The Western Australia-based company is planning a development hub based around its flagship Throssell Lake high-grade brine SOP project near Laverton.
Trigg is firmly focused on sustainability and Managing Director and CEO Keren Paterson said RESOURCES stocks its goal was to build mines of which communities could be proud.
The company also seeks to build on the pioneering spirit of its namesake.
It is named after Paterson’s ancestor, Henry Trigg, a carpenter who moved to the Swan River Colony in Washington in 1829 and became chief of public works, overseeing key projects including the construction of Canning Bridge.
âHe was very energetic, very passionate about Western Australia and was creating things from scratch,â Paterson said.
She also loves her home country and went into mining after finding abandoned mines on trips through the bush, thinking they were interesting but believing in a more environmentally friendly future.
Her research led her to sulphate of potash, which provides essential nutrients to plants without any deleterious elements.
After a diverse background in the mining industry, Paterson founded Trigg and listed the company in 2019, with two SOP projects in East Goldfields and strong support for the agriculture sector IPO.
In May, Trigg established a first inferred resource for Throssell Lake of 14.2 million tonnes at 10.3 kg / m3 SOP, indicating scale and quality to support long-term production.
He is now working to build confidence in Throssell Lake by establishing a first Indicated Resource and delivering a Scoping Study by the end of this quarter.
After an oversubscribed rights issue that raised over AU $ 3.4 million, the company is well funded to reach these milestones.
The current Throssell Lake resource brings the company’s inventory to over 20Mt of SOP, thanks to its existing resource comprising 6Mt at 5.08kg / m3 at Rason Lake to the south.
Trigg has also set an exploration target of an additional 2.6 to 9.4 Mt of SOP at Throssell Lake and Yeo Lake, 35 km away, representing further expansion potential.
âWe anticipate that Throssell Lake will be a multi-decade project with additional pipeline growth along with the additional lakes in the portfolio,â said Paterson.
“And Lake Throssell is a very exciting project in itself.”
With environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors becoming important investment considerations, Paterson was quick to highlight the nature-friendly aspects of producing SOPs from brine.
“There is no surface mine or waste rock dump,” she said of the contrast to traditional surface mining.
“It really is using nature, sustainably harvesting mineralized brine from aquifers, and harnessing solar energy through the process of evaporation to produce a natural mineral fertilizer essential to global food security. To produce an all-round mineral fertilizer. natural for food.
âThis process is environmentally friendly, it does not interrupt the geology and water will continue to enter over time.
“It will be harvested using solar energy through the process of evaporation and will produce a very clean fertilizer for sustainable agricultural results – it’s very exciting, this closed loop of sustainability and improved results, by especially here in Australia where we still import all of our potassium needs. “
The potash market is dominated by the cheaper and more ubiquitous muriate of potash (MOP), such as BHP’s Jansen deposit, which has yet to be developed in Saskatchewan.
MOP can also be heat treated using the Mannheim process to produce SOP, but the energy-intensive process produces hydrochloric acid as waste, which Paterson says further underscored the greener nature and less costly of the production of brine SOPs.
SOP has a niche as a premium mineral fertilizer for high-value, chloride-sensitive crops such as fruits, cocoa and coffee beans.
âIt increases drought tolerance and helps plants become much more efficient with water uptake,â Paterson said.
âWith the growing problems of climate change and drought, and the salinity of our soilsâ¦ we need to use smart fertilizers that are efficient and nutritious.
“Potash sulphate is just a very good, healthy fertilizer and the more we can use it instead of muriate throughout our agricultural sector, we can improve the sustainability of Australian and global agricultural production.”
Global SOP demand of around 7 million tonnes per year would increase by 3% per year thanks to a growing world population, a reduction in arable land and an increasing use of fertilizers.
Trigg’s three projects – Throssell Lake, Yeo Lake and Rason Lake to the south, lie near the terminus of ancient river valleys, where brine solutions containing potassium mineralization have been concentrated for millions of years.
Despite its remote location, it offers advantages, including being located in a favorable mining jurisdiction, as well as access to infrastructure.
Trigg’s Lake Throssell project is home to the Great Central Road, where an upgrade is underway to make the Outback Highway a reliable route through central Australia, connecting Laverton to Winton in Queensland.
The project is also approximately 60 km from a gas pipeline and less than 1,000 km from the deep water port of Esperance.
Trigg’s progress places it firmly among Western Australia’s budding SOP sector, albeit at an earlier stage than the few products approaching production.
In this regard, Paterson said it was “an absolute advantage to come in second”.
âI watched what my peers were doing and took in a lot of that knowledge,â she said.
âWe are also hiring a number of staff who worked in the peer group, so that we can learn the lessons.
âThere is no defined playbook as if it was a gold deposit and we could just take things off the board and build a gold mine.
“Each project has a slightly different process map because we have slightly different brine chemistry – we are all learning as a new industry here in Australia.”
Another benefit of Trigg’s early stage status is that it represents a ground floor investment opportunity in a new growth industry in Australia.
âWe have all the benefits or the story of growth ahead of us,â Paterson said.