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Northern Embankment trial at Mardie Project. Source: BCI Minerals
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  • BCI Minerals (BCI) is progressing construction activities at its Mardie Salt and Potash Project in Western Australia
  • The project is positioned to become a sustainable producer of high-purity salt and sulphate of potash (SOP) by relying on natural solar and wind energy
  • BCI is almost finished constructing the northern embankment trial, has begun building the southern trial pond and has awarded a $16 million contract for the main seawater pump structure
  • Once the Mardie project is fully operational, the seawater pump station will pump 160 gigalitres of water into the evaporation ponds each year
  • Company shares were down 3.09 per cent to trade at 47 cents

BCI Minerals (BCI) is progressing activities at its Mardie Salt and Potash Project in Western Australia.

The project aims to produce 5.35 million tonnes per annum of high-purity salt and 140,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash (SOP) per annum through the solar evaporation of seawater.

Using a seawater resource and a production process mainly driven by natural solar and wind energy, positions the project as a sustainable supplier for the salt and potash markets.

BCI has now almost completed the construction of the northern embankment trial which has proven the construction methodologies, showed that budgeted processes are achievable and it also highlighted ways to optimise productivity. All that is left is the outer wall geofabric and rock armour treatment.

Alongside this, the company has begun constructing the southern trial pond which involves building seawalls on three sides with an internal levee separating the trial pond from future Pond 1.

Geofabric will span 20 metres of the embankment bases to provide stability for the three-metre-high walls which will be protected from the ocean currents by rock armour.

Additionally, BCI Minerals awarded a $16 million contract for the main seawater pump structure. The contract was offered to Ertech’s Geomarine business which specialises in designing and constructing near shore marine infrastructure.

The contract was fully funded through the company’s existing cash balance of $110 million as at July 31.

Ertech will be responsible for design, procurement, construction and commissioning of materials and structures needed to accommodate and operate six 3000 litres per second pumps within the main pump structure.

Once the Mardie project is fully operational, the seawater pump station will pump 160 gigalitres of water into the evaporation ponds each year. For reference, this is equivalent to about 70,000 olympic swimming pools.

To support these activities, BCI is expanding the 80-bed exploration camp and the first units have been delivered to the site.

Commissioning of central facilities and the additional 120 rooms is scheduled for the December quarter and will bring the total rooms to 200. However after final regulatory approvals, the village will be further expanded to 400 beds to accommodate workers during the main construction period.

According to the company, main construction can only begin once it receives approval from the WA Minister for Environment and secondary approvals when final tenure and funding is secured. If all goes well, BCI expects these to be in place before the end of this year.

Company shares were down 3.09 per cent to trade at 47 cents at 12:07 pm AEST.

BCI by the numbers
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