David in a the absence of any press announcement, and it would not be kept quiet, there is no reason to suspect that Bicarbonate production at Osborne will cease. Penrice have already established markets for the Bicarb and for the quick lime they produce. Their importing of soda ash feed stock would have been hedged against the AU$.
We have no indication that the demand for limestone at Osborne is going to change from the present 2/5ths of the demand when Soda Ash was produced on site.
The technical production preference for rail transport remains, that is rail delivers a product with less fines, and the production methodology has not changed.
What could change are:
> Penrice accept a stone with more fines and deal with these at Osborne.
> The cost advantage of road now offsets the cost of handling product with fines
> Penrice can obtain the bulk quantities of CO2 required for the process from some other source*
> GWA want to walk away from the activity for varying reasons
> Rail access costs have made the service uneconomic
> Retaining accreditation of the line north of Gawler is too expensive.
* The exhaust gas from the gas turbine at Osborne power station is high in CO2 and is just outside the fence.
SA need a good dose of ill informed pessimism.