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Kropz's Elandsfontein project on track for commissioning

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World Fertilizer,

Kropz has said that significant progress continues to be made at its Elandsfontein phosphate project in South Africa.

The project schedule, according to the company, remains tight but on track and within the original projected capital budget for commissioning in December 2021, achievements realised against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First phosphate rock ore exports from Elandsfontein are expected in 1Q22.

At Kropz’s Hinda phosphate project in the Republic of Congo, Hatch is currently engaged in a value engineering phase to optimise the project economics. The results of an updated feasibility study are expected to be released in January 2022.

Elandsfontein site activities are currently split between finalising the piping installation and the electrical, control and instrumentation installation and early commissioning activities.

Earthworks and civil construction are complete; the fabrication and erection of structural steel, platework and piping are complete and mechanical equipment is installed.

Pre-commissioning (C2) activities are advancing well. The C2 activities largely entail testing signals from field instrumentation to the SCADA operating system, testing input/output signals for instruments and direction testing of electrical drives.

C3 (or cold) commissioning has begun in areas where installation is complete. Several tanks and thickeners have been filled with water to run through the leak detection process, before starting to pump water through the circuit.

Transnet has provided the company with a draft port access agreement to support the longterm export of Elandsfontein’s phosphate rock through the port of Saldanha. The contract is now being finalised between the parties. Exports through Cape Town will only be required for a maximum of 30% of Elandsfontein’s export production of approximately 1 million tpy, and only if capacity through Saldanha is unavailable for a period of time.

The current and further potential effects of COVID-19 and the possibility of a fourth wave of infections in South Africa remains a risk to the project schedule.

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