Miners working to de-risk phosphate project in Chile

Bifox phosphate project. (Image courtesy of Bifox).

Canada’s Lara Exploration (TSXV: LRA) reported that Australia’s Bifox (previously Phillips River Mining), has completed agreements with the Chilean Government to settle outstanding environmental infractions and fines and lift the embargo on mining and processing at the Bifox phosphate project, located near the town of Copiapó in northern Chile.

Testing carried out at a university setting confirmed the chemical reactivity of Bifox phosphate rock is conducive to production of both triple superphosphate (TSP) and single superphosphate (SSP)

In a press release, Lara, a Toronto-based company that holds an interest in the project, said that Bifox has also begun the application process with Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería to reinstate its operating permits and restart mining.

The plan is to start processing existing stockpiles of phosphate rock and complete further plant upgrades in Q1-2020. Later on, once permits are in place, the idea is to resume mining and production at an initial rate of 5,000 tonnes per month, ramping up over time to 20,000 tonnes per month.

Under its previous owners, Bifox produced direct application natural fertilizer, with average grades between 18%-20% P2O5. The phosphate rock was mined and processed in a dry processing plant, producing both fine and pelleted products, which are sold primarily into the agricultural markets of southern Chile.

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