Potash is a generic term for potassium salts used as fertiliser.
There are three main types of potash:
- Potassium Chloride (KCL)
- Potassium Sulphate (SOP), commonly called sulphate of potash (K2SO4)
- Schoenite (Potassium Magnesium Sulphate – K2SO4MgSO46H2O)
Initial test indicate the major product able to be produced from the Karinga Creek Project will be schoenite with lesser quantities of other by-products which are to be confirmed.
There is high demand for schoenite in China and Malaysia. China produces its own supply from salt lakes whilst Malaysia imports schoenite from Germany as fertiliser for palm oil plantations. Australian fertiliser companies also sell variations of K-Mag or KMS products but the quantities are unknown.
Schoenite is produced on a large scale in China from salt lakes but the product is subject to an export tax and therefore no longer exported. It is also produced in Germany and also known as Picromerit/Picromerite. Performance wise, schoenite is equivalent to, if not better than potassium sulphate.
The world's biggest producers of potash are Canada, Russia and Germany.