Khemisset potash project progressing well

The Khemisset Potash Project in Morocco has been reported to be making steady progress in the second quarter. Emmerson plc, the project’s developers made the announcing and said exploration work had led to cost effective construction options being discovered, while the portal and decline location had been updated, which was expected to deliver technical benefits and capital expenditure savings.

Khemisset potash project located in Northern Morocco, has a large JORC Resource Estimate (2019) of 537Mt @ 9.24% K2O and significant exploration potential with an accelerated development pathway.

The Aim-listed company adjusted the mine site location after results from geotechnical work demonstrated potentially disadvantageous geological conditions, from a construct-ability perspective, for the previously proposed portal location. One of the holes was extended to provide detailed data to feed into the design of the deep well injection for some of the process tailings.

Further design work

“Further to this, more recently completed decline alignment drilling evidenced better-than-anticipated ore conditions at the end of the decline, which would be potentially sterilised if the existing portal and decline philosophy was adopted. Engineering is well under way on each of the key infrastructure areas. Civil and structural work has now commenced following the decisions made with regard to mine site and portal locations,” Emmerson said.

The firm is also advancing in securing engineering packages, including basic engineering with engineering company Reminex and process engineering with engineering company Barr Engineering. In conjunction with Reminex, an improved solution for process plant water supply was investigated in detail and approved as the go-forward case for further design work.

Emmerson explained that, whereas in the 2020 feasibility study the mine site water supply was envisaged to be from the Ouljet Essoltane dam, it would now be taken either partially or fully from the Khemisset wastewater treatment plant, with the ultimate goal of requiring no fresh water for the process.

“This is a scientifically robust and environment-friendly approach that both reduces risks of water supply to the project, and further reduces environmental impacts with a shorter pipeline required,” the company said.

Meanwhile for the power strategy for the mine, the main feed onto site, backup feed and substation is now confirmed. Emmerson said engagement with State-owned utility ONEE would now move forward to develop key design criteria.

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