A $140 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to Australian Potash Limited’s Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash (SOP) has progressed and will now be considered by the Western Australian government.
NAIF’s Board made an investment decision to offer financing to the project on 24 February 2021 and the loan has subsequently been supported by the Commonwealth Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia.
The Lake Wells Project – located 160km north-east of Laverton in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia – is expected to supply both overseas and domestic markets with 170ktpa of SOP over a 30 year mine life. SOP is used as a form of potassium fertiliser.
NAIF’s loan illustrates further support for Australia’s minerals and agricultural sector. NAIF’s loan to the project is its second within the potash sector. The loan will be used by the company for project key infrastructure including a processing plant and equipment.
Prior to the finalising of the loan, the State of Western Australia will be required to notify NAIF that it agrees to the investment decision prior to any NAIF funds being issued.
NAIF CEO Chris Wade said: “The Lake Wells project is one of a range of resources projects that NAIF has approved investment towards and will provide an extra boost to the new mineral sector in Australia and the Australian agricultural sector.”
NAIF has to date supported 25 projects across northern Australia, with investment worth $2.9 billion, forecast to generate around $9.4 billion in economic benefit, and supporting around 9,000 jobs. In Western Australia, NAIF has committed investment worth $1.1 billion to projects.