Uralkali closes first Berezniki mine division

30 October 2006 14:03  [Source: ICIS news]

MADRID (ICIS news)--Russian potash producer Uralkali was forced to permanently close its first mine division (BKPRU-1) at Berezniki on 28 October due to flooding.

 

The current expansion of production capacities at its refining complexes in Berezniki will be accelerated, the company said.

 

The flood occurred on 19 October following a break in a section of an old part of the mine, which caused an inflow of brine and hydrogen sulphide emissions.

 

As a result of the closure, Uralkali´s capacity to extract potash ore has been reduced by around 20%.

 

However, its processing plant at Mine 1, which has the capacity to produce 900,000 tonnes/year of pink standard Muriate of Potash (MOP) and 500,000 tonnes/year of white standard MOP, has not been affected.

 

Uralkali’s production complex at Berezniki consists of four mining divisions and four refining complexes, one for each mine, although Mine 3 flooded in 1986 and is not operational.

 

The refineries at Mines 3 and 4 are undergoing expansion at present. Processing plant 3 is being expanded by 880,000 tonnes/year of MOP. The first phase was due for completion by the end of 2006 and the remainder by 2010.

 

The expansion at processing plant 4 was scheduled for completion in 2009, when its capacity would increase by 1.25m tonnes/year.

 

The expansion of these production capacities will be brought forward to help offset the loss of output at Mine 1, the company added.

 

Uralkali has revised its MOP production forecast for 2007 to 5m tonnes from 6.2m. tonnes.


By: Neil Griffiths
+44 20 8652 3214



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