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News: Highfield Resources appointments drive development at Muga potash project in Spain

  1. Highfield Resources (ASX:HFR) has made two senior management appointments that add to the ability of its Spanish project team to execute, de-risk and bring the Muga Potash Project into production.

    The company is currently in the final stages of completing its Definitive Feasibility Study, which is due by the end of the March quarter 2015.

    Its shares have performed well on the market, rising 76% since December.

    Menéndez Diaz has been appointed as executive general manager – construction, and will have direct responsibility for the construction of Muga while Michael Schlumpberger has been appointed as executive general manager – operations and will be responsible for operational interface during the design and construction phase of the Project.

    Both appointees have strong reputations within the Spanish mining and broader potash industry, respectively, providing a strong endorsement of the quality of the Muga Project and the work completed to date by the Highfield project team.

    Diaz has over 30 years operational mining experience, the majority of which has been gained in Spain, most recently as general manager of SADIM, one of the largest mining engineering consultancies in the country.

    He was directly responsible for the construction, commissioning and operations of a number of mines in Spain, including Aguas Teňidas, an underground copper-lead-zinc mine located in the Huelva Province of southern Spain.

    Schlumpberger has nearly 30 years mining experience including over 21 years in various roles with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

    Importantly, he was mine general superintendent for the 8 million tonne per annum Lanigan Potash Mine for over 3 years where he had full responsibility for all aspects of underground mining and hoisting.

    During this period, he also managed and executed the expansion of the Lanigan Mine, increasing production by nearly 50%.

    Schlumpberger will also have direct responsibility for the ongoing operations at Muga when construction is complete.

    Muga Potash Project

    The Muga Potash Project targets the relatively shallow potash (sylvinite) beds in the combined Muga-Vipasca Project that covers an area of more than 110 square kilometres.

    A recent mining concession application included an improved mine plan consisting of two declines for underground mineral extraction and two 400 tonne per hour processing lines capable of producing more than 1 million tonnes of K60 product per annum.

    Besides the upcoming Definitive Feasibility Study, the company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Port Authority of Bilbao providing a second option for shipment of product to export markets from its Muga Potash Project.

    The MOU provides for shipments up to and beyond 400,000 tonnes per annum.

    As significantly, it locks in 25,000m2 of wharf space including 200 linear metres of dedicated mooring for the construction of Highfield's handling facilities and can handle vessels of up to 32 metres draught.

    The Port of Bilbao is located 220 kilometres by road from the site of the Muga Project and is one of the main hub ports of the European Atlantic seaboard.

    This MOU follows a similar agreement struck with the Port of Pasajés (San Sebastián), announced 18 December 2014.

    Together the Port MOU's will enable Highfield to ship 100% of future potash product from Muga.


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