Potash Ridge Receives Sulphate of Potash Market Study Report and Provides Project Update
September 16, 2013 (Source: Marketwire) — Potash Ridge (”Potash Ridge” or the “Corporation”) (TSX:PRK)(OTCQX:POTRF) today announced that it has received comprehensive reports from Serecon Management Consulting Inc. (“Serecon”) and a consultant (the “Consultant”) with respect to the markets for sulphate of potash (“SOP”) from its Blawn Mountain Project (the “Project”). The Corporation also provided an update on the Project’s Prefeasibility Study (“PFS”) currently underway.
SOP Market Study
Earlier in 2013, the Corporation engaged Serecon and the Consultant to perform studies on SOP markets. The purpose of the studies was to gain a better understanding of SOP dynamics in various geographic markets and the potential to place the SOP contemplated to be produced by the Project into these markets.
In preparing the report, Serecon and the Consultant performed comprehensive analyses of the types of crops best suited for SOP, the range of potential premium pricing for SOP over Muriate of Potash (“MOP”) and the potential growth in markets for each of these crops by geographical region.
The analyses confirm the excellent market potential for SOP. Many of the primary markets for growth in consumption are regions that grow large volumes of crops better suited to SOP (including fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc. that are already known to be sensitive to chloride in MOP), but are currently limited by the availability of SOP. These regions include the United States, Central and South America and Asia. The report concluded that the market potential for SOP in these regions vastly exceeds the Project’s projected production and, subject to proposed market research and due diligence, that the Corporation should be able to sell its production of SOP without significantly affecting current average premiums over MOP. The studies also examined other potential markets and concluded that SOP would be expected to command a premium over MOP even if SOP were sold as undifferentiated commodity fertilizer, due to its sulphur content.
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Further to its Project Update press release of July 3, 2013, the Corporation has now completed initiatives to optimize the preferred processing options and has concluded its evaluation on other improvement initiatives. These initiatives included working with major equipment vendors to finalize key operating parameters, economic evaluation of the most favorable process and infrastructure options and selection of the most favorable combination for inclusion in the upcoming PFS. A number of modifications have been made to the process and infrastructure configuration contemplated in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”). While not fundamental changes, these modifications optimize the historical flowsheet to maximize SOP production.
Engineering work is currently being updated to reflect these various enhancements for inclusion in the PFS that is expected to be released in the next few weeks.
On the permitting front, approximately 90% of the field studies, including air monitoring, required for permitting the Project has been completed. Completion of field studies will occur over the next few months in preparation of filing a large mine permit application in late Q4 2013, followed by applications for other state permits.
Utah Mining Association (“UMA”)
The Corporation is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Dr. Laura Nelson, VP Government and Regulatory Affairs, to the Board of the UMA. This appointment further demonstrates the Corporation’s commitment to contributing to the local mining community in a proactive fashion in Utah and raising the profile of the Project in state. At the recent annual conference of the UMA, held in August, Mr. Ross Phillips, Chief Operating Officer, presented the Project to the delegates in attendance.
2013 World Fertilizer Conference
Management will be participating in the 2013 World Fertilizer Conference taking place in Montreal on September 22-24.
About Potash Ridge
Potash Ridge is a Canadian based exploration and development company with a unique opportunity to develop a SOP and bauxite-type material project into long-term mining production.
The Company’s Blawn Mountain Project consists of four areas of surface mineable alunite mineralization in the State of Utah. Alunite is a sulfate mineral ore rich in both SOP and alumina.
Located in a mining friendly jurisdiction with established infrastructure nearby, the project covers approximately 15,404 acres of state-owned land and has a known permitting process. Extensive development was completed in the 1970s including a mine plan, feasibility study and 3-year pilot plant operation.
Potash Ridge has a highly qualified and proven management team in place with significant financial, project management and operational experience and the ability to take projects into production.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the Corporation’s expectations regarding future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects. These forward-looking statements may include statements that are predictive in nature, or that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and can generally be identified by words such as “may”, “will”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “estimates”, “guidance” or similar expressions. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts but instead represent the Corporation’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Known and unknown factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: the future financial or operating performance of the Corporation and its subsidiaries and its mineral projects; the anticipated results of exploration activities; the estimation of mineral resources; the realization of mineral resource estimates; capital, development, operating and exploration expenditures; costs and timing of the development of the Corporation’s mineral projects; timing of future exploration; requirements for additional capital; climate conditions; government regulation of mining operations; anticipated results of economic and technical studies; environmental matters; receipt of the necessary permits, approvals and licenses in connection with exploration and development activities; appropriation of the necessary water rights and water sources; changes in commodity prices; recruiting and retaining key employees; construction delays; litigation; competition in the mining industry; reclamation expenses; reliability of historical exploration work; reliance on historical information acquired by the Corporation; optimization of technology to be employed by the Corporation; title disputes or claims and other similar matters.
If any of the assumptions or estimates made by management prove to be incorrect, actual results and developments are likely to differ, and may differ materially, from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Such assumptions include, but are not limited to, the following: that general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties remain favorable; that agriculture fertilizers are expected to be a major driver in increasing yields to address demand for premium produce, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as diversified protein rich diets necessitating grains and other animal feed; that actual results of exploration activities justify further studies and development of the Corporation’s mineral projects; that the future prices of minerals remain at levels that justify the exploration and future development and operation of the Corporation’s mineral projects; that there is no failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; that accidents, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry do not occur; that there are no unanticipated delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of future studies, development or construction activities; that the actual costs of exploration and studies remain within budgeted amounts; that regulatory and legal requirements required for exploration or development activities do not change in any adverse manner; that input cost assumptions do not change in any adverse manner, as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Corporation’s Annual Information Form (AIF) for the year-ended December 2012 found on sedar.com. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
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