Australia’s first sulphate of potash operation has reached financial close thanks in part to a $74 million Federal Government loan. This project will create 210 new jobs, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan said today.
The Beyondie Sulphate of Potash (SOP) project, located near Newman, Western Australia, and developed by Kalium Lakes Limited, is set to become Australia’s first producer of SOP, a high yield fertiliser used to cultivate fruits, vegetables and a number of other agricultural products. The product is destined for both domestic and international markets.
The $74 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan can now be drawn down and will fill a financing gap unable to be met by the private sector, as Kalium Lakes is the first Australian producer of the commodity. It will also allow Kalium Lakes to bring forward construction of a 78 kilometre gas pipeline, to connect to the Goldfields gas pipeline, and the on-site gas fired power station (which will help reduce operating costs), communication facilities and an accommodation village.
“The project is forecast to create 210 construction and production jobs. This is a great example of the NAIF creating new jobs and a supporting a new industry in regional northern Australia,” Mr Canavan said.
Minister for Defence Industry and Member for Durack, Melissa Price has welcomed Kalium Lakes taking on SOP and developing a new market.
“This NAIF supported project represents a great combination of private enterprise coupled with government support. The economic benefits are enormous and the job opportunities are fantastic for my electorate of Durack, as well as in Perth,” Ms Price said.
The public benefit has been forecast at $169 million over the 30 years of the mine life. The project aims to commence at 90 kilo tonnes per annum (ktpa), before expanding to 180 ktpa.