Potash Ridge Corporation ("Potash Ridge" or the "Corporation") announced an update on its Blawn Mountain Sulphate of Potash ("SOP") Project (the "Project") in southwestern Utah, including the status of its ongoing Prefeasibility Study by Norwest Corporation ("Norwest").
In support of the Prefeasibility Study, the Corporation has completed a significant amount of metallurgical test work on all aspects of the flow sheet. The bulk of this testing has focused on confirming historical test work from the 1970s on the same deposit and evaluating potential improvements in processing technology. Testing performed during the 1970s primarily focused on a test pit located in Area 1, whereas the current test program covers both Area 1 and Area 2 where it is expected that the life of the anticipated mining operations will occur.
As announced on June 3, 2013, SOP has been successfully produced from the Blawn Mountain deposit as part of its ongoing metallurgical testing program. The assessment of alternative processing options is now complete. The assessment of alternative processing options to produce SOP has been the key focus of the Prefeasibility Study and completion of this work represents a major milestone in the development of the Project. The Corporation is continuing with pilot scale testing at Hazen Research's facilities in Golden Colorado, with the overall test program scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
The Corporation and Norwest are now focused on initiatives to optimize the preferred processing options and evaluate other improvements to the Project. This includes working with major equipment vendors on finalizing key operating parameters and capital and operating cost estimates for the Prefeasibility Study, expected to be completed by the end of the summer. All other engineering and geotechnical work being performed for the Prefeasibility Study is complete.
Work on the permitting front continues on schedule. Numerous environmental surveys have been advanced over the last several months to provide the baseline assessments required to submit permit applications later this year. Surveys include assessment of wildlife, soil, vegetation, air, water and cultural resources. The full slate of field programs is targeted to deliver a comprehensive analysis of the local environment and is anticipated to meet all regulatory rules and requirements. Many of the surveys are complete, with a few scheduled to conclude mid-to-late fall 2013. The Corporation anticipates filing its Large Mining Permit Application by the end of 2013.
The Corporation has engaged Serecon to conduct a comprehensive analysis of SOP markets. An extensive analysis of market opportunities in North America, Asia and South America is well underway, with a detailed report anticipated later in July.
Discussions continue with various interested parties with respect to offtake and strategic arrangements for both SOP and sulphuric acid. Completion of the Prefeasibility Study will provide the basis for the Corporation to advance discussions with these interested parties.
All scientific and technical disclosure in this press release have been prepared under the supervision of Ravi Nath, a consultant to Potash Ridge who is a Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101.