South Harz Potash Ltd (ASX:SHP) (FRA:D860) has appointed a specialist deep drilling company to execute the first of twin drill holes at its flagship Ohmgebirge Potash Project in Germany.

H Anger’s Söhne Bohr – und Brunnenbaugesellschaft, colloquially known as Angers, is set to drill the pioneer hole at the potash play in 2021’s final quarter.

Now it has appointed a driller, South Harz will submit supplementary detailed information to Germany’s regional mining authorities as part of the permitting process’ final step.

Ultimately, drilling both confirmatory holes at the Ohmgebirge project are expected to support the ASX lister as it delivers a revised mineral resource estimate (MRE) and upgrades resources to the indicated category.

SHP expects to drill the second confirmatory hole and deliver the Ohmgebirge scoping study in the first quarter of 2022.

Developing flagship project

Speaking to the appointment, SHP managing director Dr Chris Gilchrist said: “I am pleased that we have agreed on the first of the drill sites at Ohmgebirge and importantly secured a specialist drilling contractor, which are currently in short supply as a result of the post-COVID resources and materials rush in Europe.

“The team in Germany has worked hard to navigate the communications challenges caused by the COVID pandemic and will continue to do so to mitigate any further delays.

“The potash market has picked up significantly over the past few weeks as post-COVID food security fears have fuelled substantial crop price increases which, in turn, has driven fertiliser sales and prices upwards providing a favourable backdrop to develop the first of our exciting potash projects within the heart of Europe.”

The first of twin drill holes

As Angers prepares to drill the maiden confirmatory hole at Ohmgebirge next quarter, geotechnical ground surveying is underway.

Promisingly, SHP is already in possession of a large database of drill hole information for its licence areas and only needs to conduct minimal confirmatory drilling to elevate the JORC status of each area.

It’s hoped Angers will drill the first confirmatory hole to 665 metres in depth, fully penetrating the known potash seam at Ohmgebirge.

Then, the hole will be surveyed using a full suite of geophysical tools including caliper, borehole deviation, temperature, salinity, gamma, gamma-gamma, neutron log, resistance and acoustic logging.

Cement bond logs, as well as cement and formation integrity tests, will also be carried out.

Meanwhile, as part of the broader development program at Ohmgebirge, SHP is in talks with landowners and tenants to determine its options for a second drill site.

Resource upgrade and scoping study

SHP’s existing inferred resource stands at 5.3 billion tonnes, with the flagship Ohmgebirge project making up 325 million tonnes of that resource, grading 13.1% potassium oxide.

It’s hoped results from both of the confirmatory holes will allow South Harz to upgrade the current Ohmgebirge resource to the indicated category.

Beyond that, the revised MRE will allow South Harz to report technical and economic information about Ohmgebirge for the first time in a scoping study.

Essentially, the study will include a detailed resource assessment by Micon International Co Ltd and results from the twin drill holes.

Once a revised MRE is complete, K-Utec Salt Technologies GmbH will review the scoping study’s mining and processing sections and update both capital and operating costs.

The study will also include an expert appraisal of the potash and industrial salt markets and provide guidance price forecasts for a financial model.

South Harz anticipates it can complete the scoping study in 2022’s first quarter.