23 December 2008 10:48 [Source: ICIS news]
MOSCOW (ICIS news)--A sinkhole at Berezniki, Russia, which was caused by a flood at one of Uralkali's mines in 2006, has stopped expanding, the emergency situations department of ?xml:namespace>
By 18 December the sinkhole was 80 metres from a 6-kilometre bypass rail line, while subsoil cracks were 64 metres from the line, unchanged week on week, the department said in a statement.
The overall size of the sinkhole was also unchanged week-on-week at 442x323 metres, or up from 437x323 metres on 20 November, the statement said. In September, the sinkhole was 100 metres from the existing bypass line.
The sinkhole has been threatening the rail line since one of Uralkali's four mines was flooded by underground waters in 2006.
In late 2007, the 6-kilometre bypass rail line was built, while another 53-kilometre bypass rail line was expected to be completed in 2009.
The rail lines are used to funnel freight from Silvinit and Uralkali, major potash producers based in
In January-September, Uralkali produced 4.03m tonnes of potash or 7.3% up year on year.
Last October, Uralkali decided to cut its potash production by 500,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter to produce 4.9m tonnes of potash in 2008. On 12 December, the company announced it would suspend a project to build a new Ust-Yaivinsky kalium ore mine, citing adverse market conditions.
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