said the changes would assist in developing a new industry in WA and create employment and community development opportunities, particularly in remote Aboriginal communities.
Johnston added: “Potash projects generally have a mine life that spans 30-40 years, so this longevity is a win for local communities and sustaining jobs.”