Highfield Resources (ASX: HFR) has announced that it has signed a non-binding MOU with the Port of Bilbao that will assist the miner in executing its sales and marketing strategy for the Muga Potash Mine.
The agreement will see Highfield gain access to port capacity for at least 700,000 metric tonnes per annum of muriate of potash and salt, with the port authority providing logistics infrastructure and services.
The Port of Bilbao is a major deep-sea Atlantic port, and one of the biggest ports in Spain. It is located 220km by road from Muga, providing competitive logistical advantage to support for the company’s low-cost strategy.
Highfield reports that the MOU complements a similar agreement with the Port of Pasaia, reported on the 2nd of August, with access to two ports in the north of Spain providing a range of advantages for the miner.
Pursuing a low-cost strategy at Muga
The 200-hectare, ‘low capex’ Muga Potash Mine is located 50km south east of Pamplona, and comprises shallow silvinite deposits, allowing access via two declines.
Sitting on a concession granted in July 2021, mining at the project is expected to be undertaken via the room and pillar method, with a treatment plant constructed in nearby Navarra.
Highfield describes Muga as a unique project due to the fact that no aquifers are present above its shallow mineralisation, negating the need for shaft construction, and potentially leading to lower operational costs.
Highfield has added the potash-prospective Vipasca permit as a strategic potential extension to Muga, with a focus on “deeper, higher grade” P1 and P2 potash horizons.
“The port of Bilbao is a major European Atlantic port and will be a key export terminal for Muga given its capacity and its proximity”
Highfield Resources CEO Ignacio Salazar said: “This MOU is another step in getting the Muga Mine into production. The port of Bilbao is a major European Atlantic port and will be a key export terminal for Muga given its capacity and its proximity and excellent connections to the Mine.”