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Australian Potash has received backing from Western Australia’s environmental watchdog for the Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SOP) project.

The board of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has recommended that the Western Australian Environment Minister should approve the full development of Lake Wells.

Australian Potash managing director Matt Shackleton said this was a seminal step following a very positive liaison with the EPA over two years.

“Our typically thorough approach to the approvals pathway is reflected in … the concise and effective list of conditions we will adhere to through development and production,” he said.

“We are continuing discussions in the offtake program, with in excess of 75 per cent of our forecast output already contracted under binding take or pay agreements.

“The plant EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) tender package has been issued and we are reviewing EPC bids received for several other packages.”

Australian Potash expects to release an update on these tasks in the coming weeks.

A definitive feasibility study for the Lake Wells project shows a 30-year mine life and production of 150,000 tonnes a year of premium grade SOP.

Australian Potash plans to construct an SOP processing plant, brine abstraction bores, evaporation ponds, raw water bore field and accommodation village for the project.

The Lake Wells project is 500 kilometres northeast of Kalgoorlie in the Eastern Goldfields.