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Highfield Resources has received a licence to construct the mine gate and two underground declines at its flagship Muga potash project, in Spain.

The local Townhalls, or councils, of Undués de Lerda and Sangüesa in Navarra are the responsible approving authorities for the mine gate and the process plant construction licences respectively. Following on from the grant of the mining concession last year, these two licences are essential for the construction of the Muga project.

The Muga project is located in the heart of a European agricultural region which Highfield said has a clear deficit in potash supply. Moreover, recent events in Russia and Belarus have increased the awareness of the strategic value of the Muga project for both Spain and the European Union.

“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,” Highfield CEO Ignacio Salazar said.

In anticipation of receiving the licence from Undués, Highfield said on Friday that it had already tendered and contracted the initial works and that it planned to start initial on-ground construction works in the next few days at the mine gate.

The construction of the declines is on the critical path of the Muga project’s development timetable and, therefore, Highveld would start construction of the declines before the plant improves the internal construction plan.

While work starts in Undués, Highfield said that it would continue to maintain its active engagement with the Townhall of Sangüesa and the Government of Navarra to complete the licensing process for the plant.

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

Highfield’s potash tenements, comprised of Muga-Vipasca, Pintanos and Sierra del Perdón, are located in the Ebro potash-producing basin in Northern Spain, covering an area of about 250 km2.