Australian Potash has secured Ministerial environmental approval from the Western Australia Environment Minister Stephen Dawson for the A$208m (£114.6m) Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project in Western Australia (WA).

The Lake Wells potash project is situated in the Eastern Goldfields region of WA, approximately 160km away from Laverton and approximately 500km northeast of Kalgoorlie.

The approval allows Australian Potash to proceed to secure the licences and permits required to commence the project development.

Australian Potash managing director and CEO Matt Shackleton said: “Receiving this full environmental approval allows us to now secure the operating licenses and permits to develop the project and proceed to development on making a final investment decision.

“Conditions agreed with the EPA and contained in the Statement allow APC to develop an environmentally sustainable Project with effectively no impact on social surrounds. Flora, fauna and water management plans proposed by the Company were all accepted by the EPA.

Shackleton said that the project is positioned with environmental approval to develop, and 100% of the estimated output under binding take-or-pay agreements.

“Due diligence by lenders, including the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, Export Finance Australia and commercial lenders are either complete or nearing completion,” Shackleton added.

Last year, Australian Potash signed a binding 10-year take-or-pay term sheet with HELM for 20,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of K-Brite sulphate of potash from Lake Wells project for distribution into the US.

Last year, Australian Potash secured support from Western Australia’s environmental watchdog Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the Lake Wells project.

Over an estimated mine life of 20 years, the project is expected to produce 14.7 million tonnes of SOP.