VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Resources Corp. (TSX:WRX) (FSE:WR0) (“Western” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Western Potash Corp., entered into a ‘Project Agreement’ with the Rural Municipality of Lajord (‘RM of Lajord’) for the construction and operation of Western’s Milestone Selective Solution Mining Project (“Phase l Project”). The Milestone Phase I Project is located in the RM of Lajord about 35 km southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan.
In April, 2013 Western Potash was granted Environmental Impact Assessment approval from the Government of Saskatchewan for a conventional 2.8 million tonne per year potash solution mining project (‘Milestone Project’). The approval required Western Potash to enter into a Development Agreement with the RM of Lajord. The purpose of the Development Agreement was to reach a consensus between the RM of Lajord and Western Potash Corp. regarding several key aspects of the construction and operation of the initial Milestone Project, notably road access routes, waste management and site construction management.
Following approval for the initial Milestone Project, commodity prices, including potash, experienced a significant downturn which made it difficult to progress the project. In response to the market challenge, Western Potash Corp re-scoped the Milestone Project to a 146,000 tonne per year Phase 1 Plant and revised the mining technique by applying the innovative horizontal cavern development and selective solution mining method. This will not only significantly reduce the per unit capex for mining construction and reduce operating costs, but is also more environmentally friendly leaving the majority of salt in-place underground resulting in no surface tailings and lower subsidence. A Class 3 (+/- 10% cost accuracy) final engineering report for the Phase 1 Project was completed by AMEC Wheeler Foster and Agapito Associates Inc. at the end of last year. We believe the successful development of the Phase l Project will provide reliable technical parameters which can be applied in a full scale 2.8 million tonne per year facility, and hence revolutionize the potash business.
Given the revised technology and the rescoped project, an amendment (‘Project Agreement’) to the Development Agreement with the RM of Lajord was undertaken. The Project Agreement covers the construction and operation of the Phase l Project and usage of RM of Lajord roads. The Project Agreement was signed on August 8, 2017, and compliments the existing Development Agreement with the RM of Lajord and the amended Environmental Assessment approval received on June 6th for the Phase 1 Project.
In addition to the achievements made on the Milestone Phase l Project, the Company continues to make progress in expanding its portfolio in the real estate sector. Western Garden Properties, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Resources, has recently initiated a development project with Formwerks Boutique Properties in Vancouver. In the meantime, Western Garden Properties has successfully signed two Terms Sheets with Mosaic Group of Companies (“Mosaic”) and Edenshaw Management Ltd (Edenshaw) respectively. Mosaic is one of the top-tiered development companies in the Greater Vancouver area that has delivered over 4000 quality homes in the past 15 years, while Edenshaw has earned its reputation in residential mid-to-high rise condominium communities in Greater Toronto Area.
Mr. Bill Xue, President and CEO of Western Resources, commented, “Western Resources appreciates the cooperation extended to us by the RM of Lajord. The Company is working hard to explore resources on the North American Market as well as project financing to meet the gap so that Western Potash’s Phase l Project can be built to the schedule. In the meantime, I feel excited about the progress made in the real estate sector. I have no doubt that through partnering with those strong and reputable developers, the Company will well increase the cash revenue and ultimately bring more shareholder value.”
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The content of this news release has been read and approved by Gregory F. Vogelsang, P.Eng., P. Geo., FGC, Project Manager of the Company. Mr. Vogelsang is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
Readers are cautioned that the projected mining method, potential production profile and plan and mine plan referred to in the Pilot Study and this release are conceptual in nature. There is no certainty that a potential mine will be realized or that a production decision will be made.
Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking information” under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the filing and results of the Technical Report. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and they are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information. Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information that is set out herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
CONTACT: For more information on the contents of this release please contact Jerry Zhang, Corporate Secretary, at 604-689-9378.