Potash miner Emmerson has completed a metallurgical test work programme for its Khemisset Potash Project in Morocco.

Key tests conducted as part of the programme included comprehensive brine phase chemistry, decomposition rates at various particle sizes of Khemisset ores, and liberation analysis.

Magnetic separation testing was also conducted as part of the test work.

The scoping study of the Khemisset project suggested that the proposed process flow sheet would allow the upgrading of ore into saleable muriate of potash (MoP).

It also confirmed that recovery rates between 82% and 86% are possible and that there are likely to be areas for improvement, which could be incorporated into the feasibility study that is currently underway.

Emmerson CEO Hayden Locke said: “The results of our programme have confirmed the processing methods and recovery rates assumed in the scoping study, which showed that Khemisset is among the lowest capital cost and highest margin potash projects globally, with a post-tax NPV10 of $1.14bn.

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“While we expect to complete some additional test work during the optimisation phase, it is significant that nothing was identified that would constrain our ability to produce saleable quality potash from a technical perspective.

“We are also very excited that there are a number of areas where we believe improvements can be made, which could significantly improve the already outstanding economics of the project, especially in the area of energy consumption.”

The test programme was completed by the Saskatoon Research Council under the supervision of the company’s processing consultant, Don Larmour.

Further testing on the project is planned during the ongoing engineering studies.