Harvest Minerals said test results for its natural fertiliser product, KPfertil, had exceeded the board's expectations, confirming the potential for it to replace more expensive competitors and to become a staple product in the Minas Gerais agricultural belt in Brazil.

Executive chairman Brian McMaster said: “the test results continue to exceed our expectations […] We believe KPfértil has the potential to replace significant amounts of conventional and more expensive fertilisers and become a staple product in the Minas Gerais agriculture belt in Brazil”.

The tests, which were carried out by Brazil's University of Uberlandia, demonstrated a substantial increase in dry matter production by rice crops treated with KPfertil, of 59.44g per plant versus just 5.03g when conventional sources of potassium were applied.

Similarly, when compared to conventional sources potassium and phosphate, applying the same amounts of K and P as KPfértil in clayey soils resulted in up to 73.09% of the dry matter as with expensive, conventional fertilisers.

Further test results were due in coming months, and as already announced, the company said it would lodge a registration application for KPfertil with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply as a remineraliser.

To take note of, Brasilia had set a target for the country to become fertiliser self-sufficient by 2020.

Following the results, and alongside a “highly” experienced and “proven” sales team and an “established” market, the company said the foundations were in place for a robust business.

“With product ready for delivery, an indicated and inferred resource of 13.07Mt at 3.1% K2O and 2.49% P2O5, which translates into a mine life of over 30 years at a rate of 450k tonnes per annum, established infrastructure, a highly experienced and proven sales team and an established local market, the foundations are in place for a robust business and we look forward to the future with excitement,” said the board.

The company's shares were up 2.27% to 11.25p by 09:45 BST