The secured licence gives the company exclusive access of the 4.9 billion tonnes NI 43- 101 compliant potassium resource contained within the 365km² licence area for an initial period of 20 years. The tenure can be extended by a further decade.
Circum Minerals chairman and co-founder Stephen Dattels said: “We are delighted that the Ethiopian Government has approved the mining licence for this world-class project.
“This represents a significant milestone for both the company and the country.
“We now have a compelling investment case that supports the development of this project given our discovery and proving of its vast resource, our demonstration of its outstanding financial viability, the successful operation of our solution mine and subsequent production of potash products and most importantly, the strong level of government support we have been afforded, which is demonstrated by the award of the mining licence.”
This licence enables exploitation of potassium-bearing minerals, which exist at relatively shallow depths within the designated area.
Minerals will be exploited by a solution mining that is the lowest risk method for this region, and will be processed by crystallisation in solar ponds and then refined in a process plant.
The combination of these techniques, which have already been proven by field trials in the license area, will return operating costs projected to be among the lowest in the global potash industry for both potassium chloride (MOP) and potassium sulphate (SOP).
This licence comes following submission of a comprehensive set of pre-requisite data, which comprised a definitive feasibility study, a social and environmental impact assessment (ESIA) and associated management plans and detailed production and financial models.