BCI Minerals (BCI) announced that Australian Federal Government has granted major project status for its Mardie Salt & Potash project in Western Australia.

The Mardie project is located approximately 100km south-west of Karratha, and is expected to produce more than 4 million tonnes of high purity salt and 100,000 tonnes of potash fertiliser per annum.

Also, the recent DFS indicates that Mardie has potential to become a Tier 1 salt and sulphate of potash (SOP) project, with high financial returns estimated for more than 60 years.

Adjacent to the Mardie project, a new transhipment port within the Pilbara Ports Authority controlled Cape Preston West Port area, is expected to allow exports from the facility.

First salt sales from the project are expected to take place by mid-2024 and first sulphate of potash (SOP) sales by mid-2025.

Construction on the project is targeted to begin by mid-2021, following a final investment decision in early 2021.

The major project status for Mardie Project is valid for three years

Valid for three years, the major project status is expected to provide BCI with support from Major Projects Facilitation Agency, enabling timely approvals for the development of the project.

Australia’s Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said that Mardie Project would contribute to the economic growth of Australia and specifically for Pilbara region.

BCI managing director Alwyn Vorster said: “We are pleased that Mardie has been acknowledged as a project of national significance by the Australian Federal Government. The recently completed DFS indicated that Mardie is a potential Tier 1 project, and the grant of major project status further supports this view.

“The development of Mardie will deliver substantial long-term public benefits over a potential operating life of 100 years in the form of significant employment and contracting opportunities, and billions of dollars of royalties and taxes.

“This support from the Federal Government will make a meaningful contribution towards Mardie becoming the first large-scale salt project to be developed in Australia in more than 20 years.”