By Linda Kor–
Exploration of the Holbrook Basin continues as Passport Potash received favorable preliminary results from two core holes that have intersected significant potash deposits at relatively shallow depths in the basin.
“We are very pleased with the drill results we have received. These results are consistent with what we believed the deposit would be like based on the extensive historic data from this area of the basin and similarities to the deposit currently being mined in Carlsbad, N.M. Ultimately, the NI-4301 report will define the nature and extent of our resource. We are looking forward to the release of our initial resource report and further drill results in the coming weeks,” stated Passport President and CEO Joshua Bleak.
The results came from two of seven core hole samples that have been sent to Skyline Laboratories in Tucson. Once the final report is in on these drill holes and the company has proven resources, Passport will be in line to begin a pre-feasibility study in August. The study will determine whether the company should make the effort to mine the potash. The study will also determine if surface or underground mining would be best suited for the project.
While the prospects look good not only for Passport Potash, but also for the communities in the vicinity of this project which would benefit through increased employment opportunities, population, business and tax revenues, the company will still need to generate approximately $1 billion in order to build the mine.
Bleak announced earlier this month that the company has engaged Upstream Consulting, Inc. to assist with key governmental relations and coordination between Passport Potash, and federal, state and local policy makers
“We are very pleased to have (former) Congressman (Matt) Salmon and Upstream Consulting onboard the Passport team. Their expertise and experience on the state, federal and international level will be instrumental in advancing Passports endeavors, and creating mutually beneficial relationships with state and federal policy makers,” stated Bleak.
According to the Arizona Geological Survey, the Holbrook Basin is reported to contain between 0.7 and 2.5 billion tonnes of potash within a 600-square mile area. There are currently three exploration companies at work in the area, HNZ Potash, American West Potash and Passport Potash. Passport Potash holds a 140-square mile land position in the Holbrook Basin, making it the largest landholder.