Another milestone has been met by BCI Minerals Ltd, in its journey to develop the Mardie Salt project in Western Australia.
Credit approvals for A$650M (US$417M) of project finance has been received from Government debt providers, subject to the completion of detailed documentation and satisfying typical project finance conditions. The approval covers all of the Mardie project with the exception of the potash sulphate (SOP) plant, funding for which will be progressed following further design work and cost development. The two agencies are the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Export Finance Australia (EFA which have approved A$450M and $160M project finance facilities respectively.
Although this is an important step for Mardie and shows confidence in the project from NAIF and EFA, there are still other elements to complete including the credit approvals from two commercial banks, the project finance and the necessary equity raise. The Mardie project will eventually be a 5.35Mtpa solar evaporation operation based in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with the first salt shipment scheduled for H2 2026. Construction of essential roads, ponds and earthworks are well underway.
There are already existing solar evaporation salt operations in the Pilbara region, all producing high grade chemical salt for export to Asian markets including Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia. However, demand in the Asian region is expected to rise over the next ten years, particularly from the chloralkali industry which uses the salt as a feedstock, making a strong case for new entrants.