Emmerson moves forward with Africa’s hottest new potash project

Potash development company Emmerson (LON:EML) is ticking all the right boxes as it speedily progresses with the development of its 100%-owned Khemisset potash project in northern Morocco.

The London-listed miner said Tuesday it had completed a scoping study at Khemisset, which confirms the project’s technical and economic viability, and will now push on towards production.

Emmerson has completed a scoping study at its Khemisset project in northern Morocco, which shows it has the potential to be among the world’s lowest capital cost potash mines.

Key work to be undertaken this year, Emmerson said, includes infill and exploration drilling on the Moroccan project to confirm and expand its mineral resources. In particular, the company will work on upgrading the inferred resource estimate of 311 million tonnes at an average grade of 10.2% potassium superoxide.

Khemisset, which has the potential to be among the world’s lowest capital cost potash projects, could deliver earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margins of more than 60% over a minimum mine life of 20 years, Emmerson said.

Following drilling, the company will work on a pre-feasibility study, environmental and social impact assessments, after which it plans to kick off  strategic discussions with potential sales and marketing partners.

"The exceptional results of our scoping study … gives us a high degree of confidence to push ahead with our technical and engineering work. Based on current planned work programme, we are fully funded through until the first quarter of 2020," Chief Executive Officer Hayden Locke said in the statement.

Assuming everything moves forward according to plan, Emmerson expects to publish a definitive feasibility study next year, with first potash being delivered in 2022.

Shares in Emmerson shot up as much as 4.2% on the news and were trading 1.8% higher at 2.90 pence by mid-afternoon London time.