GrowMax’s main initial interest in the Bayovar Property was for the potential exploitation of the potassium-rich brine, but the concession contracts allow the production of other minerals. GrowMax was long aware that regional phosphate deposits represented a potentially valuable resource on the Bayoar Property, and the start-up in 2010 of the Vale-operated Miski Mayo phosphate mine to the south of our concessions demonstrated the viability of large-scale phosphate production from the Bayovar area.
Starting in 2011, the company began initial campaigns to assess and quantify the phosphate resource potential on its Bayovar Property, which led to a first phosphate resource assessment being announced in May 2015. The initial resource assessment was updated twice in 2016, with results as shown in the technical reports associated with those resource assessments and summarized in our investor presentations. To date over 150 phosphate boreholes have been drilled and cored.
Through early 2016, the Company began to focus its efforts on completing a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for portions of the assessed phosphate resources, focusing on the relatively shallow phosphate deposits located on the Bayovar 7 block.
In September 2016 GrowMax received the results of an independent PEA for its Bayovar 7 phosphate project. WorleyParsons compiled the PEA and was responsible for the processing and infrastructure of the project and supervision of economic analysis of the project which relied on data from GrowMax and other participants; Golder Associates prepared the mine plan and associated mineral resource statement; Integer Research Ltd. prepared the marketing research and phosphate price forecast; and MWH Peru SA provided the environmental and social impact assessment.
The Company is in the process of evaluating options to progress the Phosphates project, and is considering the following future work:
- Additional exploration and infill drilling, and metallurgical testing to increase confidence levels and to increase the understanding of variability of the phosphate beds.
- Investigating options to market phosphate rock and direct application phosphate rock in Peru and other countries in the region.
- Evaluating options to optimize capital and operating costs.
- Enhancing the Company's corporate social responsibility program and dialogue with communities and government authorities in order to maximize the value of the project to all stakeholders.
- Initiating a pre-feasibility study.
- Studying the potential to develop the Company's significant additional phosphate resources on its other blocks in the Bayovar area.