Australia’s potash production has historically been minor, and in 2016 the country did not produce any potash. That said, quite a few ASX-listed companies are exploring for potash, both in Australia and in other parts of the world. To help those interested in the space learn which ASX-listed potash companies are out there, we’ve put together a brief list.
As of April 23, 2017, all companies included had market caps of over $25 million. Read on to learn more about these companies — and if we missed an ASX-listed potash company with a market cap above $25 million, please let us know in the comments.
ASX-listed potash companies
Market cap: $68.72 million
Agrimin owns the large-scale Mackay sulfate of potash (SOP) project, which is located on a Western Australian salt lake and covers 2,560 square kilometers. According to the company, Mackay holds the largest-known brine-hosted SOP resource in the world; a scoping study for the project was released in August 2016. In its latest quarterly activities report, released this month, Agrimin notes that a prefeasibility study for Mackay is on track for completion in October 2017.
Australian Potash (ASX:APC)
Market cap: $25.47 million
The Lake Wells potash project in Western Australia is Australian Potash’s main asset, though the company also holds a number of gold and base metals projects. At Lake Wells, the company is exploring for SOP, and is targeting domestic demand from Australian farmers. In March, Australian Potash completed a scoping study for Lake Wells, commenting that it has “exceeded expectations and confirms that the Project’s economic, financial and technical aspects are all exceptionally strong.”
BC Iron (ASX:BCI)
Market cap: $54.95 million
BC Iron is a new entrant to the potash space. Formerly focused on iron ore assets in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the company announced last month that it will be able to earn up to a 50-percent stake in Kalium Lakes’ (ASK:KLL) Western Australia-based Carnegie potash project by funding exploration and development costs up to the completion of a feasibility study. Since then, the company has earned its first 15-percent stake in the project.
Market cap: $156.04 million
Danakali, formerly South Boulder Mines, is focused on developing the Colluli potash project in Eritrea, which is wholly owned by Colluli Mining Share Company (CMSC). CMSC is a 50/50 joint venture between Danakali and Eritrean National Mining Company.
With a resource estimate of 1.289 billion tonnes at 11 percent K20 for contained SOP of 260 million tonnes, the company believes Colluli is a world-class project. Danakali expects the project to produce about 425,000 tonnes per year of premium SOP product during its first phase of production; commissioning for Phase 1 is currently targeted for Q4 2018. Phase 2 is scheduled to start in the project’s sixth year.
Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY)
Market cap: $839.67 million
Known mainly for its lithium production, mining and chemicals company Galaxy Resources operates the Sal de Vida project in Argentina, which has a measured and indicated potash resource of 16,071,000 tonnes and an inferred resource of 12,762,000 tonnes. In April, the company announced that production well drilling had commenced at Sal de Vida; its environmental permit has been renewed as well.
Highfield Resources (ASX:HFR)
Market cap: $361.79 million
Highfield Resources has a strong presence in Spain, with a number of potash projects that cover over 550 square kilometers in the Ebro Basin. The ASX-listed potash company completed a definitive feasibility study for its Muga project in 2015, and plans to begin construction at the project once it receives all approvals. Highfield has also been completing exploration work at its Pintanos and Sierra del Perdon potash projects.
Market cap: $48.72 million
As mentioned above, Kalium Lakes recently signed an agreement to allow BC Iron to earn up to a 50-percent stake in its Carnegie potash project. In addition to that project, it holds the Beyondie potash project, also located in Western Australia; at that project, Kalium is aiming to produce SOP for foreign and domestic sale. The company plans to complete a prefeasibility study for Beyondie midway through 2017.
Kazakhstan Potash (ASX:KPC)
Market cap:$38.48 million
Kazakhstan Potash holds potash, gold, nickel and copper deposits, but is primarily focused on its Zhilyanskoye and Chelkar potash projects in Kazakhstan; it is also finalizing the acquisition of the Satimola potash deposit in the country. The company has not released any news recently, but in September 2016 it announced a framework agreement with a national rail operator that would look to integrate the transportation requirements of its potash projects.
Kore Potash (ASX:K2P)
Market cap: $121.08 million
Kore Potash’s primary asset is its 97-percent-owned Sintoukola potash permit, located on the coast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The permitted area has been broken up into three target areas: the Kola deposit, the Dougou deposit and the Dougou extension.
In April, the ASX-listed potash company announced the successful completion of the three drill holes at Kola and said that drilling is about to commence at the Dougou extension.
Market cap: $583.14 million
Like Galaxy, Orocobre is best known for its lithium operations, which are located in Argentina. However, the company also holds substantial potash and boron facilities — its flagship property is Salar de Olaroz, which contains both lithium and potash brines.
Olaroz has an estimated measured and indicated resource of 1,752 million cubic meters of brine at 690 mg/L lithium, 5,730 mg/L potassium and 1,050 mg/L boron — that’s equivalent to 6.4 million tonnes of lithium carbonate and 19.3 million tonnes of potash. To date, Orocobre has no plans for its potash resource.
Reward Minerals (ASX:RWD)
Market cap: $47.52 million
Reward Minerals has multiple advanced potash exploration projects in Australia; however, its primary focus is its LD project in the country. As of February, the project was estimated to have an in situ mineral resource of 596 million tonnes of SOP and a drainable resource of 153 million tonnes of SOP in brine. The ASX-listed potash company’s other projects include Karly, which covers the Waukarlycarly embayment, as well as Lake Dora, Lake Winifred and Lake Auld.
Salt Lake Potash (ASX:SO4)
Market cap: $64.32 million
As of this month, Salt Lake Potash’s Goldfields Salt Lakes SOP project includes nine salt lakes that cover over 4,750 square kilometers. It is located in Western Australia’s Northern Goldfields region, and most work has focused on the Lake Wells area of the project. Salt Lake Potash is currently looking at building a SOP pilot plant for Goldfields Salt Lakes.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in September, 2015.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Danakali is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.