IC Potash Corp. (TSX:ICP, OTCQX:ICPTF) is an advanced-stage resource company with a premium quality potash property in southern New Mexico. The wholly-owned Ochoa Sulphate of Potash Project contains proven and probable reserves of 400+ million short tons of ore within the proposed mine plan. The Company’s main focus is becoming the lowest capital cost producer of Sulphate of Potash (SOP) and Sulphate of Potash Magnesia (SOPM) in the world.
SOPM is a much-needed product for soils with magnesium deficiency, including those found in Europe and Southeast Asia. Regular or Muriate of Potash (MOP) contains chloride making it too harsh a fertilizer for many globally important crops including citrus fruits and several vegetables; hence SOP—non-chloride based potash fertilizer—sells at a substantial (30 percent) premium over the price of MOP.
- Project located in established potash producing region with excellent infrastructure and a well-established potash labor force.
- Lowest capital costs in terms of other producers—estimated $706 million.
- On track to becoming lowest cost SOP producer in the world—estimated bottom quartile operating cost of $162 per metric ton.
- Sulphate of Potash and Sulphate of Potash Magnesia both premium priced products in niche markets.
- Outstanding management team with vast potash market experience.
- Investor-base largely institutional.
- A 30 percent off-take agreement with Yara International ASA, leading global supplier of mineral fertilizers.
Ochoa Sulphate of Potash Project, New Mexico, United States
The Ochoa Project, consisting of over 100,000 acres of federal subsurface potassium prospecting permits and state potassium mining leases, is located in Lea County, New Mexico in the potash producing Carlsbad District of the Delaware Basin. New Mexico accounts for more than 77 percent of United States’ potash production, making the state a leader in potash mine construction, operations and processing expertise.
Potash hotspots in the northeastern Delaware Basin consist of the Castile, Salado, Rustler, and Dewey Lake Formations. Potassium bearing salts accumulated in the northeastern Delaware Basin. The Salado Formation is structurally and lithologically complex and, in addition to the cyclic anhydrite, halite, and clay sedimentation, it is also host to the McNutt potash zone. Within this zone, there are 11 distinct potash cycles of which five have been commercially developed in the Carlsbad area.
The target horizon of IC Potash’s Ochoa Project is the polyhalite within the Rustler Formation, which disconformably overlies the Salado Formation.
IC Potash has to date completed exploration work entailing 20 drill holes as well as engineering and permitting work. By analyzing geophysical logs of oil and gas wells, the Company was able to infer the occurrence of polyhalite at the Ochoa property. Elevated gamma ray readings were observed in the Tamarisk member of the Rustler Formation at a depth between 1,200 and 2,000 feet. Subsequent core drilling has confirmed the mineralogy to be polyhalite.
A major potassium ore mineral in the Carlsbad Deposits of New Mexico, polyhalite is a hydrated sulfate of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
A NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate on the property has defined 400+ million short tons of proven and probable reserves at an average grade of 75.89 percent polyhalite as well as 838 million tons of measured and indicated mineral resources at an average grade of 80 percent polyhalite representing more than 100 years of minable ore. The property is considered to be minable using methods common to the New Mexico potash mining district which includes conventional room and pillar mining methods with continuous miners and other underground mining equipment.
SOP fertilizer is the preferred fertilizer in the fruit, vegetable, tobacco, potato, horticultural industries, and for agriculture in saline and dry soils, due to its low chloride index. SOP does not occur naturally, but can be produced from calcined polyhalite. IC Potash plans to use a low-cost processing method developed by the US Bureau of Mines to produce SOP from the polyhalite found at the Company’s Ochoa Project. Calcination of the polyhalite allows the mineral to be rapidly dissolved in water and subsequently treated to recover SOP. SOPM is produced as part of the SOP production process.
IC Potash is currently conducting a laboratory-scale mineral processing and metallurgical testing to confirm the process and generate data needed to design the commercial operation. Batch scale test work proved that the process is economic.
A Prefeasibility Study shows a base case production of 568,000 tons per year of SOP and 275,000 tons of SOPM at a bottom quartile operating cost of $162 per metric ton and a low capital cost of $706 million. Economics for the project prove positive with a NPV after tax of $1.3 billion and an Internal Rate of Return after tax of 26 percent.
IC Potash has assembled an independent bankable Feasibility Study team of consultants that includes world renowned experts in the fields of potash mine design, chemical engineering, potash processing plant design and project execution. The Company anticipates that the Feasibility Study will be completed by August 2013 with production expected to commence in 2015.
IC Potash Corp. is a US-based resource company on the path toward becoming the world’s lowest cost producer of quality SOP and SOPM, both premium priced potash products in niche markets. The Company’s Ochoa Sulphate of Potash Project is located in an established potash producing region of New Mexico and overseen by an outstanding management team with remarkable potash market experience. The development-stage project has the potential to become a long-term source of premium quality potash for the US and international markets.
