Comprehensive field evaporation trials at the Lake Way project owned by Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (FRA:W1D) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) are successfully producing substantial volumes of potassium harvest salts, validating the modelled salt production process.
Field evaporation trials have to date produced over two tonnes of high-grade harvest salts at Lake Way.
Over 100,000 litres of brine from both the high-grade Lake Way playa brine and the super high-grade Williamson Pit brine have been extracted for the field trial and evaporated separately.
Both brines have rapidly produced quality harvest salts amenable for conversion to Sulphate of Potash (SOP).
The company is focused on developing Lake Way in the first Sulphate of Potash (SOP) production operation in Australia.
Lake Way has the highest grade SOP brine resource in Australia and the best infrastructure solution of potential Australian brine SOP producers.
Brine is sourced from a surface trench for the Lake Way Playa brine, or direct from the Williamson Pit and introduced into a halite pond.
As solar evaporation concentrates the brine, it progresses through a series of five ponds: two halite salt ponds, and then schoenite, kainite and carnallite salt ponds.
Very strong basis to continue the development
Harvested salt and brine samples are analysed at regular intervals through the evaporation process to gather data for model correlation. To date over 400 samples have been extracted and assayed at Bureau Veritas in Perth.
This provides the Company with a very strong basis to continue the development of the mass balance model and process flow sheet for the Lake Way Project.
The Company has engaged the world's leading potash processing laboratory, Saskatchewan Research Council, to establish a pilot plant based on the process flow sheet for the Lake Way project.
"I am very pleased with the continued development progress the project team is achieving at Lake Way,” said Salt Lake chief executive Tony Swiericzuk.
“The initial salt harvest from the Lake Way SET is a significant milestone. It validates our production model and allows us to refine the process parameters for plant design, as well as providing feed for the pilot plant. In parallel with the progress of plant design, rapid project development continues with site access construction underway and the whole of lake resource definition well advanced.”
Potential for even better
In late morning trading, shares in Salt Lake Potash were 2.1% higher at 24.20p.
In a note to clients, analysts at joint ‘house’ broker Shore Capital commented: “As currently modelled, on a post-tax basis, SLP’s Lake Wells still boasts the highest margin and fastest payback of its peer group (SOP projects in development), while our illustrative Lake Way scenario enjoys the second-highest margin and third-fastest payback.
“We believe there to be potential for even better in both cases.”
— Adds share price, analyst comment —