VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Resources Corp. (TSX:WRX) (FSE:WR0) (“Western” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, Western Potash Corp. has received Environmental Assessment Approval from Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (‘the Ministry”) for the Milestone Phase I Project (“the Phase l Project,” previously “the Pilot Project”).
As reported in its 21/12/2016 news release, Western Potash Corp received a final engineering report from AMEC Foster Wheeler and Agapito Associates Inc. for the proposed Milestone Phase l Plant Project. The Phase l Project was subject to review under The Environmental Assessment Act which is regulated by the Ministry. The initial Phase l Project design was based on a Scoping Study and was approved by the Ministry in 2015. Following changes to the Scoping Study design, namely the introduction of a crystallization pond for potash recovery and the plant site location, Western Potash re-submitted the project design for review by the Ministry. Subsequently, the Ministry has determined that no Environmental Impact Assessment for the Phase l Project will be required. Western Potash is therefore authorized to proceed with the construction of the Phase l Project subject to regulatory permitting requirements.
Mr. Bill Xue, President and CEO of Western Resources, commented, “We are very pleased to have received the Environmental Assessment approval from the Government of Saskatchewan to proceed with the Milestone Phase I Project. We fully appreciate the cooperation that we have received from the Government of Saskatchewan and the local Rural Municipality as we continue to move the Milestone Project towards construction and operation.”
Western Resources secured an off-take agreement with China BlueChemical Ltd. in October 2016, through which Western’s second largest shareholder guarantees the purchase of all the products from the Phase l Project. Given the transportation costs and the low Chinese market price, the Company has been actively exploring the North American Market and has achieved solid progress. In the meantime, Western Potash continues to advance detailed engineering on the Pilot Project in advancement of construction. The Pilot Project will utilize selective solution mining techniques which result in lower CAPEX and OPEX costs compared to conventional solution mining. The Company is actively working to close the gap of the project financing. With these tasks completed, the plant construction is anticipated to start in early 2018 with first potash production in 2020. As the Phase l Project proves to be successful, a feasibility study of Phases II and III of the project with a respective expansion of 1.4 million tonnes per year will follow.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The content of this news release has been read and approved by Gregory F. Vogelsang, P.Eng., P. Geo., Project Manager of the Company. Mr. Vogelsang is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
Readers are cautioned that the projected mining method, potential production profile and plan and mine plan referred to in the Pilot Study and this release are conceptual in nature. There is no certainty that a potential mine will be realized or that a production decision will be made.
Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking information” under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the filing and results of the Technical Report. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and they are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information that is set out herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
CONTACT: For more information on the contents of this release please contact Jerry Zhang, Corporate Secretary, at 604-689-9378.