TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - IC Potash Corp. ("ICP" or the "Company") (TSX: ICP, OTCQX: ICPTF) announced today the commencement of a program to establish the
characteristics of the groundwater supply for the Southeast New Mexico
Ochoa Project. Using conventional drilling techniques, ICP intends to
use a brackish and non-potable water supply from two wells, which are
approximately 5,400 feet deep. The target water-producing zone is the
Permian-age Capitan Reef ("Captain Reef"), a confined aquifer that is
recognized by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and U.S.
Geological Survey as a significant brackish water resource with a
history of industrial use.
Mr. Sidney Himmel, CEO of ICP, commented: "Based on our studies, the
Capitan Reef provides more than sufficient water resources to supply
our Ochoa Sulphate of Potash ("SOP") Project. Given the brackish nature
of this water, ICP will not be required to acquire a water rights
permit. This greatly reduces the time required to permit the use of
this water resource. The Capitan Reef is abundant, suitable for our
production, and is currently un-utilized."
The Capitan Reef is hydraulically separated from shallow, fresh-water
aquifers in the vicinity of the Ochoa Project. By supplying the Ochoa
Project with deep and salty water that is not in use for domestic,
municipal, agricultural, or other uses, ICP will secure water resources
without competing with the surrounding communities' needs for water.
ICP will not need to acquire a water right from the New Mexico Office of
the State Engineer, thereby bypassing a lengthy water rights
application and hearing process.
Reasons for this include:
the top of the aquifer at the well location is greater than 2,500 feet
the brackish water is expected to contain greater than 1,000 parts per
million total dissolved solids (TDS);
the aquifer is not within a declared groundwater basin; and
the water will be used for mining.
The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the New Mexico State
Land Office granted ICP permits to drill two wells. Both wells will be
constructed to production capacity. Following well construction, ICP
will complete a pumping test to characterize the hydraulic properties
of the aquifer. The data generated by these wells will be used in
support of the Hydrologic Impact Assessment described in the Bureau of
Land Management Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Intention
to appropriate brackish water filed with the New Mexico Office of the
History of Water Use from the Capitan Reef
Brackish groundwater from the Capitan Reef has been used historically
for secondary oil recovery since the 1960's. Previous research
describes a number of brackish groundwater development projects in the
Capitan Reef, including the Jal Water System near Jal, New Mexico, and
the El Capitan Well Field near Kermit, Texas. The Jal Water System
wells flowed at rates of approximately 560 gallons per minute and
produced up to 1,800 acre-feet per year before they were plugged and
abandoned in 2006. The El Capitan system produced water from the
Capitan Reef in the range of 8,000 acre-feet per year in 1964. Data
from these projects provide clear evidence of significant historical
usage of brackish water from the Capitan Reef, indicating a high
probability of success for its use as a supply source for the Ochoa
About IC Potash Corp.
ICP intends to become a primary producer of Sulphate of Potash ("SOP")
and Sulphate of Potash Magnesia ("SOPM") by mining its 100%-owned
Polyhalite Ochoa property in New Mexico, a highly advanced mineral
deposit containing proven and probable reserves of more than 400
million tons of ore within the proposed mine plan. SOP is a
non-chloride based potash fertilizer that sells at a substantial
premium over the price of regular potash known as Muriate of Potash
("MOP"). MOP contains chloride and is therefore not the optimal potash
for numerous crops and in situations where there is high soil salinity.
ICP is focused on becoming the lowest cost producer of SOP in the
world. The SOP market is towards six million tonnes per year. SOP is a
significant fertilizer in the fruit, vegetable, tobacco, potato, and
horticultural industries. SOP is also applicable in soils where there
is substantial agricultural activity with varieties of crops and
therefore where the salinity of the soil has increased, and in areas
where soils are dry. SOPM is a highly desirable potash product for
soils with magnesium deficiency, including those found in Europe and
Southeast Asia and has a total global market size of over one million
tonnes. ICP's Ochoa property consists of over 100,000 acres of federal
subsurface potassium prospecting permits and State of
New Mexico Potassium mining leases.
Certain information set forth in this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown
risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject
to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the
control of ICP, including, but not limited to, risks associated with
mineral exploration and mining activities, the impact of general
economic conditions, industry conditions, dependence upon regulatory
approvals, and the uncertainty of obtaining additional financing.
Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of
such information, although considered reasonable at the time of
preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance
should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
SOURCE IC Potash Corp.
For further information:
please visit www.icpotash.com or contact Lisa Faiella at +1-778-838-2887 or Sidney Himmel at +1-416-624-3781