Trigg’s Lake Throssell could deliver 245,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash per year for 21 years

Trigg’s completed scoping study has outlined its flagship Lake Throssell project in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region as a robust new sulphate of potash project, positioning it as a potential top-10 global producer (reports Stockhead).
7th October 2021

The study has defined a project capable of producing 245,000 tonnes per annum of sulphate of potash over an initial life of mine of 21 years at an all-in sustaining cost of $372 per tonne of SOP.

Initial capital costs have been estimated at $378m with Trigg Mining (ASX:TMG) including a very conservative contingency of $70m while payback is expected in 4.5 years.

Lake Throssell is expected to generate average earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of $97m at a SOP price of US$550/t while net present value and internal rate of return – both measures of a project’s profitability – are estimated at $364m and 18% respectively.

Drainable resources are currently estimated at 14.4 million tonnes grading 4,665mg per litre potassium.

“The scoping study outcomes strongly vindicate our long-held belief that Lake Throssell is a potential company-maker – a high-quality, long-life asset which can transform Trigg into a modern, sustainable Australian SOP producer with a top-10 globally competitive project,” managing director Keren Paterson said.

“The key attributes of the Project are clearly highlighted in this study – the scale and quality of the resource, its Tier-1 location, proximity to infrastructure and ability to support a multi-decade operation which can also deliver a number of exceptional ESG outcomes.”

The scoping study is based on the harvesting of brine water from subterranean aquifers at Lake Throssell, which is put through evaporation ponds, processing plant and supporting infrastructure to produce a naturally forming SOP, a premium fertiliser.

Development will include establishing a trenching and bore network, evaporation ponds, securing process water and constructing infrastructure.

This includes a 10 megawatt power station using trucked LNG and a 5 megawatt solar farm, a 120-room accommodation village, airstrip and support buildings, and the mine access road and site access tracks.

Granulated SOP produced from the project will be placed in sea containers and transported to the Port of Fremantle for export, though the company will prioritise sales for domestic use.

Paterson says Trigg has genuine opportunity to build a truly sustainable mine at Lake Throssell, leveraging off the project’s unique characteristics.

“Our purpose as a company is to build mines communities can be proud of,” she said.

“Lake Throssell is an opportunity to do just that by creating a mine that will harvest solar energy to deliver essential minerals needed for global food security, in a form that can improve the sustainability of global agriculture.

“The scoping study shows that we can realise these ambitions while at the same time delivering exceptional financial returns to our shareholders and positive outcomes for all of our stakeholders.”

Trigg will now start work on a Pre-Feasibility Study, and continue environmental baseline surveys with project referral to the Environmental Protection Agency planned for 2022.

Resource definition work will continue in the first half of 2022 with the installation of approximately five test production bores installed along the strike of the palaeovalley.

This will obtain the data needed to determine an Ore Reserve.

Preliminary geotechnical investigation work is planned later this year to confirm the location of the evaporative crystalliser ponds with a test pit program to follow next year to finalise project location and identification of suitable borrow material for construction of the pond embankment walls.

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