IM Agriminerals News in Brief 13 – 19 June

By James Sean Dickson
Published: Friday, 19 June 2015

PhosAgro commissions new mineral fertiliser terminal, signs drilling and blasting contract; Danakali submits final environmental baseline assessments; Potash West terminates German potash divestment deal; Arianne signs First Nations agreements.

Russian fertiliser producer PhosAgro OAO has commissioned its Smart Bulk Terminal in Ust-Luga, near Lenningrad, Russia, in partnership with Ultramar, a subsidiary of Texas, US-based CST Brands Inc.

The terminal complex has a capacity of over 1.5m tpa mineral fertilisers and its storage warehouses can hold up to 80,000 tonnes fertiliser. PhosAgro said that the project is unique because handling and storage capacities can be doubled in a short period of time, if and when needed.

"Developing our own port terminal capacities enables us to decrease transportation costs and further strengthens PhosAgro’s position as the leader on the global cost curve," PhosAgro’s CEO, Andrey Guryev, said.

"By using the best available technologies and technical solutions, this project will enjoy an exceptionally high return on investments. Investments in terminals with similar capacities are often far more expensive," he added.

PhosAgro has also signed a 10-year contract for drilling and blasting work at its Apatit phosphate mine with Orica Ltd, an Australian mining services company.

Valued at Russian rouble (R) 12.5bn ($234m*), the contract will see Orica conduct all of the drilling at the Apatit and supply emulsion explosives for underground mining.

The final tranche of social and environmental baseline assessments have been submitted for for Danakali Ltd’s joint venture (JV) Colluli sulphate of potash (SOP) project.

Formerly known as South Boulder Mines Ltd, ASX-listed Danakali is developing Colluli with the Eritrean National Mining Co. (ENAMCO). Danakali said that the transfer of knowledge from pervious mining projects in Eritrea had benefitted the submission process for Colluli significantly.

"The regular engagement that we have had with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment throughout this process has been highly beneficial, and to date, no material issues have been identified," Paul Donaldson, Danakali’s managing director, said.

"Our Eritrean team in the Asmara office, the specialist in country consultants, our project team in Perth, and the respective members of both the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment have worked well together to ensure the necessary work was completed to the required standard well ahead of the completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS)," Donaldson added.

ASX-listed Potash West NL has terminated the sale of its South Harz German potash interests to fellow Australian company Petrotherm Ltd, after the parties "decided not to proceed" with the agreed transaction.

Potash West and East Exploration Ltd, the subsidiary owner of the resource, are now negotiating with other parties to achieve a similar outcome. Potash West holds 55% of East Exploration’s shares, while the remaining stake is owned privately.

South Harz consists of two exploration licences for the Kullstedt and Grafentonna deposits in Thuringia, central Germany.

In Canada, Quebec-headquartered Arianne Phosphate Corp. has signed cooperation agreements with the First Nations Innu from Pessamit, Essipit and Mashteuiatsh, based nearby to the company’s Lac a Paul phosphate deposit.

"We appreciate the interest expressed by the First Nations towards our phosphate project and the willingness to see Lac a Paul progresss," Pierre Fitzgibon, Arianne’s board chairperson, said.

Now that the collaboration agreements are complete, Arianne and the First Nations are looking to finalise the impact and benefit agreement terms.

TSX-listed DuSolo Fertilizers Inc. has reached full, 20,000 tpm direct application natural fertiliser (DANF) production capacity at its Bomfim fertiliser mine and processing facility in Brazil.

DuSolo intends to produce at least 100,000 tonnes DANF product this year, the maximum that is currently allowed by its mining permits, though the company applied earlier this year for a 200,000 tpa permit.

"This will be the first full planting season in which DuSolo will be producing fertilisers. At our current production rate, we are able to deliver on all sales contracts currently in place," Eran Friedlander, DuSolo's CEO, said.

"With the anticipated increased capacity, the Company will be in a position to enter into additional sales contracts this year, thereby addressing the growing demand for DANF in the region," he said.

Baron Waqa_International Telecommunication Union
Baron Waqa, the Nauruan President. Source: International Telecommunication Union.

In Nauru, Justice Minister David Adeang has refuted allegations brought to light by Australian state broadcaster ABC that he and President Baron Waqa received several bribes concerning the Pacific island nation’s phosphate reserves.

He told ABC that he was "offended and speechless" and objected to the "untrue and personal nature" of the allegations. "It is unprecedented for an Australian media organisation to interfere in the domestic politics of another country," Adeang said.

Adeang told the broadcaster that the claim was based on six-year-old disproven information and said that it related to disgruntled former government employees.

Waqa responded to ABC by text, saying the allegations were baseless and that regardless, he is not answerable to the Australian media.

*Conversion made June 2015

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