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No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset

An environmental baseline study completed by Moroccan-focused potash developer Emmerson (LSE:EML) for the Khemisset potash project has determined there are no “fatal flaws” to hinder the project’s accelerated development schedule.
No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset No 'fatal flaws' at Emmerson's Khemisset

Emmerson doesn't foresee any environmental or social hindrances to developing its Khemisset potash project

Staff reporter

The study, started in February, assessed the potential impacts of the project on land uses, social settings, and habitat types; soil types, flora, and fauna; climate, topography and elevation; surface and ground water; and archaeology, anthropology and cultural heritage.

Emmerson said the study had determined no areas of concern, environmentally or socially, that could impact the scale, location, cost or profitability of the project, as determined by a November scoping study.

The scoping study found the US$405 million Khemisset project could be a 6 million tonne per annum hot leaching project, producing an average of 800,000tpa K2O over 20 years, with one of the lowest capital costs and highest margins of any potash project.

It determined an EBITDA margin of over 60% and a post-tax net present value of over US$1.1 billion.

Emmerson is now planning to start a full environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), which will be a core component in the project's mining licence application to Morocco's Ministry of Mines.

CEO Hayden Locke said the completion of the baseline study was an important step forward and allowed the company to continue to rapidly advance Khemisset, while minimising the potential for future adverse social and environmental impacts.

"Our consultants, Phénixa and OTEBA, have delivered a thorough and professional study which sets a fantastic precedent for the planned high standard environmental and social impact assessment, in addition to our ongoing monitoring and risk management programmes," he said.

Phénixa will also develop the framework for the ESIA.

Locke added that Emmerson was committed to complying with global guidelines, such as the International Finance Corporation's performance standards.

Emmerson said the standards were the global benchmark for the development of mining projects and complying with them was vital for mining projects, especially when entering into financing discussions with international capital providers.