As the world grapples with the task of combating climate change, the need to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector is weighed against the need to feed a growing global population.
Addressing either of these issues would be a worthy goal, but one Australian company is seeking to do both at once.
Australian Potash Limited is the company behind the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash project, located in Western Australia’s north-eastern Goldfields.
For those not familiar with the industry, potash is essentially a mineral or compound that bears potassium – which helps plants regulate carbon dioxide uptake and water circulation, resist drought and disease, and develop strong roots.
Although potassium naturally occurs in soils, it is leached out of the soil as plants grow, which makes fertilisers like sulphate of potash (SOP) essential for securing the world’s food supply.
One of the issues with the existing SOP supply is that, in addition to not being able to meet growing demand partly due to supply chain issues, it is largely produced using a resource intensive method.
This is where Australian Potash enters the equation.
Following in the footsteps of SOP projects in the US, Australian Potash will use the environmentally friendly solar-salt production method, which generates 66 per cent less carbon dioxide than the typical ‘Mannheim’ method, which has been verified by an independent study.
The key to this is leveraging the unique advantages on offer in Western Australia, namely an abundance of sun and wind.
There are currently no established Australian suppliers of SOP, which means Australian farmers are dependent on importing less sustainable alternatives right now.
Australian Potash is one of the companies trying to change that.
Once developed, the Lake Wells SOP project is set to supply farmers in Australia and some of the world’s most productive regions with premium SOP that is organically certified and environmentally sustainable.
It might not be as ubiquitous as a solar panel for global sustainability, but Australian Potash’s progress toward sustainable food production is every bit as impressive.
Note, Australian Potash is a client of ReGen Strategic.