The Danakil Property is located approximately 600 kilometers from the Tadjoura Port of Djibouti where a new bulk terminal was completed in June 2017. This port will have low ocean freight transport costs to the fast-growing Southeast Asian market, a key competitive advantage to comparable assets in Russia and North America. Circum Minerals will lease a dedicated deep-water berth and 2000 t/h shiploader, and land area for Circum's storage sheds, equipment and other infrastructure.
Product transportation to Djibouti will initially be by trucking. The government of Ethiopia is constructing a new haulage road from Ahmed Ela to Afdera, and upgrading the rest of the route. Road construction is already in progress and will be completed in 2020. Rail transport has also been evaluated by Circum with the intention of incorporating it into the project economics once production in the Danakil Basin exceeds 5 million tonnes per annum.
The Ethiopian govenment is currently electrifying the Danakil Basin, developing a new power transmission line and substation that will deliver ample power for the project. The power will come from an existing sub-station in Mekele, which already has the required excess capacity. The Ethiopian Electric Power Company has raised financing for this, and begun construction, with completion expected in 2020.
Solution mining utilises substantial volumes of water but Circum's process is designed to predominantly use saline brines. Umvoto Africa (Pty) Ltd (“Umvoto”) completed hydrogeological studies that show Circum has access to sufficient brines for its initial operations from the nearest three alluvial fan complexes, all within its license area. In field test work, over 600 million litres of brine was extracted without any significant impact being observed in the adjacent water table. Based upon these results and extensive groundwater modelling, Umvoto concluded that the alluvial fans are excellent aquifers, of sufficient storage and yield to supply the required volume of water to meet the mine demand scenarios of the Project.