Potash & Products
Potash Demand Fundamentals
Potash growth is underpinned by strong demand drivers including growing population, reduction in arable land and changing dietary preferences. The overall equation for ongoing growth in potash demand however is simple:
What is Potash?
Potash is the common term for fertiliser forms of the element potassium (K). The name derives from the collection of wood ash in metal pots when the beneficial fertiliser properties of this material were first recognised many centuries ago.
Potassium is one of three key fertiliser ‘macro-nutrients’ essential for healthy soil and plant growth. It is generally used in combination with the other two macro-nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, to produce a range of fertilisers, the type used being dependent on the soil to which it will be applied.
Potassium is essential to the workings of every living plant cell. It not only plays an important role in plants’ water utilisation but also helps regulate the rate of photosynthesis. Potassium promotes the growth of strong stalks, protects plants from extreme temperatures and enhances their ability to cope with stress. Importantly, there is no substitute for potash.
Commonly, Potash refers to Potassium Chloride or Muriate of Potash (MOP), however, a number of other potash variants exist with premium potash types containing micro nutrients as well as macro nutrients such as potassium sulphate, potassium magnesium sulphate and potassium nitrate.
Potassium bearing minerals are typically found in areas where ancient inland seas have evaporated leaving behind their minerals. The Danakil salt basin is a positively unique example as it is one of only very few known potash deposits where kainite, a sulphate bearing mineral key for potassium sulphate production, is found in solid form.
The potassium bearing salts within the Colluli Resource have the unique capability of producing a diverse range of potash types including sulphate of potash (SOP or potassium sulphate), muriate of potash (MOP or potassium chloride) and sulphate of potash magnesia (SOPM or potassium magnesium sulphate).
Substantial upside for the project exists from the exploitation of other contained products within the resource such as high purity rock salt and magnesium chloride and other identified minerals within the project license such as gypsum (Calcium Sulphate).
The product, detailed below, have been generated exclusively from potash salts extracted from the Colluli Resource in Eritrea, East Africa and demonstrates Colluli’s favourable salt combination to simply and economically produce high purity SOP.
Approximately 4 tonnes of Colluli drill core material have been processed at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) in Canada for specific bench testing and pilot plant trials to produce SOP, which was delivered in soluble, standard and granular forms. Over 100kg of Colluli product was tested at Ludman Industries in the USA for product compaction behaviour. Materials handling trials have also been completed to determine the anti-caking requirements for the final SOP product. These repeated tests have produced the following product type specifications: