K+S Germany potash site to remain closed until November

10 October 2013 14:26  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Production at K+S’ potash mine at Unterbreizbach in Germany's Thuringia state will not be resumed before the beginning of November after a fatal accident, the Germany-based fertilizer firm said in an update on Thursday.

Three miners died on 1 October from exposure to carbon dioxide (CO2) gas following routine blasting works at the mine. The CO2, which is bound in the mine’s potash salts, was set free during the blasting.

"From today’s perspective, the exceptionally strong gas eruption at the Unterbreizbach mine on 1 October no longer permits the resumption of crude salt extraction before the beginning of November," K+S said.

K+S continues to ventilate the mine in order to dispel the remaining CO2 from the mine, it said.

"Only once that has been performed will a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the mine, and a decision on how to proceed further, be possible," it said.

K+S added that most of the mine's workers can therefore not be employed at this time. The company is in talks with the works council "to develop an appropriate works agreement." 

K+S also said that its ability to supply customers was not affected by the disruption at Unterbreizbach. Existing orders were being processed by the K+S sister plants, it said.

Kassel-based K+S employs more than 5,000 workers at its mines in Hessen and Thuringia states.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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