Western Potash Corp. Commences the Feasibility Study Process at Milestone
Vancouver, January 19, 2011- WESTERN POTASH CORP., (the “Company”) (TSX Venture: WPX) is pleased to announce that AMEC Americas Limited (“AMEC”) has been engaged as the Lead Engineering Consultant for the Feasibility Study Process on the Company’s Milestone Potash Project (“Milestone”). This process begins with the commencement of a Prefeasibility Study (the “PFS”).
The Company, AMEC, as well as, other consultants, will each contribute expertise to specific elements of the PFS. This includes all the facilities required for the development of a new potash solution mining operation. The PFS scope incorporates prefeasibility level engineering for all facets of the project required in order to reach the target plant capacity. The exact plant capacity for the feasibility study is not yet established, but, will be reflective of the most profitable throughput possible for a plant with two optimized trains of evaporation and crystallization. Both primary and secondary cavern production will be included in the solution mining methodology. The PFS will also provide for the mitigation of environmental impact and for ultimate closure. Specific elements of the PFS include:
- An updated NI 43-101 Resource Calculation and Technical Report will to be completed by Agapito Associates Inc. (“AAI”), and will incorporate additional Crown and private mineral rights acquired by the Company. This Updated Resource Estimate will be the Resource AMEC will use to complete the PFS;
- Tradeoff studies are a critical focus of the Milestone PFS, and include, energy, water supply options and demand, evaporation process technology, marketing, multi-level solution mining, as well as, salt backfilling options analysis;
- Drilling program and well field development, including clusters and pads, piping, pumping, and storage;
- Solution Mining methodology to be completed by Agapito Associates Inc. (“AAI”), including, cavern design, and subsidence modeling;
- Rock mechanics and dissolution laboratory testing;
- Evaporation and crystallization processes;
- Product drying, compaction and glazing selection ;
- Product storage, load out and rail loading for transportation, including weighing, application of de-dusting oil and amines, screening and reject recovery;
- Port options;
- Infrastructure, facilities required to support a fully functioning operation, including buildings, rail and road access, gas and power supply and distribution, boiler plant, water treatment, waste handling;
- Salt storage area;
- Water supply facilities;
- Utilities negotiation (energy, water);
- CAPEX estimate, OPEX estimate, and economic analysis; and,
- Marketing studies.
Patricio Varas, CEO and President commented: “We are pleased to get the feasibility process underway and we are confident that this process will continue to de-risk what management believes to be one of the largest and best Tier 1 potash, greenfield, solution deposits, still available in the world today”. Varas also noted that: “at management’s election and in conjunction with contributions from one of a number of targeted mine development partners the feasibility study process can be accelerated”. Furthermore, “work necessary to file for environmental and other permits is underway” commented Varas.
AMEC is a leading engineering firm that currently manages multiple potash expansion projects in Saskatchewan with a capital value of several billion dollars. AMEC was selected because of their technical expertise as engineers and EPCM contractors, as well as their experience in potash mine construction, potash processing and their expertise in producing potash feasibility studies.
AMEC previously completed the Milestone Potash Project Scoping Study (the “Study”) as reported via press release dated September 20, 2010. The Study confirmed that the Milestone resource shows significant positive economics, and that the asset is of sufficient size and grade to support solution mining for more than forty years at a production rate of 2.5Mt/yr.
Work by AAI will update the current NI 43-101 Technical Report titled “Updated Technical Report Concerning Mineral Resource Estimates Subsurface Mineral Permits KP 408 and KP 409, Saskatchewan”, dated July 12, 2010 and filed on SEDAR on July 16, 2010 (the “Report”). AAI has extensive experience in solution mining, resource characterization and preparation of 43-101 Technical Reports on Potash Resources. AAI’s experience includes work for Intrepid Potash Inc. in the US, Rio Tinto and Vale at the PRC project in Argentina, and for several prospective potash projects located in Saskatchewan.
Golder Associates Ltd. of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan continues to assist the Company with environmental baseline studies and the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the Milestone project.
This work remains on schedule and on budget, with an anticipated EIS submission date of Q3 2012.
AMEC will include the work of all consultants in the final report. Initial schedules indicate that the PFS will be completed sometime during the fourth quarter 2011.
The 100% owned Milestone property, comprising 500 square kilometers, is located 30 kilometers Southeast of Regina, and Southeast of Mosaic’s Belle Plaine Mine, one of the largest producing potash solution mines in the world.
Western Potash Corp. is a mineral exploration company engaged in the evaluation, exploration and development of potash mineral properties in Western Canada. The Company intends to define and develop a world-class potash deposit in an ecologically sustainable, economically efficient, and socially responsible manner.
The in-house qualified persons for the purposes of NI 43-101 guidelines are J. Patricio Varas, P. Geo and Dean Pekeski, P. Geo, both of whom have reviewed and approved the contents of this news release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“J. Patricio Varas”
J. Patricio Varas
President and CEO
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Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains Forward Looking Statements regarding our intentions and plans. Forward looking statements in this news release include the proposed prefeasibility study (the “PFS”) and readers are cautioned that: mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability until they are upgraded; that management is studying the possibility of consolidating the pre and final feasibility processes, and producing and publishing only a final feasibility suitable for reaching a production decision and for attracting project debt finance; that Patricio Varas, CEO and President commented: “that this process will continue to de-risk what management believes to be one of the largest and best Tier 1 potash, greenfield, solution deposits, still available in the world today”; that the Company would like to note that at management’s election and in conjunction with decisions from a number of targeted mine development partners that the feasibility study process could be accelerated; that work necessary to file for environmental and other permits is well underway; that management will be making future recommendations to the board as to the scope of the PFS yet to be completed and that such recommendations may change over time; that any analysis is based on a cash flow estimate, it should be expected that actual financial results would vary from these predictions; that an accuracy assessment of the cost estimates will completed as part of this study; various factors may prevent or delay our plans, including but not limited to, contractor availability and performance, weather, access, mineral prices and success and failure of the exploration and development carried out at various stages of the program. Readers should review risk factors applicable to junior mining exploration companies generally to understand the variety of risks that can affect the Company. It is the Company’s policy not to update forward-looking statements other than as required by applicable securities laws and regulations.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.