Potash exploration and development company Kore Potash, whose flagship asset is the 97%-owned Sintoukola potash project, in Congo-Brazzaville, has confirmed that the prefeasibility study (PFS) for the Dougou extension project is on track to be completed in April 2020, within budget and with potentially improved financial outcomes.
The dissolution testwork outcomes have also indicated improvements to the scoping study assumptions on brine grades, with the potential to reduce the capital cost of the project, Kore said on Monday, adding that the two-dimensional seismic survey campaign was completed ahead of schedule.
The dissolution test reports are expected to be received in October.
Additionally, drill rigs have been assembled on site ahead of the expected start of the four-hole diamond drilling programme in early November.
In Kore’s quarterly update for the period ended September 30, the company added that the subject matter expert consultants had been engaged for plant engineering, solution mining and drilling, and natural gas virtual pipeline and marine studies.
Additionally, geotechnical modelling of the planned caverns formed in recovering the potash from underground is progressing, with the results of this modelling set to inform decision-making on optimum cavern sizes and the overall extraction ratio that can be safely achieved, the company said.
Kore added that initial indications were that the extraction ratio and cave dimensions could be increased over those assumed in the scoping study, which may result in an improvement in the life of the project.
The company also provided an update on the optimisation progress of its Kola project, where analysis of the pricing proposals continues, and initial assessment indicates capital cost savings compared to the previous engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) pricing proposal.
Discussions continued with the consortium of French engineering companies (FC) in relation to their proposal to reduce capital cost, and Kore now awaits a new pricing proposal from the FC.
At the project itself, work continues to optimise the capital cost and construction schedule for the Kola project and the planned first phase of capital cost optimisation was to seek pricing proposals from multiple companies against the Kola bill of quantities covering the same scope as the EPC proposal received from the FC, Kore elaborated.
Detailed analysis of the proposals is scheduled for completion by the end of October.
In terms of its mining and research conventions, Kore said it was continuing to engage with the Congo-Brazzaville government on the implementation of specific commitments contained within the mining convention.
This includes the government’s approval for the intra-group transfer of the Dougou mining licence from Sintoukola Potash to the operating entity, Dougou Potash Mining, and the transfer of a 10% shareholding in Kola Potash Mining and Dougou Potash Mining to the government.
The company further progressed discussion with the government on the terms and conditions for a mining research convention covering the Sintoukola 2 exploration licence, which is required to be negotiated in advance of any exploration activity.