Media Releases

20 February 2019

NAIF loan to support breakthrough sulphate of potash development

A Western Australia company developing a sulphate of potash (SOP) project is the latest beneficiary of financial assistance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

The NAIF Board has made an Investment Decision to provide Kalium Lakes Limited (Kalium Lakes) loans of up to $74 million loan to support the Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project (Beyondie Project), located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  Given there is currently no SOP production in Australia this will create a new domestic industry.

This is NAIF‘s tenth Investment Decision and brings to $1.3 bn the total value of those decisions and conditional approvals and their total capital value to $2.8 bn. Five Investment Decisions for loans of over $295m have now been made by NAIF for Western Australia projects.

NAIF’s latest Investment Decision will enable Kalium Lakes to construct vital infrastructure including a 78 kilometre gas pipeline and a gas fired power station as well as road and communication infrastructure, an airstrip and an accommodation village.

NAIF Chief Executive Laurie Walker said: “NAIF’s funding will support Kalium Lakes’ investment in infrastructure to further develop the Beyondie Project.  The project is estimated to generate $169m net public benefit (in present value terms) over the first 30 years of mine life.”

SOP is a high yield, premium fertiliser which will be sold in both domestic and international markets. SOP is used to cultivate fruits, vegetables, berries, potatoes, beans, cocoa, tobacco and tree nuts.

“NAIF has a broad mandate which it applies to assist innovative projects and foster the growth of new industries. The Beyondie Project is an exciting example of NAIF’s mandate in action.  Across northern Australia we plan to continue to invest to help grow the region.”

NAIF seeks to encourage private sector participation in financing northern Australian developments and is pleased to be partnering with other financial institutions on the Beyondie Project.

All NAIF project proponents must develop a satisfactory Indigenous Engagement Strategy (IES). As part of this strategy, Kalium Lakes must assist Indigenous applicants through recruitment processes and provide job training, mentoring and up-skilling to improve capacity and retention rates.

Under its procurement arrangements Kalium Lakes has committed to promote the use of Traditional Owner (TO) businesses, including by actively identifying TO businesses and inviting them to supply goods and services.

Kalium Lakes has worked with the Australian Industry Participation Authority to develop an Australian Industry Participation Plan to provide opportunities for Australian suppliers.

The loan by NAIF to Kalium Lakes is subject to final documentation and conditions precedent to drawdown, including final approval from the Western Australian Government.

Kalium ASX Announcement