Potash West beneficiation testing confirms potassium upgrade

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Potash West has made further advancements towards identifying a commercial process to produce Potash from its world scale greensands resources in Western Australia.

Potash West is aiming to become Australia’s first domestic supplier of potash to meet the growing demand for fertiliser from its potassium-rich glauconite Dandaragan Trough deposits, situated in the Perth Basin of Western Australia.

The company said it has achieved target process feed grades from a bulk sample of the Poison Hill Greensand sequence.

It has applied a screening and magnetic separation process, which it said demonstrated quartz, feldspars and chalk can be removed by sizing and magnetic separation leaving a clean glauconite concentrate (the feed material for potash production), with a grade of over six per cent potassium oxide.

“These results show that we can cost-effectively upgrade the feed to the processing plant to a grade of approximately six per cent potassium oxide, over twice the grade of the mined material,” Potash West managing director Patrick McManus said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This will substantially reduce treatment costs by removing gangue minerals, some of which would be acid consuming.

“We are on track to finalise a flowsheet by mid-2012, allowing commencement of a scoping study.

“The extensive greensand deposits within the Dandaragan Trough have the potential to reduce Australia’s reliance on potash imports, which will lower costs for an essential ingredient of modern farming.”