The Northern Goldfields of Western Australia is rapidly becoming known for its potential to host numerous long-life, low cost primary production centres of premium SOP, an essential macro fertiliser for high value food crops. In the region, other SOP exploration companies are working towards developing projects with proposed production rates of between 75,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and 400,000tpa SOP for a minimum of 20 years from trenches and bores.
Trigg Mining’s SOP projects are located near established infrastructure, with all prospects within 100-300km of the Leonora rail head from which the products can be exported through the multi-use ports of Esperance or Fremantle to key international markets, or transported by rail to domestic markets on the East Coast.
In the Northern Goldfields SOP is found in potassium-bearing hypersaline aquifers of the extensive sub-surface palaeodrainage systems where the minerals are thought to have concentrated through the dissolution of basement rocks and the net environmental evaporation of approximately 3 metres per year.
Production of SOP from this primary source occurs through the harvest of brine from trenches and bores targeting the mineralised hypersaline solution. The brine is transferred to on-site evaporation ponds where Australia’s abundant solar energy is harvested to evaporate the water and produce mineralised crystal salts. An on-site ion exchange treatment plant processes the salts to produce SOP and other potentially marketable mineral salts before packaging and transporting for export.
The Lake Throssell Project covers 323km² of predominantly salt lake playa sediments and underlying palaeochannels. The Project is located 200km east of Laverton on the Great Central Road connecting Laverton to Alice Springs and lies within the Ngaanyatjarra Native Title determined lands. Lake Throssell is rated by Geoscience Australia¹ as one of the most prospective lakes for sulphate of potash brine in the region and native title negotiations are progressing in preparation of the grant of the tenement.
LAKE THROSSELL PROJECT
¹Australian Geoscience, A Review of Australian Salt Lakes and Assessment of their Potential for Strategic Resources, 2013
LAKE RASON PROJECT
The Lake Rason Project encompasses an expanding footprint east of Laverton and is the closest Western Australian SOP project to established infrastructure. The western edge of the Project lies from just 35 km east of Laverton and is accessible from Laverton via the Lake Rason Road, the Mt Shenton Road, the Great Central Road to Alice Springs (and Queensland) and the Tropicana Gold Mine Access Road from Kalgoorlie. Access to the Leonora railhead is 150 km of mostly sealed road.
The Lake Rason Project covers 416km², comprising 262km² of salt-lake playa and 40km of subterranean palaeochannel aquifer. The Prospect is located approximately 200km east of Laverton and 60km north of the Tropicana Gold Mine.
Ground gravity, passive seismic, shallow pit sampling and aircore drilling were carried out during Q4 2017. This work has provided sufficient information for the establishment of an Exploration Target¹ for the Lake Rason Prospect of 2.6-9.3 million tonnes (“Mt”) of drainable sulphate of potash (“SOP”).
¹ An Exploration Target is conceptual and there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.