Potash shipments from Silvinit may be suspended

26 October 2007 14:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Potash shipments from Russia’s JSC Silvinit may have to be suspended due to a sinkhole caused by mine flooding, the marketer of Silvinit potash, International Potash Company (IPC) said on Friday.


On 24 October, the sinkhole caused by flooding at Uralkali’s Berezniki 1 mine grew by 30 metres towards the rail line used for potash shipments by Silvinit.


The crack is now about 100 metres from a 800 metre bypass railroad line.


Uralkali was forced to permanently close its Berezniki 1 mine on 28 October 2006 due to flooding.


In July this year, subsidence occurred at the flooded mine.


IPC said it was monitoring developments in the area on a constant basis.


It was hoped that the growth in subsidence would slow down in winter conditions and the negative consequences would be mitigated by the launch of a new 600 kilometre long rail bypass, which was due to be completed in February 2008.


“In view of this situation, JSC International Potash Company may suspend potash shipments in case of force majeure,” the company said in a statement, adding that it was hopeful that rail deliveries would continue uninterrupted until the construction of the new bypass.


Silvinit, based in Solikamsk in the Perm region of the Urals, controls 40% of the Russian potash market and exports roughly 80% of its output.

By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214

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