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Emmerson finalises feasibility study components for mine access design and costing

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World Fertilizer,

Emmerson has finalised the feasibility study components for the mine access design and costing for its Khemisset potash project in Northern Morocco.


  • Scoping study development approach confirmed with the mining horizon proposed to be accessed by twin declines constructed using underground mining machinery which will later be used in mining production.
  • Direct capital cost estimate of mine access component of approximately US$34.1 million including a 21.7% contingency, a slight reduction on the scoping study estimate of US$34.7 million.
  • This cost forecast places Khemisset in the lowest 10% for mine access cost for potash developments globally.
  • Mine access design and cost estimates are the final deliverable prior to the completion of the full feasibility study, which remains on track for 1H20 completion despite challenges presented by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Hayden Locke, CEO of Emmerson, commented: "One of the most prominent barriers to entry in the potash market is the overall capital cost to develop the mine. Mine access, typically via a shaft, is one of the single largest determinants of overall capital cost of these projects, and can be hundreds of millions, and in many cases billions, of dollars. We are fortunate to have a project where this major capital component can be achieved for only US$34.1 million, a cost saving of over 90% when compared to most projects globally. This reduction in capital cost has numerous knock-on benefits including allowing a smaller project to be developed and providing a more readily financeable project regardless of potash prices.

"A detailed trade-off study was completed to select the preferred site location and considered multiple variables including several relating to optimising the decline construction. One of the key aspects was the overall development timeline of the decline, which is now 14 months, to ensure it was not a critical path item and had sufficient buffer within the overall development schedule.

"To have improved both cost and timeline forecasts for mine access development from our scoping study phase gives us further confidence that the forthcoming Khemisset feasibility study will demonstrate a world class, low CAPEX, high margin potash project.

"This is the fourth completed workstream item from the ongoing feasibility study, which continues to progress well and is on schedule for final release during the first half of 2020."

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