The 100% owned Mardie Project, which is located on the northwest coast of Western Australia in one of the world’s premium locations for solar evaporation operations, aims to produce salt and sulphate of potash ("SOP") from seawater.
The salt and SOP markets both have a positive long-term outlook. Strong Asian demand growth for salt, driven by demand from the growing industrial and chemical industry, is forecast to result in a supply gap emerging over the next decade. SOP’s positive outlook is linked to an increasing Asian population driving food demand, lifestyle changes requiring high quality food, and the requirement for environmentally friendly fertilisers delivering high crop yields.
BCI has completed a Pre-Feasibility Study ("PFS") Optimisation Study based on production of 4Mtpa salt and 100ktpa SOP via solar evaporation of seawater over an operating life of 60 years. Both salt and SOP are planned to be exported through a new port facility at the Mardie site. The key economic outcomes from the PFS Optimisation Study include a pre-tax NPV10 of A$560M, pre-tax IRR of 20% and annual EBITDA of A$155M. Pre-tax NPV increases to A$875M at a discount rate of 8%.
A Definitive Feasibility Study is currently underway and due to be completed in Q1 2020.
BCI is also advancing the tenure and approvals required for the Mardie Project. Mining Lease applications for the evaporation ponds, crystallisers and production plants areas are being progressed and BCI is working closely with the Pilbara Ports Authority and other Government departments to establish tenure and agreements required for the Mardie Port.
The Mardie Project’s Environmental Review Document is targeted to be released for public comment in Q4 2019 and endorsement from the WA Environmental Protection Authority is targeted for Q2 2020.