We currently have access to over 10 billion tonnes of potash reserves in two key deposits in Russia and are conducting geological work on other deposits to which we have secured mining rights. Once on stream, our two ongoing potash projects will have over 8.3 MMT KCI (5.0 MMT K2O) of capacity, which is equivalent to approximately 10% of current global supply. The development of potash capacity is one of our main strategic priorities. We are constructing mining and processing facilities at two locations in Russia; at the Gremyachinskoe deposit (EuroChem-VolgaKaliy, Volgograd region) and at the Verkhnekamskoe deposit (EuroChem Usolskiy, Perm region).
EuroChem-VolgaKaliy, Gremyachinskoe deposit (Volgograd region, Russia)
The Gremyachinskoe deposit is one of the four largest deposits of potassium ore in Russia and is characterized by a 10-meter thick potash layer with an average KCl content of 39.5%. EuroChem-VolgaKaliy has mining rights on more than 1.6 billion tonnes of reserves in the deposit.
Our investment in modern mining operations and ready access to our Tuapse transhipment port facility will provided us with unmatched cost advantages.
Status (Q4 2016)
Following the completion of the active shaft sinking phase, VolgaKaliy crews worked on the installation of steel in the ore feeding area and loading pocket at skip shaft #1. Work also began to increase the diameter of the shaft to its designed diameter of nine meters through to its final depth of -1,147 meters.
The site continued on the lateral development program from skip shaft #2 with work focusing on completing the installation of steel at the shaft station and excavation of permanent drifts. A Galloway stage is being positioned at the bottom of the shaft with a deck installed above for the lateral development program. The site is preparing to lower and assemble the first mining machine in Q1.
At the cage shaft, where water inflow halted sinking progress at -813 meters, additional freeze holes are being drilled and cased to 750 meters and the bottom which will reach to -832 meters that will contain the new freeze pipes. Since this additional layer of freeze wall protection will take several months to be completed, a heating system was designed and installed to stabilize the temperature of the water inside the shaft to prevent it from freezing and causing any damage to the shaft liner.
On the surface, construction and installation continued to progress at numerous facilities, the most significant being the main beneficiation building (including grinding, de-sliming, flotation, and dewatering units), finished product storage building, ore storage building, transfer towers and galleries, loadout and the crushing building. New work also began at the rail station. The construction of the beneficiation plant is expected to be completed in 2017, with potash production following by mid-2018.