Northern Embankment trial at Mardie Project. Source: BCI Minerals
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  • BCI Minerals (BCI) makes a final investment decision for the Mardie Salt and Potash Project
  • Mardie is set to become the first new solar salt operation in WA in 25 years and the first to produce salt and sulphate of potash from seawater
  • The company will now proceed to finalise debt and equity funding arrangements
  • Main construction is targeted for early 2022, subject to funding and final approvals
  • Shares are up 8.33 per cent at 52 cents each at 2:36 pm AEDT

BCI Minerals (BCI) has made a final investment decision (FID) regarding the development of the Mardie Salt and Potash Project on Australia’s Pilbara coast.

The decision will see Mardie become the first new solar salt operation in WA in almost 25 years and the first to produce salt and sulphate of potash from seawater.

BCI completed a scoping study for the project back in July 2017, which it said demonstrated Mardie’s potential to be a tier-one, globally significant asset.

Since then, the company has completed four further studies. These culminated in an optimised feasibility study undertaken in April this year, which confirmed the project’s tier-one potential with projected annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of around $260 million and a project net present value of $1.6 billion.

After working to de-risk the project over several years BCI said its recently secured $740 million finance debt package provided the board with confidence to approve the FID.

BCI Non-executive Chairman Brian O’Donnell said the board was pleased to see the Mardie Project reach an important milestone.

“The final investment decision reflects our collective confidence that the project funding will be finalised in coming weeks, based on the expected approvals pathway and indications of interest received from existing shareholders, including Wroxby, and potential new shareholders,” he said.

“The Mardie investment case is compelling with its large-scale, low-cost and long operating life representing key attributes of a world class sustainable, multi-generational tier-one asset.”

Meanwhile, BCI said environmental approval was in its final stages, with the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority recommending to WA’s minister for environment that the project be implemented subject to certain conditions.

The company anticipates the minister will make a decision within the next month.

Looking ahead, and pending environmental approval for the initial project footprint in November, BCI said associated mining leases would be granted shortly afterwards.

Equity raising activities will also begin during this period ahead of main construction, which is targeted in early 2022.

Shares were up 8.33 per cent at 52 cents each at 2:36 pm AEDT.

BCI by the numbers
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