Shipment term

Mardie forced to postpone her first delivery of salt

BCI’s Mardie Salt and Potash Project.

BCl Minerals is considering additional design changes to its Mardie salt and potash project to improve its long-term resilience to extreme weather events, which have resulted in significant cost increases at the site.

In addition, BCI expects certain aspects of the project design to change in order to comply with third-party approvals, and will continue to evaluate other value engineering opportunities, conduct reviews of design assumptions and advance the design maturity of all packages to reduce risk and partially offset cost increases.

BCI chief executive Alwyn Vorster said the company will confirm the expected net impact of market conditions, design changes, remaining approvals and cost reduction initiatives when reviews have progressed far enough to produce a reliable cost estimate.

“We anticipate that a combination of time to complete these reviews, delays in secondary approvals, delays due to weather effects since the start of the year, the impact of COVID protocols and other factors, will likely result in the extension of the first salt date on the ship, indicatively to 2H 2025,” he said.

BCI has current cash reserves of $209 million plus other financial assets, including the $100 million convertible notes issued in December 2021, which will allow it to continue construction work under the new schedule in a balanced manner. and responsible for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

“Once a reliable cost estimate has been established, BCI will discuss financing solutions (which may include asset sales) with shareholders and lenders,” Vorster said.

BCI is developing the potential Tier 1 project located on the Pilbara Coast, at the center of Western Australia’s main salt producing region. Mardie was designed to produce around 5.3 million tonnes per year of high purity salt and around 140 ktpa of sulphate of potash (SOP) by solar evaporation of seawater.

BCI receives quarterly royalties from Iron Valley, an iron ore mine operated by Mineral Resources. Other BCl assets include significant interests in Agrimin and Highfield Resources, as well as potential royalties and/or deferred payments from iron ore projects at Koodaideri South, Bungaroo South, Kumina and Nullagine.