London, 13 April (Argus) — Australia’s Danakali expects production at the Colluli SOP project in Eritrea to begin in the first half of 2021.
But the exact timing of the beginning of production for Colluli Mining Share — a 50:50 joint venture between Danakali and Eritrean National Mining — is dependent on the commencement of engineering work and the acquisition of full funding.
The current first-half 2021 forecast is “conservative” and production could still begin before the end of 2020, Danakali said. It had previously projected 2020 for first production.
Danakali is targeting output of 472,000 t/yr of SOP in the project’s first phase, doubling to 944,000 t/yr in the second phase. These figures are up from previous guidance of 425,000 t/yr and 850,000 t/yr, respectively. Additional work during the initial engineering and design process — which allowed the increased output projections — was the reason behind Danakali setting back its forecast for first production.
The company expects second-phase production to start six years after first-phase production begins.
The Colluli project is situated in the Danakil Depression, a region in the Horn of Africa that straddles the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and which includes a complex deposit of potash minerals. A number of potash-focused companies have — or previously had — an interest in the area.
Colluli is 230km from the Eritrean port city of Massawa on the Red Sea coast.
A definitive feasibility study was completed at the site in November 2015.