Elemental Minerals awarded Sintoukola Potash project Mining Licence
Elemental Minerals (ASX: ELM) has been awarded the key Mining Licence for its flagship Sintoukola Potash project in the Republic of Congo.
This takes it another step closer to completion of the permitting stage, which will occur with the expected approval of the application for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Permit.
The mining license, which covers 205 square kilometres, includes the Kola area, which hosts a Proven and Probable Reserve of 151.7 million tonnes grading 20.02% K20 (31.69% KCl) and a Measured and Indicated Resource of 573 Mt grading 20.92% K20 (33.14% KCl).
This is about 15% of the company’s existing Exploration Licence of 1,408 square kilometres.
“This timely approval continues to demonstrate the support for the high quality Sintoukola Potash project,” chief executive officer Iain Macpherson said.
“The mining license is another positive step in the development of the project and puts Elemental in a strong position to begin construction once our engineering and feasibility work is completed.
“It also emphasises the seriousness with which the RoC Government is committed to the development of mining assets in the region.”
Elemental recently announced the award of an extension of its exploration licence for an additional two years. This allows it to continue exploring the highly prospective Dougou and other targets.
The Kola Pre-feasibility Study was completed in September 2012 and defined the Reserve and Resource entirely on the Upper and Lower Seam.
Run of mine material will be transported over 36 kilometres via an overland conveyor to a process plant located at the coast. Final MOP product will be transshipped by a 750m metre jetty.
Drilling carried out this year has also unlocked thick, high grade sylvinite seams at the shallowest depth to date within Kola with notable intercepts include 4.92 metres at 23.59 K2O (37.36% KCl), and 3.05 metres at 23.91 K2O (37.87% KCl).
This also served to extend mineralisation of the two seams by 1.5 kilometres to 2 kilometres laterally, in turn extending the overall Kola sylvinite deposit to over 9 kilometres.
The broader Sintoukola project, which also includes the Dougou deposit, is located close to existing infrastructure including electricity supply and the deepwater port and industrial hub at Pointe Noire about 90 kilometres to the south.
Elemental has also secured a large historic database detailing exploration and mining activities in the Republic of Congo by Potasse d’Alsace from the 1960’s to the late 1980’s.
This gives the company a significant volume of data for historic boreholes within the Sintoukola Permit including additional data at Kola and at the Dougou Prospect.
It also includes a further 310 line kilometres of 2D seismic data from both oil and potash exploration in the late 1980’s over Kola and Dougou.
The data is expected to assist with target generation and future exploration across the Sintoukola licence including resource delineation on and around the Kola deposit.
The company has a 93% interest in Sintoukola.
Elemental is the target of an all-cash $0.66 per share takeover offer from Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Dingyi Group Investment.
Dingyi has recently made progress in its discussions with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange regarding the required regulatory confirmations referred to in the Takeover Announcement.
These are required for Dingyi to be able to convene and hold the shareholders’ meeting necessary to satisfy the Dingyi shareholder approval condition by the shareholder approval long stop date.
The award of the Mining Licence is a major milestone for Elemental Minerals on the road towards monetising the Sintoukola Potash Project.
It adds significant value to the project and once the ESIA Permit is approved and the company’s engineering and feasibility work is completed, will allow it to begin construction and progress it towards production.
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