IC Potash (TSX:ICP) claims it's at the forefront of a surge in the potash market as it looks to increase the flow of financing to its Ochoa project. During a conference call to investors, management highlighted the $10 million being pumped into the company by Cartesian Capital Group. Cartesian recently acquired 500,000 Class A preferred shares of Intercontinental Potash — a subsidiary of IC Potash — and after two years the shares may be converted into 7.8 percent of the company's outstanding common shares. "Regular potash markets are picking up. Potash in general is well off its bottom ... and is probably the best recovering commodity market," said Sidney Himmel, president and CEO of IC Potash. IC Potash's Ochoa project focuses on sulfate of potash (SOP), which is largely used as a fertilizer for fruits, vegetables, potatoes, tobacco and tree nuts, and Himmel said he has great faith in demand for the product. "[SOP markets] haven't declined over the past four years," said Himmel, adding that the market is hitting highs. "It's a fact a lot of [investors] may not realize." IC Potash has the price of SOP listed as roughly $700 per metric ton (MT), up from $600 in 2013. The world uses about 5.5 million MT of SOP per year compared to the roughly 55 million MT of muriate of potash consumed per year. According to Himmel, the US consumes about 150,000 MT of SOP from Canada. Ochoa is located in Southeastern New Mexico and has a preliminary economic assessment that highlights two scenarios. Under the first plan, expenses would add up to just over $673.3 million, but the project would have a net present value of $1.43 billion. The second scenario pegs costs at closer to $815.1 million, with a net present value of $2.51 billion for the project. The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management gave its formal blessing to the project in April, paving the way for Himmel and the company to look for more funding. "We're doing development deals, not public market deals," he said, adding that the niche space of SOP can prove highly lucrative.