The Company plans to produce SOP via a leach polyhalite method that poses significantly lower costs compared to other methods of production. The market for SOP fertilizer—the preferred fertilizer in the fruit, vegetable, tobacco, potato, horticultural industries, and for agriculture in saline and dry soils—is currently underserved and IC Potash is well-positioned to meet growing market demand.
Sidney Himmel, CA – President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director
Mr. Himmel holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, a Chartered Accountant designation, and spent twenty years in the investments business as an investment banker, institutional salesman and trader, specializing in mining and technology companies. He previously held positions with Merrill Lynch Securities Inc., Toronto and New York, and TD Securities, Toronto. He has participated in billions of dollars worth of financings for mining and other resource companies. Mr. Himmel has also practiced as a tax specialist, lectured in finance and accounting, and worked as an institutional research analyst. He has been involved in the mineral development business for seven years.
Randy Foote – Chief Operating Officer and Director
Mr. Foote holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona. Mr. Foote has 27 years experience in the potash industry. His previous experience includes work fro Mississippi Chemical Corporation and more recently Intrepid Potash Inc. At Mississippi Chemical Corporation, he served as General Manager and was responsible for all the activities at the Carlsbad potash mining location, including mine production and mineral processing. In 1997, he was promoted to Vice President and General Manager and was responsible for two mines and three surface operations, mining over 5,000,000 tons of ore per year.
Patrick Okita, Ph.D. Geology – Chief Exploration and Development Officer
Dr. Okita holds a Bachelor of Science in geology and biology from the University of Rochester, a Master’s of Science in geology from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Okita is an internationally-renowned geologist and previously held senior technical and management positions with BHP Minerals (now BHP Billiton) and the U.S. Geological Survey. He has also conducted exploration and evaluation work for more than 25 industrial mineral, base metal, and energy commodities in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Dr. Okita was a post-doctoral fellow with the National Research Council and has authored numerous journal articles and proprietary reports. His areas of expertise include potash and polyhalite.
Terre Lane – Senior Vice President, Engineering and Project Management
Ms. Lane holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Michigan Technological University. She has over 20 years of experience in mining and mine engineering with over 28 years if management experience. Ms. Lane served as Principal Mining Engineer for Gustavson Associates, VP Engineering fro General Minerals Corporation, President of Kelsey Engineering, and Manager of Engineering Services for American Mine Services. She has been involved with resource estimation and mine design for several hundred projects, has managed numerous Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies, and has been involved with the construction and start-up of several mines. Ms. Lane’s work includes engineering, scheduling, budgeting, cost control, project analysis, permitting, closure and remediation, financial analysis, study management, and independent engineer roles. Representative projects include: Lisheen, Henderson, Greens Creek, Stillwater, Haile, Golden Bear, Bismark, Golden Cross, Santa Fe, Relief Canyon, Black Fox and Collahuasi. Ms. Lane is MMSA Qualified.
Kevin Strong, CIM, CGA – Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration
Mr. Strong holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, as well as Certified General Accountant and Canadian Investment Manager Designations. From January 2008 to October 2008, he acted as the Chief Financial Officer of Nordic Oil and Gas Ltd., an oil and gas producer. From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Strong served as the Manager of the Winnipeg Office of the TSX Venture Exchange, prior to which he was the Manager of Marketing and Operations at the Winnipeg Stock Exchange. Mr. Strong was a Director of Copper Reef Mining Corp., a publicly-listed resource company, and served as chairman of the audit committee.
Mark Shonnard, CPA – Senior Vice President, Business Development
Mr. Shonnard is a seasoned executive with a wide array of experiences in natural resource exploration and development. With more than 25 years of experience, he has been the CFO for mining companies in the Canadian and US markets, VP of Finance for the Venezuela subsidiary of Hecla Mining Company, and was head of finance in Peru for Magma Copper Company (later a subsidiary of BHP-Billiton). He has been responsible for registration and listing filings, financial reporting, administrative optimization, project evaluations, agreement analysis and strategic planning. He has also advised on the valuation of projects, strategic alternatives for maximizing project value, and negotiations for acquisitions and external growth initiatives. Mr. Shonnard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics (Hon) from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Tom Cope – Executive Vice President
Mr. Cope holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas A&M, Canyon. He has extensive business experience in Texas and southeast New Mexico and works closely with project stakeholders. This involves developing strong relationships with community members, product and service suppliers, and representatives from the local, state and national government. Mr. Cope has a background in financial planning, transportation and logistics, human resources, project safety and sales management. He is an active member of the community and various organizations.