Trent Ernst, editor
The Wapiti Phosphate Project has been moving slower than the company had planned, but the small scale phosphate mine is taking another step towards production with work on the road into the project.
Fertoz will supply organic input rock phosphate fertilizer for farmers, mostly across the border in Alberta.
The new road will provide better access to the Company’s permitted 17,500 tonne bulk sample area at the Wapiti Phosphate Project.
The company has hired contractors from around the area to work on the access trail, clearing of timber, construction of the trail, bridge installation and bulk sample access with the objective of starting the bulk sample extraction to meet the Company’s target of selling 10,000 tonnes of organic rock phosphate in 2016.
The road will provide access to the mine once the Company obtains approval for its 75,000 tonnes per year small mine permit.
Fertoz expects the new road and trail upgrades to be completed by the end of August 2016 after which the Company will commence trenching and bulk sampling in September. Local First Nations have been engaged to assist the Company with road construction in this first phase of development and the Company looks forward to further discussions with First Nations to progress the project.
“We are very pleased with the continued progress at our BC Phosphate projects, especially in light of the growing demand for organic input fertilizers,” Managing Director Stephen Keith says. “The road construction is first step to enable the Company to achieve its goal of selling 10,000 tonnes of its certified organic phosphate in 2016. Fertoz will be the only producing phosphate mine in Canada and, with our certification as an organic input fertilizer in the US and Canada, we will be well placed strategically to take advantage of this significant market. As we move towards production and look to cost effectively access additional material, we are well situated to take advantage of this growing market which, in turn, will lead to significant returns for our shareholders and partners.”
The Wapiti East project is Fertoz’s flagship property. The project area is 75km from Tumbler Ridge.
It is a near-surface deposit that is close to road, rail and electricity infrastructure. Fertoz is targeting production at Wapiti East as soon as possible.
In November 2014, the Company submitted a Small Mine Application to the BC Ministry of Mines to extract up to 75,000 tonnes per annum of phosphate rock from the project.
A two-tonne bulk sample was collected and assay results submitted, showing trace heavy metal impurities—a pre-requisite for use in the organic fertilizer market, as well as containing macronutrients and micronutrients required for plant growth.
The company will use this build sample to begin farm trials with a pair of organic broad acre farms located somewhere in Western Canada to determine the effectiveness of the product.
The company has four other areas in the province that it is working on developing: Wapiti West, Barnes Lake, Crows Nest and Marten.
The Wapiti projects (East and West) consist of 54 claims and cover an area of 18,823 hectares (188.23 km2). Barnes Lake, Marten and Crows Nest are located near Fernie in Southern BC and are known as the Fernie Group due to their close proximity to each other and Fernie.