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Third WA salt mining project signals revival

A new salt project has been announced for Karratha and Cape Preston, bringing Western Australia’s number of prospects to three.

Leichhardt Industrials’ $230 million Eramurra salt project has been undergoing pre-feasibility study (PFS) since April and aims to produce up to 1.83 million tonnes a year (Mt/y) of high-grade chemical salt for the Asia-Pacific market.

The project is expected to use natural salt pan areas south of Forty Mile Beach as a source for its production. The project’s $2 million PFS is funded by mining-focused RCF Opportunities Fund.

It is the third salt project to be announced in WA in the past two years, following K+S’s Ashburton project in 2016 and BC Iron’s Mardie project, which completed PFS earlier this month.

With all three projects in concurrent development following a lengthy period of salt mining inactivity, the news suggests a resurgence in interest for salt mining, driven in part by Asian demand, which is expected to increase from 155Mt/y to 213Mt/y in the next decade. Chlorine production for the Chinese market is also expected to rise, from 28Mt/y to 42Mt/y in 10 years. Read more…

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