The London-listed potash development company Emmerson has confirmed potential at Moroccan based project, as it is speedily moving forward with the development of its 100%-owned Khemisset potash project in the north of the country. The miner said last week that it had finalized an evaluation study, which confirmed the project’s technical and economic viability and would now move onto production.
The work that needs to be finalized this year includes infill and exploration drilling to expand mineral resources. Emmerson is particularly interested in upgrading the inferred resource estimate of 311 million tons at an average grade of 10.2% potassium superoxide. To that end, Morocco’s Khemisset is poised to become the world’s lowest capital cost potash project and as such could yield earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margins of more than 60% over a minimum life span of two decades.
As a next step following the drilling, the company will work on a pre-feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessment after which Emmerson will initiate strategic discussions with potential sales and marketing partners. “The exceptional results of our scoping study … gives us a high degree of confidence to push ahead with our technical and engineering work. Based on current planned work program, we are fully funded through until the first quarter of 2020,” Emmerson’s CEO Hayden Locke commented.
Morocco has invested heavily to support the infrastructure including word-class ports, which are already resulting in significant benefits for Emmerson. The initial talks with Moroccan authorities also confirmed that there is expected to be capacity for the export of potash produced from Khemisset. “Cost estimates include construction of a storage warehouse and loading facility for the handling of at least 800.000 tons of potash product per annum,” Mr Locked added. If everything goes as planned, Emmerson expects to publish a final feasibility study in 2020. First production would be then delivered in 2022.