The directors of Salt Lake Potash has reported that, following a number of exploration licence applications, its total holdings in the Goldfields mining district in Western Australia stands at nine complete or partial salt lake playas. All featured proximity to vital infrastructure - the Goldfields Highway, the Kalgoorlie-Leonora rail line and the Goldfields Gas Pipeline. The combined SOP projects comprised over 4750km2 of exploration permits and applications. Collectively these lakes formed its SOP project, which will be known as the Goldfields Salt Lakes project.
All lakes within the project were at least 200km2 each in surface area with a large, flat and relatively bare surface playa for potential evaporation pond construction. The focus of the Goldfields Salt Lakes project was on Lake Wells, which had a playa surface of approximately 440km2. The scoping study in August 2016 highlighted the outstanding potential economics of extracting hypersaline brine by trenches and bores for solar evaporation of salts and processing to produce premium SOP. It indicated Lake Wells would be firmly in the lowest cost quartile for any SOP Project in Australia and around the world, with relatively low transport costs being a major advantage.
While proceeding with a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for Lake Wells, the company also began exploring other lakes in the Goldfields Salt Lakes project, starting with Lake Irwin and Lake Ballard. Initial evaporation trials of brines from these lakes indicated they are suitable for production of potassium and magnesium sulphate salts.
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