The public has 45 days to submit comments regarding the proposed Sevier Playa Potash Project to the Bureau of Land Management ahead of a draft Environmental Impact Statement scheduled to end Jan. 14.
The project would be located on 124, 223 acres of public land in Millard County. It would be developed by Crystal Peak Minerals, which seeks to take advantage of rising global demand for sulfate of potash, a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizer.
BLM West Desert District Manager Kevin Oliver said the project could create up to 275 jobs during construction, maintaining 175 full-time employees over the 30-year lifespan of the project. Public comment is being sought as part of the federal agency’s decision-making process.
Details of the draft EIS can be found online at https://bit.ly/2CZPeWy. The draft is available to view at both Delta City Library and Millard Fillmore City Library in Fillmore.
According to project documents, the first notice of intent to develop a draft EIS was first published in the Federal Register in March 2014.
According to a scoping report produced in September 2015, the project would not only include mining facilities, but also power lines, a substation, gas line, rail facility, freshwater well, as well as access roads. About 250,000 cubic yards of aggregate would be taken from gravel pits for construction, with an additional 50,000 cubic yards needed for railroad ballast and sub-ballast, according to the draft EIS.
The mining portion of the project would utilize a series of ditches and ponds to route potassium-bearing brines extracted from trenches and wells located on the Sevier Playa. Solar evaporation would concentrate the brines as they eventually made their way to pre-concentration and production ponds. The potassium-rich salts would finally be delivered year-round to a processing facility, with the result being production of sulfate of potash, according to the project draft EIS.
“Potash mined from the Sevier Playa would provide American farmers with access o locally-produced potash, thereby strengthening our local and national economy,” said Kent Hoffman, BLM’s deputy state director for lands and minerals.
Today, 90 percent of the potash used in the United States is imported. According to a BLM press release, the Sevier Playa project, once completed, would double the national production of sulfate of potash.
The public can mail comments regarding the proposed project to: Bureau of Land Management Fillmore Field Office, Attn: Clara Stevens – Sevier Playa Potash Project Comments, 95 East 500 North, Fillmore, UT 84631, or by fax at (435) 743-3135.
Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.