Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Circum Minerals Potash Ltd., the Company holds a 100% interest in a mining license covering 365 square kilometers in the Danakil Depression known as the “Danakil Potash Project”.
In 2013, Circum acquired a 70% interest in the Danakil Potash Project from AgriMinco Inc., which retained a 30% interest. AgriMinco’s interest was subsequently sold to Premier African Minerals Limited (PAML) and Circum acquired the remaining 30% interest in the Project from PAML in May 2014.
After the acquisition of its initial interest in the Danakil Potash Project, Circum appointed Plinian Capital Ltd. to manage the exploration and development of this potentially significant potash deposit.
In February 2014, a maiden mineral resource estimate of 1.9 billion tonnes containing 356 million tonnes KCl was prepared by K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies. A scoping study on the Project was released the following month.
In May 2015, an updated mineral resource estimate of 4.2 billion tonnes containing 757 million tonnes KCl was prepared by K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies.
In July 2015, the definitive feasibility study (DFS) was completed to the standard of a NI 43-101 Canadian securities code compliant Feasibility Study under the overall supervision of Senet (Pty) Ltd of South Africa. K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies of Germany provided resource definition and well field and plant design. Umvoto Africa (Pty) Ltd. provided water resource modeling and Environmental Resource Management (ERM) conducted the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).
The Measured and Indicated Resource was estimated at 2.8 billion tonnes of potash salts at depths of less than 100 meters to 500 meters. The Inferred Resource is another 2.1 billion tonnes giving a total Mineral Resource of 4.9 billion tonnes containing 892 million tonnes KCl. Proven and Probable Reserves were estimated at 107.8 million tonnes of KCl equivalent, sufficient to support a 26 year mine life with expected annual production of 2 million tonnes of MOP and 750,000 tonnes of SOP for Phase I.
In February 2016, Circum, together with its independent consultants Senet (Pty) Ltd of South Africa and K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies of Germany reviewed the costs in the DFS. Through their analysis, development capital costs were reduced by US$276 million and operating costs were reduced by approximately US$3 per tonne.
In March 2017, Circum's application for a mining license was approved by the Council of Ministers of Ethiopia. The award of the mining license followed the submission of a comprehensive set of pre-requisite data which included the DFS, the ESIA and associated management plans and detailed production and financial models.