Monday, May 14, 2012

Potash company to acquire big ranch near Holbrook

Apache Junction-based Passport Potash announced today an agreement to buy the 41,000 acre Fitzgerald Ranch to add to their land holdings over the Holbrook potash deposit.  [Right, Passport land holdings and original boundaries of the national park. Credit, Passport Potash]

The company said that "On closing of this acquisition Passport's holdings will include approximately 70,000 acres of contiguous, royalty free, private land. Combined with Passport's 52,000 acres of public land, their land package will comprise over 122,000 acres."

Passport noted that:
  • There is no royalty attached to the agreement;
  • The property abuts the Twin Buttes Ranch and forms a contiguous block of over 70,000 acres of surface, water and minerals that will be owned in fee by Passport;
  • The property provides crucial access to Passport's holdings to the south of highway 180 and the private lands held by the Hopi tribe; and
  • This acquisition provides additional BNSF railway frontage along the north side of the property, as well as 13 miles of frontage on highway 180 on both the north and south sides of the highway.
The purchase price is approximately US$360 per acre, for a total purchase price of US$15 million dollars. Passport said they are looking at a number of financing options to close on the property later this year.

Passport last week announced the first results of their 2012 core drilling program, reporting 3.05 metres of 17.07% KCl from drill hole PPI-2012-01 and 1.99 metres of 16.82% KCl from drill hole PPI-2011-31. Included within the potash interval of PPI-2012-01 were 0.99 metres of 27.83% KCl which included 0.23 metres of 45.43% KCl. Included within the potash interval of PPI-2011-31 were 0.70 metres of 28.37% KCl which included 0.17 metres of 41.00% KCl.

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