TORONTO, June 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SOPerior Fertilizer Corp. (the “Company”) (SOP.TO) is pleased to announce that it is engaged in discussions for the construction of a alunite pilot plant facility at the site of an existing copper processing operation near the town of Milford, Utah.
The proposed pilot operation would produce metallurgical alumina, SOP (potassium sulphate fertilizer), and sulphuric acid by processing the alunite ore trucked in from SOPerior’s massive Blawn Mountain alunite deposit located approximately 25 miles SW. The pilot operation would utilize the developed infrastructure at the plant site and some of the existing processing equipment. Subject to financing, it is anticipated that construction of the pilot could commence late 2019 and be online Q3/Q4 2020. Unlike typical pilots, the SOPerior pilot is intended as a small-scale commercial phase and is anticipated to generate economic returns. There are MOU’s and expressions of interest for the marketing and offtake of the alumina, SOP, and sulphuric acid production domestically and abroad as well as the potential onsite utilization of the sulphuric acid production for copper leaching.
SOPerior Fertilizer’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Squires stated, “The pilot project is an essential de-risking step in the development of our immense alunite resources. We are using common industry processes to make 3 valuable products from the alunite. This project will allow us to quickly get online and fine tune our process operations, build offtake markets and secure the financial backing for the large commercial phases to follow. The proposed location is ideally situated for the pilot and future full-scale development of our alunite interests and will share numerous economic and operational synergies with the existing copper and precious metals processing operations.”
Recognized Mutual Benefits
The parties clearly recognize that the construction of the alunite pilot plant and potential further expansion of the alunite processing operation at this location could provide numerous mutual economic and operational benefits and synergies such as a reduction in labour costs and G&A from a shared workforce and reduced government and community engagement costs.
Potential benefits for SOPerior:
- The pilot scale facility should provide a cost-effective major de-risking step for the processing of alunite into the alumina, SOP and acid product streams. The pilot operation can produce independently or be integrated into a subsequent expansion phase.
- Utilization of the existing infrastructure and some of the existing process equipment should help offset the typical increased capital intensity of small pilot facility construction. It is expected that construction CAPEX, permitting and completion timelines will be reduced.
- From a preliminary review, the large- scale commercial expansion of the alunite processing operation at this proposed location appears to be a more cost-effective alternative than building at the alunite deposit site at Blawn Mtn. The alunite deposit is immense and could potentially support large scale processing operations for over 100+ years.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
SOPERIOR FERTILIZER CORP.
CEO and Director
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management's current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com).