Kalium Lakes, which is considered to be Australia’s first sulphate of potash (SOP) producer, said in a new operational update that it is preparing for a target date for first commercial sales by next month from the Beyondie SOP project.
During April and May, the company validated its process design and equipment testing program, producing about 400 tonnes of commercially saleable SOP. Its SOP purification plant commissioning is proceeding as planned, too, with equipment testing well advanced and continuing in June and July.
With Beyondie’s progress continuing as scheduled, Kalium Lakes said it expects to be operating at an approximate 80,000-tonne-per-year run rate by the first quarter of next year and is aiming for a 120,000 t/y run rate by 3Q24.
Kalium Lakes CEO Len Jubber said the company is now focused on systematically addressing the remaining bottlenecks in the plant and progressively increasing production.
“Plant operations during 2022 will be variable, taking into account our need to conduct further mechanical debottlenecking activities and build … inventory,” he said.
“We look forward to selling our first commercial production into the current extremely strong SOP price environment.”
The company did note that the availability of sufficient KTMS (kainite-type mixed salts) to feed the plant is currently a production constraint; however, with the improved pond operating procedures at the site, it is expecting that sufficient KTMS will be available by the end of August so that it can continue to ramp up production. Until then, Kalium Lakes plans to produce SOP at lower rates but also undertake further optimisation work during a shutdown period in August.
“Production will recommence in September, with progressive SOP output ramp-up through to nameplate performance tests planned at the end of Q4 CY2022,” he added.
Source: Kalium Lakes