Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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76 E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 all P4 demand for North America, Eastern and Western Europe is covered by imports from China and North Vietnam," explained Tainton. He suggested that a second add- ed value for the product can be achieved by coating the phosphate rock with a spe- cial polymer, further enhancing the nutri- ent release. GrowMax Resources' asset, the Bayovar property, is also located in the same re- gion in northern Peru. The company's ini- tial proposal was to develop a potassium chloride operation out of potash brine. Fur- ther studies have concluded that the as- set was more suited to become a sulphate of potash (SOP) project. Furthermore, the company discovered approximately 500 million mt of fairly high-grade near-surface phosphate. For this year, GrowMax is fo- cused on generating cash-flow and has decided to invest its time and resources in the development of specialty fertilizer as- sets in the Latin American region. Stephen Keith, president and CEO of GrowMax, sees huge potential in the region with Peru's agricultural exports looking to double by 2021. The SOP project, how- ever, needs to improve its numbers: "The initial results of the EPC study were not as good as we were predicting; the after tax IRR was not so attractive. The capex was set at US$20 million for a 5,000 mt/y SOP operation. We are now optimizing the proj- ect with the view of taking a production decision during 2018, while we are in dis- cussions with potential partners to develop or finance the project." With respect to the phosphate deposit, Keith referred to it as an "unbelievable as- set" with a great location on the coast, next to Mosaic's Miski Mayo operation. "How- ever," Keith continued, "global phosphate prices have not been in our favor. I believe this will be a critical project for global phosphates but it would not be prudent to build it at present." Stephen Keith, president and CEO, GrowMax Resources. Core shack at Cerro Lindo. Photo courtesy of Nexa.

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