Eritrea potash mine to start production in 2016

By: Creamer Media Reporter | Mining Weekly
2nd September 2011 


PERTH ( − Minerals developer South Boulder Mines plans to open the world’s first openpit potash mine in Eritrea in 2016, MD Lorry Hughes said on Friday.

Speaking in Perth, he said that a definitive feasibility study had commenced on the Colluli potash project, which would cost between $500-million and $750-million to deliver.

“We are targeting an initial production rate of between one- and two-million tons of potash,” Hughes said.

“On current project progress, our operating costs should emerge among the lowest 10% of global potash producers,” he added.

An updated Joint Ore Reserves Committee resource and scoping study for the 548-million-ton Colluli deposit is due shortly.

“Colluli is the world’s shallowest potash deposit, and is accessible as low as 16 m below the surface,” Hughes said.

“The imminent scoping study results will demonstrate to South Boulder Colluli’s financial and technical parameters; and if we can move that to eventual commissioning, will deliver a mine in a prime infrastructure location to sell into the largest growth markets for potash in the world – Asia.

“It is a sector which has demonstrated some very strong long-term fundamentals and there is huge interest in the sector as it boasts players such as BHP, Vale, Potash Corp and K&S delivering competitive tension.”

Edited by: Mariaan Webb