Sudan Agro-Minerals Project
International Mineral Resources (Agrominerals Sudan) (“IMRAS”), is a British and Sudanese-owned exploration company which holds a number of promising agromineral prospects and intends to become the representative agrominerals company in Sudan. Regency’s technical team is leading the exploration programme across several concession areas prospective for agrominerals. Regency holds the right to farm in up to a 51% interest in IMRAS by exploration leading to the development of two JORC resources.
Prior to the independence of South Sudan in 2011, exploration activities for natural resources focussed mainly on oil and gas. The government is now actively promoting and encouraging investment from Western exploration companies in an attempt to diversify and expand the country’s industry. The resource potential of Sudan is not well known – less than 10% of the country has ever been explored for mineral deposits. Regency Mines is working closely with the Ministry of Minerals to maximise positive exploration outcomes, the results of which could benefit not only the Company but also the local economy and Sudan’s own agricultural development. It is an encouraging sign that Sudan has expanded its natural resource focus and is dedicated to assisting mineral exploration companies in developing its resources.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (“FAO”), estimates that world food production will need to rise by 70% if global population grows significantly by 2050, as expected. If the FAO’s predictions are correct, the importance of discovering new agromineral resources – phosphate, gypsum and potash in particular, is going to become critical. For food yields to increase at the rate projections could demand, essential crop nutrients must be provided.
The IMRAS concessions
The main agrominerals currently under investigation are phosphate in the Jebel Abyad concession and potash and gypsum in the Red Sea concession.
Extensive reviews by the technical team at Regency Mines have indicated potential geological correlations between the Jebel Abyad sedimentary sequence and the economic phosphate deposits found in the prolific Mediterranean Phosphate Belt. This geological formation extends from the Middle East to the west coast of Africa and may contain up to 79% of world phosphate reserves. An initial field exploration programme in the Jebel Abyad concession took place in November 2013 with a goal of locating the presence and extent of the Mediterranean phosphate horizons within the sedimentary sequence.
A 2013 trip to the Red Sea concession has confirmed the presence of gypsum exposed at surface and work is currently underway to further delineate the extent and thickness of the formation. Historic boreholes drilled proximal to the concession area record the presence of potassium-rich salts (“potash”) within evaporite sequences at depth. The next stage of fieldwork will be to confirm the existence, grade and mineralogy of any potash at surface within the concession area. A recent application was made to extend the Red Sea concession in order to include additional areas of interest.
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