Harvest Minerals has reported further progress at its advanced Arapua multi-nutrient direct application natural fertiliser (DANF) project, located in the heart of the Brazilian agriculture belt in Minas Gerais.
Harvest said: "As previously announced, the company's focus has been on completing the first-round agronomic test work so that an application for certification of KPfertil as a remineraliser can be submitted to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
"KPfertil is an organic, multi-nutrient slow release fertiliser and remineraliser produced from a weathered potassium and phosphate rich lava, which offers many economic and agronomic benefits.
"As part of the certification process, the company has been undertaking multiple agronomy trials, which are being conducted by three organisations: The Federal University of Varginha; The Institute of Agricultural Research of Cerrado; and The Federal University of Uberlandia."
Harvest said the results from the latest round of tests were due imminently, which would allow the application to MAPA to be submitted by late July.
It added: "Subject to MAPA responding in a timely fashion, the company anticipates registration of KPfertil as a remineraliser by the end of 2017, following which an application for registration as a fertiliser, to further broaden the market, can be made, if thought necessary by the company."
Harvest said that in addition to progressing the agronomic test work and registration processes, it actively continued to explore off-take agreements and aimed to strengthen its product sales team as the year progressed.
It said: "Notwithstanding that certification is still pending, based on discussions to date, the company anticipates recording first product sales in Q3 2017 as customers start to incorporate KPfertil into their cropping programmes.
"The company has significant scope to meet customer demand, having recently stockpiled a total of 50,000 tonnes of product."
Chairman Brian McMaster said, "With a current resource of over 13Mt, which is easily scalable, Arapua will support decades of production and generate significant turnover.
"Our focus remains on gaining certification and developing sales channels. Sales are expected to progress following certification and as market awareness of the product gains traction.
"Given the expected steady flow of news over the coming year, including test results, certification and sales agreements, we are confident that the foundations are in place for a profitable business."