Our Environment

APC's commitment to sustainable production and environmental performance includes:

  • Environmentally sustainable production and minimal footprint bore abstraction (NIL trenching) at the Lake Wells SOP Project 
  • Low carbon emissions from a high penetration renewable power solution (brine solar-salt production has significantly lower carbon footprint than the Mannheim process)
  • Organic certifiable product supporting sustainable agriculture for global food supply

Approvals

All primary environmental and mining approvals for the Lake Wells SOP Project development are in place.

The Project area encompasses six granted mining leases (M38/1274, M38/1275, M38/1276, M38/1287, M38/1288 and M38/1289) and the miscellaneous licences for the appropriate infrastructure are either granted or pending.  The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety approved the Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan in January 2022, which permits the commencement of mining operations.

The Lake Wells SOP Project was referred to the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA) under Section 38 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 on 21 December 2017.  On 5 February 2018, the OEPA determined that this Project would be assessed at the level of Environmental Review with no public review (OEPA Assessment No. 2144).  The EPA Report (1688) was issued on 7 September 2020 (OEPA 2020a) and APC received Ministerial approval for this Project through the issue of Ministerial Statement 1162 (MS1162) on 1 February 2021. In January 2022, approval was received from the OEPA for changes to MS1162.  The changes reflect the updated operational scope since the original environmental application was submitted.

On 9 April 2021 APC was granted Ministerial Consent under s18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 to develop an SOP mining project at Lake Wells.  There are no conditions attached to this consent.

Management plans associated with various environmental aspects - such as flora, fauna and waste - for the Lake Wells SOP Project have been developed or are in progress as we move closer to construction and operations.

The 2022 Compliance Assessment Report lodged with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in April 2022 is provided here.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In mid-2021, the Company commissioned an assessment of the Lake Wells SOP Project’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) footprint as part of its preparation for compliance with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) regime, effective in Europe from 10 March 2021. This assessment, taking into consideration the power balance across the Project and energy usage through to ports of loading in Western Australia, concludes that the Project will produce a CO2-e GHG that is materially lower than either a comparable Mannheim operation (LSOP<Mannheim by 69%) or solar-salt/brine operation (LSOP<other by 49%).

The study was performed by Novopro, a Canadian project development, engineering, and management company, operating in a number of mineral and metallurgical fields, specialising in potash mining and processing plants. Novopro has conducted carbon footprint estimations for multiple potash projects (muriate of potash and SOP) in different areas of the world.

LSOP’s direct and indirect GHG emissions were compared against other brine SOP producers and Mannheim reaction produced SOP.

GHG Table

APC is registered with the National Greenhouse Emissions Reporting scheme.

Renewable Power Microgrid

PWR Hybrid has been awarded Preferred Proponent status to build, own and operate the ~35MW hybrid renewable microgrid at the Lake Wells SOP Project.  The microgrid will integrate an innovative gas-fuelled power station with solar PV, wind and battery energy storage technology which is expected to achieve a Renewable Energy Fraction (REF) above 65%.  In terms of REF, the hybrid facility will become one of the leading remote mine site power installations in the country, supplying energy to Australia's greenest SOP project.

Engine selection will be based upon the capability to utilise gas and hydrogen, including zero emissions green hydrogen from renewable sources.  The microgrid will be developed in a staged approach, with the thermal component to be completed within 24-27 months of the Company making a final investment decision. This timeline ensures power supply preparedness for steady state operations.

PWR Hybrid brings over 28 years of experience in developing power solutions to remote sites across the globe, including more than 350MW of solar installations. Partnering with some of the leading global suppliers of renewable and thermal power generation and plant design, PWR Hybrid continues to leverage its several decades working in the Australian mining industry to develop innovative and practical hybrid energy solutions.

The technical scope of the microgrid early contractor involvement process is:

Microgrid Technicals

Organic Certification

The organic farming market is fast growing as the world moves to more sustainable farming practices. The K-BriteTM SOP product from the Lake Wells SOP Project has already received organic certification from major certification agencies.

ECOCERT, a leading organic certification agency for Europe established in France in 1991, has classified K-BriteTM as suitable for use in international organic farming in compliance with European regulations as allowed under European regulation EC834/2007.  K-BriteTM will be distributed through European jurisdictions via an offtake agreement in place with Helm AG.   The EU recently announced a goal of reaching 25% of the total European agricultural area as organic farmland by 2030.  The current organic farmland makes up 7.7% of the EU's total agricultural land.

K-BriteTM Potassium Sulphate SOP will appear in the OMRI Products List following its approval for use in certified organic production or food processing in compliance with the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program.  The Organic Materials Review Institute is the premier organic certification body in the US and is an international non-profit organisation that determines which input products are allowed for use in organic production and processing.  K-BriteTM will be distributed across the US via an offtake agreement in place with HELM USA.

ACO Certification Ltd is Australia's largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and has recognised K-BriteTM Potassium Sulphate SOP as compliant with the requirements set out in the Australian Certified Organic Standard 2021 (Version 1).  This certification ensures compliance with national and international production standards and allows trace back of all products to their origin.  K-BriteTM will be distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand via an offtake agreement in place with Redox.

Funding Green Verification

Debt issued to develop the Lake Wells SOP Project will be granted Green Loan verification in line with the Green Loan Principles adopted by the Loan Market Association and the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association.  The Green Loan Principles build on and refer to the Green Bond Principles and can apply to a new or existing Green Project.

The verification confirms that Lake Wells will make a positive environmental contribution to the global production of SOP and ensures that APC will adopt a governance and reporting framework in line with the Green Loan Principles.