Plug pulled on two SOP projects in Western Australia

August 15, 2023

Australian Potash Ltd has pulled the plug on its Lake Wells SOP project, and Kalium Lakes Ltd went into administration at the beginning of August.

Australian Potash Ltd has pulled the plug on its Lake Wells SOP project, and Kalium Lakes Ltd went into administration at the beginning of August.
Australian Potash Ltd (APC), the developer of the Lake Wells SOP (LSOP) project in Western Australia, has surrendered its mining leases following an unsuccessful funding drive.
The company said that it had conducted an ‘exhaustive funding process’ over the past 12 months.
“Having made data and information on the LSOP available to various parties, the strategic review process has not resulted in a transaction that was considered suitable for the Company or its shareholders,” said APC in its 15 August statement.
The company considers the process to be exhausted and said the directors have taken the decision to end this process.
APC remains confident that the work done on the LSOP to date demonstrates its high value: “However, and without a funding proposition to consider, the directors have made the difficult decision to surrender the LSOP mining leases, which have a high holding cost.”
APC retains its interest in the exploration license tenure it holds at Lake Wells. The company says it has received consideration of A$950,000 for components of the Lake Wells camp assets and discussions are being held around the sale of bore-field inventory and other site assets.
APC’s Managing Director and CEO, Matt Shackleton, said: “We remain committed to all opportunities to restart the LSOP, but pragmatically will also pursue the Lake Wells Gold Project, Nexus REE and lithium project and other opportunities in pursuit of value for our shareholders and stakeholders.”

Kalium Lakes
Also in Western Australia, Kalium Lakes Ltd, the developer of the Beyondie SOP project, announced that it went into administration on 4 August 2023. In October 2021, the company produced its first batch of finished product. Here.
Kalium Lakes requested a suspension from its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on 6 June 2023, and on 14 June issued an update. In the 14 June update, the company said “Strategic process will explore potential strategic and corporate opportunities to reposition the Company and its capital structure for the longer term or otherwise maximise value.”
When announcing the role of the administrators, Kalium Lakes said: “The Receivers have assumed control of Kalium Lakes’ operations which will continue on a business-as-usual basis while an urgent assessment of the options for the sale and/or recapitalisation of the Group is undertaken.
The strategic process announced by Kalium Lakes on 14 June 2023 is well progressed with wide interest received.”
Also in the 14 June 2023 update, the company gave its latest production figures: “SOP production of 2,079 tonnes for April and May, exceeding the March quarter’s total production by 16% after two months. This is Kalium Lakes’ best production quarter to date.”

Off track
The line-up of projects for Australia’s first sulphate of potash (SOP) production used to be described as a race. But despite commissioning underway in one of them, it seems the front runners have stumbled out the blocks. Luke Hutson reports.

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