Potash project in next stage

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
An aerial photo of the Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project. Photo: Kalium Lakes
Camera IconAn aerial photo of the Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project. Photo: Kalium Lakes Credit: Kalium Lakes

A mineral harvesting project in Newman is entering its third stage of Environmental Protection Authority approval this month as owner Kalium Lakes Potash prepares to clear 1550ha of native vegetation.

The Beyondie sulphate of potash project, about 160km south-east of Newman, is expected to enter environmental review, with an assessment to be report given to Minister for Environment Stephen Dawson as soon as August.

The project is looking to produce sulphate of potash using evaporation and crystalliser ponds and will need to install production bores, pipelines, a natural gas pipeline and a purification facility, and to expand an accommodation village.

KLP managing director Brett Hazelden said more than 10,000 tonnes of salts had been produced since pilot trials began in June.

“These are the largest-scale pilot pond trials in Australia, which provide government agencies, investors and prospective debt financiers with a high level of certainty on scale-up parameters,” he said.

“These large-scale pilot evaporation ponds cover around five Melbourne Cricket Grounds in total size and have proved invaluable in testing every facet of a fully operational potash evaporation pond process.

“It has enabled Kalium Lakes to assess pump and pipe requirements from bores and trenches, determine pond design parameters to achieve a fully gravity-fed system, observe brine evaporation behaviour and measure salt crystallisation and growth, test harvesting techniques and identify maintenance requirements.”

Potential impacts examined by the EPA could include the disturbance of 1150ha of vegetation, salt run-off, pipeline leaks and disturbance of fauna habitat.

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