DISCUSSIONS WITH NAIF FOR PROJECT FUNDING
Agrimin Limited (ASX: AMN) (“Agrimin” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (“NAIF”) Board has expressed its interest in investigating the potential for NAIF support for the Mackay Sulphate of Potash (“SOP”) Project in Western Australia. NAIF is a corporate Commonwealth entity that can provide long-term concessional loans to encourage and complement private sector investment in infrastructure that benefits northern Australia.
In May 2018, Agrimin completed a Pre-Feasibility Study1 for the Mackay SOP Project. The study is based on the production of 426,000 tonnes per year of SOP fertilizer over a 20 year life. The capital cost for the Project is estimated to be A$545 million, of which more than A$120 million relates to infrastructure to be developed in northern Australia.
The Company is currently assessing a number of options in relation to off-take agreements and project financing which are aligned with its Definitive Feasibility Study and project execution strategy. Agrimin considers NAIF to be a potential source of debt funding, with particular reference to the infrastructure required by Agrimin for the Mackay SOP Project. Agrimin currently expects to progress project financing over the next 12 months and will consider submitting a formal Investment Proposal seeking an Investment Decision from the NAIF Board as part of that process.
Agrimin’s development plans include the construction of a new transport corridor linking central Australia to ports in northern Australia. This corridor will open up a new part of Australia for future economic development and create jobs and benefits for the country’s most isolated communities. Once in operation, the Project will create approximately 200 jobs and is forecast to generate A$6.3 billion in revenue over its 20 year life.
In November 2017, the Company signed a landmark Native Title Agreement with the Kiwirrkurra People which provides the consents for the development of the Project. In recent months, the Company has received strong support during a number of community and on-country meetings along the proposed transport corridor.
Mark Savich, CEO of Agrimin commented: “The Mackay SOP Project has the potential to be a catalyst for significant investment in economic infrastructure throughout northern Australia. We are delighted that NAIF has expressed interest in investigating the potential for NAIF support for the Project.”
PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY COMPLETED FOR MACKAY SOP PROJECT
- Pre-Feasibility Study demonstrates the potential for the Mackay Sulphate of Potash (“SOP”) Project to become a long life and low-cost supplier of SOP
- Average SOP production rate of 426,000tpa is forecast over an initial 20 year life
- First quartile total cash cost of US$222/t of SOP (FOB Wyndham)
- Annual EBITDA forecast of US$137M, totalling US$2.7B over the initial project life
- Post-tax NPV8 of US$453M and post-tax IRR of 20%, based on an average SOP price of US$555/t (FOB Wyndham)
- Capital cost of US$409M (inc. US$53M contingency) has a post-tax payback period of 4.2 years
- Integrated mine-to-ship logistics chain to be established through Western Australia
- Agrimin Board has approved the immediate progression to a Definitive Feasibility Study, submission of an EPA referral and application for a Mining Lease
- Off-take and financing discussions with various counterparties will continue while the Definitive Feasibility Study is underway
Agrimin Limited (ASX: AMN) (“Agrimin” or “the Company”) announces the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”) for the Mackay SOP Project which is located 785km south of the Port of Wyndham, Western Australia. The PFS was managed by Advisian, the consulting business line of WorleyParsons Group.
Mark Savich, CEO of Agrimin commented: “The PFS has highlighted the potential for the Mackay SOP Project to become the world’s largest and lowest cost supplier of seaborne SOP. In addition, the Project has the potential to be a catalyst for investment in regional infrastructure throughout central and top end of Australia, thereby creating sustainable economic opportunities for local communities.”
“Global SOP demand is experiencing rapid growth due to evolving food production practices, and Agrimin can have an important role in providing reliable seaborne supply of this high quality fertilizer.”
Chairman and Non-Executive Director
Appointed: 22 April 2016
Mr Sampson is an internationally experienced business leader, director and mining professional with 30 years resources industry experience. In addition to significant project development and operating experience, he is an experienced director with listed and non-listed company and joint venture governance experience across multiple international jurisdictions. Brad has been the Managing Director of Discovery Metals Ltd and held senior management roles in resources and engineering companies including Newcrest Mining, Gold Fields, and Thiess. His experience covers the entire cycle of exploration, development, operations and closure, and includes equity and debt funding of resources projects, government relations and product marketing.
Mark Savich B Comm, GradDipMinExplGeoSc, CFA, CA, GAICD
CEO and Executive Director
Appointed: 1 December 2012
Mr Savich has over 13 years of technical and financial experience in the resources industry, dealing from early stage exploration through to production. He is skilled in project identification, technical and economic evaluation and public company management. Mr Savich holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Mineral Exploration Geoscience from Curtin University. He is a CFA Charterholder, a Chartered Accountant (CA) and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Alec Pismiris B Comm, MAICD, AGIA
Non-Executive Director and Company Secretary
Appointed: 2 October 2013
Mr Pismiris has over 30 years of experience in the securities, finance and resources industry and is currently a director of five ASX listed companies. Since 1990 Mr Pismiris has served as a director and company secretary for various ASX listed companies as well as a number of unlisted public and private companies. Mr Pismiris completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an associate of The Governance Institute of Australia. Mr Pismiris has participated numerous times in the processes by which boards have assessed the acquisition and financing of a diverse range of assets and has participated in and become familiar with the range of evaluation criteria used and the due diligence processes commonly adopted in the commercial assessment of corporate opportunities.
Tom Lyons B Sc (Geology)
General Manager – Exploration and Development
Appointed: 22 March 2014
Mr Lyons is a Geologist with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Australia. Mr Lyons has broad experience in a range of commodities including industrial minerals, precious and base metals and bulks. He has worked in a number of different roles throughout parts of both Australia and Europe, including having previously conducted exploration programs in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. Mr Lyons also has experience in corporate development and financing activities.
The Mackay Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project comprises of seven tenements covering a total area of 2,560 square kilometers. The Project covers the majority of Lake Mackay, which is a Western Australian salt lake, and contains the world’s largest known Mineral Resources of brine-hosted SOP.
The Project is situated in Western Australia approximately 540 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory. The Project is accessed from Alice Springs by road. Major airline access is via daily commuter flights to the Alice Springs International Airport. The Adelaide-to-Darwin transcontinental railway also connects Alice Springs to the north and south coasts of Australia.
The Mackay SOP Project has Indicated Mineral Resources of 4.3 million tonnes and Inferred Mineral Resources of 18.9 million tonnes of SOP (based on specific yield) at a Potassium concentration of 3,603 mg/L of brine. The Mineral Resources are estimated on the basis of brine volume from surface to an average depth of only 24.7 meters.
In August 2016, Agrimin reported the results of a positive Scoping Study for the Project.
Agrimin has executed a Land Access Agreement with the Kiwirrkurra people and the Company is encouraged by the high level of support that local Aboriginal people are providing. Agrimin believes the Mackay SOP Project has the potential to lead to greatly improved community and employment opportunities for the people of local communities