WA Kaolin (ASX: WAK) reports that it has achieved ‘practical completion’ of the processing plant at its Wickepin Kaolin Project in Western Australia.
The company notes that construction has successfully been completed within the originally set out 2020 IPO Prospectus budget, and has received construction compliance from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
Addressing the plant completion, WA Kaolin CEO Andrew Sorensen said: “Since our ASX listing back in November 2020, the WA Kaolin construction team, led by founder and executive director, Alf Baker, has worked tirelessly on site to achieve what we have today – the practical completion of the processing plant at the Wickepin Kaolin Project, which will allow the Company to achieve its defined Stage 1 Wickepin ramp up, to be producing 200,000tpa of high purity kaolin.
“With the completion in place and commissioning commencing, we are on track to commence production at a rate of 25 tonnes per hour nameplate capacity”
With the completion in place and commissioning commencing, we are on track to commence production at a rate of 25 tonnes per hour nameplate capacity, which we will steadily increase to ~200,000 tonnes per annum rate by the end of this year.
The Board and I wish to thank everyone who has been involved in construction to date and our loyal shareholders who have been with us on this journey. As we ramp up to full production, we look forward to not only providing our premium kaolin to our tier one customers, but also progressing into our Stage Two ramp up, to increase production to 400,000tpa.
I am very proud of what we have achieved to date, most notably given that almost the entire construction of the processing plant has been done in a covid environment where we, like everyone in our wider industry, have had to endure delays in shipping and delivery, in addition to managing shortages of labour attributable to the virus
As our commencement of production nears, I look forward to updating shareholders of our progress.”
Processing of run of mine ore is reported to be on track to begin in August 2022, reaching a full production rate of 200,000tpa by the end of 2022.
Interestingly, the plant has been designed to accommodate WA Kaolin’s proprietary dry processing method (K99 process) that has been designed specifically for the ‘high-grade’ Wickepin kaolin resource.
Prior to commencement of production, the company has been successful in securing offtake agreements and LOIs that cover 90% of the Stage 1 output.
The Wickepin Kaolin Project is located approximately 220km southeast of Perth in Western Australia and represents one of the largest known remaining premium primary resources of Kaolin in the world.
The project currently boasts an established resource of more than 100 million tonnes across four retention licences and a single mining lease, exceeding 10,000 hectares of total land area.
The total Inferred Mineral Resource (JORC 2012) of the project is 644.5 million tonnes.
Images: WA Kaolin Limited