Western Potash Receives Key Findings from NI 43-101 Update
Western Resources Corp. is pleased to announce that Western Potash Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, has received the key findings of its upcoming NI 43-101 report for its Milestone Phase I project in southern Saskatchewan. The report is based on extending the mine life from 12 years to 40 years and updating the mining plan. The technical report is being prepared by March Consulting Associates …
Western Resources Corp. (TSX: WRX) (âWesternâ or âthe Companyâ) is pleased to announce that Western Potash Corp. (“WPC”), the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, has received key findings from its upcoming NI 43-101 (the “Report”) for its Milestone Phase I (“The Phase I Project”) in the south. from Saskatchewan. The report is based on extending the mine life from 12 years to 40 years and updating the mining plan.
The technical report is prepared by March Consulting Associates Inc. (âMarchâ). March is an engineering and project management provider with extensive experience in delivering mining projects across Saskatchewan.
Phase I of the project is the first step of the newest and most innovative, environmentally friendly and capital-efficient potash mines. Currently, the total Phase I project is approximately 78% complete (including engineering, procurement, infrastructure and construction) and is awaiting final funding to complete. The initial start-up and commissioning of the dissolution mining has been completed and has been running for approximately 18 months, accumulating potash in the crystallization pond.
The data and other information obtained from these operations in collaboration with several leading solution mining experts have enabled Western to optimize the solution mining plan of the Phase I project to improve reliability and ” achieve the target production of 146,000 tonnes per year (tpa) of granular potash. The mine plan will extract both the Belle Plaine and Patience Lake members from a series of horizontal caverns that have been planned within the unified area.
The reserves within the extended unitization zone are:
- A proven reserve of 11.7 million tonnes (Mt) at an average grade of 32.4% KCl;
- A probable reserve of 19.5 Mt grading 33.5% KCl.
Cavern losses (10%) and treatment recoveries of 95% were applied to reserves. Proven and probable reserves in the unified zone are sufficient for a mine life of more than 200 years at the target production rate. The economics of the project are based on a 40-year operating period at target production. Surplus reserves would be available to extend the life of the mine or increase production in the future.
The resource estimate (as of the date of this release) in Saskatchewan Subsurface Mining Lease KLSA 008 is as follows:
- A measured resource of 418.5 million tonnes (Mt) at a grade of 20.8% K 2 oh
- An indicated resource of 2,304.2 Mt grading 21.0% K 2 oh
- An inferred resource of 2,575.2 Mt grading 21.4% K 2 oh
Resource counts have been adjusted with deductions for unobserved anomalies (5% measured, 9% indicated and 25% inferred). A cut-off rating of 15% K 2 O has been applied. No cut-off for thickness or carnallite content was applied. Mining rates and / or cave losses have not been applied to resource tonnages. Reserves are included in resource numbers.
The actual CAPEX allocated to Phase I of the project to date is $ 116.24 million and an additional $ 33.21 million is required to complete the project and put the plant into production, resulting in a Total CAPEX of the Phase I project of $ 149.45 million (including a 12.5% ââcontingency on remaining CAPEX). This estimate adopts the international class 3 standard of the AACE (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering).
The total annual OPEX for phase I of the project, based on operational data from the pilot phase, is estimated at C $ 13.25 million per year (excluding G&A, logistics and royalties) or C $ 90.60 / t MOP for 146,000 tpa. Maintaining CAPEX mainly consists of expanding the mining field (drilling, pipelines and infrastructure) and planning equipment maintenance. Sustaining CAPEX includes approximately $ 36 million every six years to expand the wellfield for continuous production.
Assuming a nominal discount rate of 8%, the economic analysis yields an after-tax net present value (NPV) of the project of C $ 225.8 million, with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.4 %, based on the 100% assumption. stock investment and potash price of US $ 524 / t (CA $ 665 / t) FOB at the exit of the mine. This price is obtained from the Argus report from November 2021 for the granular MOP to the United States cornbelt and the mine’s forecast freight costs. Costs are quoted in Canadian dollars (CAD $) and prices are quoted in US dollars (US $), with an assumed exchange rate of US $ 1 = CAD $ 1.27. Inflation was not applied to the price of potash or future costs, with the noted potash price assumed to apply from 2025 to the end of the life of the project.
March undertook a review of the project and determined that the mine life could be increased from 12 to 40 years with the implementation of an asset maintenance and replacement strategy. The full costs of this plan have been included in the Sustaining OPEX and CAPEX results above.
Management continues to have confidence in the success of Phase I of the project and intends to initiate March to complete studies with the aim of increasing the total capacity of the site to approximately 300,000 tonnes per year. This would aim to duplicate existing surface facilities on the adjacent quarter section to maximize the use of existing infrastructure and utilities already on site.
This press release has been reviewed by Kyle Krushelniski, P.Eng. of March Consulting Associates Inc., who is a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and is the lead author of the updated NI 43-101 technical report on which this press release is based.
About Western Resources Corp.
Western Resources Corp. (TSX: WRX) (âWesternâ or âthe Companyâ) and the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Western Potash Corp. It will be the world’s first potash mine that leaves no salt residue on the surface, halving water consumption and dramatically improving energy efficiency.
About March Consulting Associates Inc.
March Consulting Associates Inc. (Mars) is a Saskatchewan employee and First Nations-owned organization, operating in Saskatchewan for over 22 years with offices in Saskatoon and Regina. March provides engineering, procurement, project and construction management services to a variety of resources – industrial and commercial companies based. March uses the latest digital, analytical and intelligent 3D modeling capabilities in the disciplines of mining, processes, mechanics, electrical, instrumentation and controls, civil engineering, structure and finite element analysis (FEA).
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
With the exception of statements of historical fact concerning the Company, certain information contained in this document constitutes âforward-looking informationâ under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements regarding the filing and results of the technical report. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to occur. of the Company are materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. Although the management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information, other factors may cause results not to be as anticipated. , estimated or planned. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Therefore, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information contained herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
For more information on the contents of this press release, please contact Jerry Zhang, Corporate Secretary, at 604-689-9378.