BCI Minerals, an ASX-listed salt and potash projects developer, has secured approvals for A$650m ($416.16m) in project finance debt to support its Mardie salt project in Western Australia.

These approvals were received from federal government bodies Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Export Finance Australia (EFA) along with commercial banks. The debt financing is completely underpinned by salt revenues from the project.

The project financing includes a total of A$650m ($416.16m), which is split between A$490m ($313.72m) from NAIF and the remaining A$160 ($102.44m) from EFA.

EFA increased its credit approval by A$50m ($32m) after the original credit approval was received in 2021.

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By GlobalData

Commercial bank funding for the project is expected to be around A$180m ($115.24m) along with A$81m ($51.86m) in cost overrun facility and a A$70m ($44.81m) bank guarantee facility for bonds to support construction or operating contracts.

The company expects to soon announce credit approvals from two commercial banks for at least A$150m ($96m).

It also claims that it will secure green loan accreditation for commercial facilities because of the project’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials.

Green loan accreditation will be provided if more than 99% of the energy needed to produce salt and sulphate of potash (SOP) at the project are derived from solar and wind sources.

Furthermore, the company secured a non-binding letter of interest from Export Development Canada (EDC) to support the project finance.

BCI Minerals managing director David Boshoff said: “Securing A$650m of long-term project finance approvals is an important milestone for the Mardie Project, which helps underpin the completion of the project.

“The participation of NAIF and EFA is a sign of confidence in the technical, economic and green credentials of the Project, and is a strong validation of Mardie’s potential. BCI will now progress to obtain the remaining credit approvals required, complete the project finance, and seek to raise the required equity for Mardie Salt.”

Mardie is a salt and potash project, which is claimed to be rare, sustainable as it will use large-scale, multi-generational solar evaporation operation, located at coast of Pilbara in Western Australia.

The site uses seawater resource, which will be concentrated through solar and wind evapouration to produce 5.35 million tonnes per annum of sodium chloride (NaCl) salt and 140 thousand tonnes per annum (ktpa) of sulphate of potash fertiliser.

These products will be supplied to the growing chemical and agricultural industries during an estimated operating life of around 60 years.