The Danakil Potash Project is located about 600 kilometres 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 various international markets which Circum will supply. Circum will lease a dedicated deep-water berth, shiploader and land area for its storage sheds, equipment and other infrastructure.
Product transportation to Djibouti will initially be by trucking. The Government of Ethiopia has spent significant amounts of money constructing a new haulage road from Ahmed Ela to Afdera, and upgrading the rest of the route to Djibouti. Road construction is well advanced and will be completed prior to production commencing.
The Government of Ethiopia is also 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 substation in Mekelle, which already has the required excess capacity. The Ethiopian Electric Power Company has raised financing for this and begun construction, with completion expected in the not-too-distant future. Importantly, the majority of the power produced in Ethiopia is hydroelectric, adding to the project’s green credentials.
Solution mining uses substantial volumes of water and Circum’s process is designed to use saline water for solution mining and fresh water for the plant processes. Various hydrogeological studies have been completed in the Basin which show that there are numerous alluvial fans containing more than sufficient water to support multiple potash projects in the vicinity.