Gascoyne Project - Salt and SOP

Highlights

  • Extensive inter-tidal and alluvium areas, including mud flats in proven salt producing region that may be amenable to large-scale solar salt and potash development comparable to BCI Minerals Mardie Project

  • The Gascoyne region has an ideal climate to produce high purity salt.

  • High temperature, high wind, low rainfall and low humidity.

  • It is currently anticipated that the Gascoyne Project, should the project proceed, may be suitable to use an inexhaustible seawater resource to be concentrated through solar and wind evaporation to sustainably produce salt and potash ready to meet growing global demand.

Location

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The Gascoyne Project is located in Western Australia’s north-west and covers an area of 1,408 square kilometres. The town of Carnarvon is the administrative centre and adjoins the project area; it has first class infrastructure in place including the Dampier Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) and the major North West Coastal Highway.

 

Mining is an increasingly valuable industry sector for the Gascoyne Region, contributing $303.6 million to the gross regional product in 2018-19¹. The industry primarily concentrates on salt production at Useless Loop in the Shire of Shark Bay and at Lake MacLeod near Cape Cuvier, north of Carnarvon. When operating at their current full capacity of ~12 million tonnes per annum, these two operations account for ~65% of the state’s total salt production. Due to an increase in the global price of salt and exchange rate differences in the global financial market, the mining sector in the Gascoyne has seen a significant increase in production and value over the past decade. BCI Minerals Mardie Salt and SOP Project north of Onslow is a significant new salt and potash development that can be used as a best-case scenario for the Gascoyne Project. The Mardie Salt and Potash DFS delivered strong financial metrics over a 60 years life including, NPV A$1,197M and EBITDA of A$197Mpa (Salt 65%; SOP 35%)².

The Gascoyne Project’s central location, within the broader salt producing region of the North West which hosts the recent Mardie Project and other major salt mines, should assist with the inherent potential of the project area.

Some of the key highlights of the Gascoyne Project in terms of a potential salt project are listed below:

  • The Gascoyne region has an ideal climate to produce high purity salt.

  • High temperature, high wind, low rainfall and low humidity.

  • Extensive inter-tidal and alluvium areas, including mud flats similar to the Mardie Project.

  • Proven salt producing region since the 1960’s.

  • Five large WA Solar Salt Operations (12-13Mtpa), controlled by Rio Tinto and Mitsui.

  • No new large Australian salt project in 20 years.

  • No current SOP production in Australia, other development projects all based on inland lake brines with >800km road transport to third party ports.

  • It is currently anticipated that the Gascoyne Project, should the project proceed, may be suitable to use an inexhaustible seawater resource to be concentrated through solar and wind evaporation to sustainably produce salt and potash ready to meet growing global demand.

¹ Western Australia Minerals and Petroleum, Statistics Digest 2018-19

² Developing the Multi-Generational Mardie Salt & Potash Project, Corporate Presentation, BCI Minerals Limited, November 2020.

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