Agriculture

Allana Potash continues to make progress at its Danakhil project in Ethiopia. It released its preliminary economic assessment on the production of sulfate of potash on Monday.

Allana Potash (TSX:AAA) continues to make progress at its Danakhil potash project in Ethiopia, and released its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the production of sulfate of potash (SOP) on Monday.

The assessment shows an after-tax net present value of US$1.6 billion based on a 10-percent discount rate and an after-tax internal rate return of 39 percent. Looking at the cost of development, capex including mining, processing facilities and port and logistics infrastructure comes to US$787 million. Total opex, including production, sustaining capital, transportation/handling and port and loading costs FOB on the vessel, comes to US$130 per tonne. The PEA is based on annual production of 1 million tonnes of SOP per year over an estimated operating life of 77 years.

These PEA results, paired with the positive feasibility study conducted for muriate of potash (MOP) operations, add to the overall potential of the property, according to President and CEO Farhad Abasov.

“Allana is very excited with the positive preliminary economic assessment of an independent SOP operation at its Danakhil Potash project. The potential for SOP operations, coupled with the feasibility study Allana previously completed on MOP operations, demonstrates the uniqueness of Allana’s project which through its sylvinite and kainitite resources has the potential to produce MOP and SOP with industry-leading CAPEX and OPEX profiles,” Abasov explained in a press release.

“The PEA’s extremely positive results give Allana great confidence in the SOP potential at the Project and management will evaluate undertaking a full Feasibility Study for the production of SOP. The PEA also allows Allana to move forward confidently with its project finance plans and ongoing talks with potential strategic partners. Allana has retained a financial advisor to assist the Company in its evaluation of various options to maximize the value of the SOP potential for Allana shareholders,” he added.

SOP is a premium potash product widely used on chloride-sensitive crops such as tobacco, fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, with China being the largest consumer. According to the press release, the PEA involved studying solution mining of brine, with solar evaporation of the brine to a crystal product and reverse flotation of the product for cleaning, followed by the transformation of remaining sulfates to a SOP product as the proposed SOP mining and processing method for the project.

The Danakhil potash project is located in Ethiopia, which is reportedly one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with infrastructure development and increased agricultural production being the driving forces behind its growth. Recognizing the country’s potential led Allana to begin production in the developing country and the low costs are what have kept the company alive through a struggling potash market.

Allana has also been involved in other initiatives in the developing country, such as the launch of the “Potash for Growth” program, which was started by partner Israel Chemicals (NYSE:ICL). The program, which launched in January 2015, includes a range of activities to increase awareness by Ethiopian farmers of the benefits of potassium fertilizers.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Kristen Moran, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Related reading:

Allana Potash Starts PEA for SOP Production at Danakhil Project

Allana Potash Focusing on Meeting Demands of a Changing Market

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