The SOP, possible alumina offtake agreements and commodity-linked debt funding relate to SOPerior Fertilizer’s planned production of soluble SOP fertilizer, alumina, and sulfuric acid from its Blawn Mountain project located in Utah, US.
The extraction of alumina and SOP from alunite is a proven process used at commercial scale in Azerbaijan since the late 1960s. The soluble SOP to be produced has a large and growing unmet domestic and international market as more growers utilise fertigation technology to reduce water consumption.
Fertigation requires soluble SOP instead of traditional granular SOP which makes up a large percentage of current domestic supply and is seeing reduced market demand. Alumina is a critical raw material which continues to be under pressure as US sanctions impact global aluminum supply chains.
The Blawn Mountain Alunite deposit represents the largest known potential non-bauxite source of alumina in the US. It was discovered in the 1970s in a search for non-bauxite sources for aluminum production as the US has negligible bauxite reserves and has near-total dependence on imported bauxite and alumina for primary aluminum production.
- Asset based in Utah, fully permitted.
- Project permitted for 645 000 tpy SOP, 1st Phase is scaled to 230 000 tpy SOP with modular expansion.
- Processing alunite generates alumina (US$400+/t), SOP ($650/t), and sulfuric acid (US$100+/tonne).
- Three valuable commodities produced from one process results in high revenue and potential lowest in class supply costs as CAPEX and OPEX are shared between the offtake streams.
- Phase #1 yields approximately 460 000 tpy alumina, 230 000 tpy SOP, 524 000 tpy sulfuric acid.
- Largest undeveloped non-bauxite alumina deposit in North America – 19.4 million t booked resource with only partial lease explored. SOPerior Fertilizer has had inquiries about alumina offtake for 1+million tpy. Preliminary engineering suggests alumina supply cost would be much less than imported bauxite.
- Agreement with major mining company for up to 524 000 tpy of sulfuric acid. - Lithium clay acid leaching in Nevada will require millions tpy sulfuric acid - huge potential market on top of strong regional mining uses (copper, gold).
- Agreement with Indian SOE for up to 100 000 tpy of SOP potash. - Indian government is in the process to subsidise domestic SOP use, India is 2nd largest potential SOP user with estimated 1+ million tpy market
- Potential incremental market for 450 000+ tpy domestically
- China unable to meet future domestic SOP demand now looking for global SOP sources
Read the article online at: https://www.worldfertilizer.com/potash/04032019/soperior-fertilizer-in-discussions-to-develop-blawn-mountains-sop-and-alumina-resources-in-utah/