Highfield Resources has secured a licence to build the mine gate and two underground declines at its Muga potash project in Spain.

The licences for the mine gate and the process plant construction have been issued by the local town halls, or councils, of Undués de Lerda and Sangüesa in Navarra, respectively.

Covering a 46km² area in the provinces of Navarra and Aragón, the Muga-Vipasca potash project is estimated to cost €607m for development as per the updated feasibility study.

Being developed in phases, the project is anticipated to produce 500,000tpa of potash in the first phase.

Under the second phase, the annual production capacity of the project is expected to reach one million tonnes.

In the next few days, the firm plans to undertake initial on-ground preparatory works at the mine gate.

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Highfield CEO Ignacio Salazar said: “The grant of this construction licence in Aragón for the mine gate and the declines arrives at a time when the project and its financing are well advanced, and the geopolitical situation demands the start of Muga as soon as possible.

“While we start construction, the company will focus on completing the financing and finalising the licencing process in Navarra. With this licence from Aragón, Highfield is now one big step closer to building the next European potash mine at Muga.”

Highfield said that the declines’ construction is on the critical path of the Muga project’s development timetable.

Last month, the company signed a mandate letter for a €312.5m senior secured funding package for the project’s development.