Utilities, conversion circuit, crystallisers, flotation circuits, and dryer of the Australian SOP project are expected to be commissioned shortly

Lake Way Project process plant

First bucket of salt fed into the feed hopper at the Lake Way Project process plant. (Credit: Salt Lake Potash Limited)

Australian mineral exploration company Salt Lake Potash (SO4) announced that it has started commissioning the process plant at its Lake Way potash project in Western Australia.

The potash project is situated in the Northern Goldfields Region, one of the nine regions of Western Australia.

According to the company, potassium rich harvest salts, which were precipitated from lake aquifer brine, have been fed into the sulphate of potash (SOP) plant located near Wiluna.

Salt Lake Potash expects to commission the utilities, conversion circuit, crystallisers, flotation circuits, and dryer during the coming weeks. These will be done prior to the full load commissioning and production of sulphate of potash in the June quarter.

The company will be helped by consultants from the plant designer, Wood Group, and also vendors Veolia and Broadbent, and others during the commissioning process.

Salt Lake Potash CEO Tony Swiericzuk said: “Commencing commissioning of Australia’s first Sulphate of Potash processing plant is a major milestone for SO4 and testament to the hard work of our owners’ team and GR Engineering Services.

“It is exciting to see the vision that was first conceived in late 2018 come to fruition less than two and a half years later. First SOP sales and revenue are now well within sight.”

Powering the front-end plant commissioning at the Lake Way project are 2MW diesel generators. Salt Lake Potash said that the diesel generators will continue to be used for advancing the commissioning activities in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, the company announced that the gas supply lines and delivery station for the 10MW power station have been commissioned fully.

The power-on is slated for late April for supporting final commissioning programmes and the start of production, said Salt Lake Potash.

The company said that the first production and sales of sulphate of potash are on track for the June quarter. Upon its ramp-up, the Lake Way Project will produce 245kt per year of sulphate of potash.