EuroChem Usolskiy Potash completes cage shaft sinking
Moscow, 21 October 2013 – EuroChem, one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, announces today that cage shaft sinking operations at its Usolskiy Potash project in Russia’s Verkhnekamskoe potash deposit have been completed. Begun in March 2012 following the successful freezing of the ground, the sinking operations progressed to the shaft’s target depth of -473 meters at an average rate of 42 meters per month and were completed a full month ahead of schedule. Usolskiy’s cage shaft is the first shaft to be completed in the Verkhnekamskoe deposit in the last 25 years.
The underground work, which now centers on the ventilation and haulage section, is being performed by the renowned underground experts of FSUE “FF – 30” (ФГУП «УС – 30»). The freeze wall was designed and operated by Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH, the German shaft sinking specialist involved in the freezing of shafts at both of the company’s potash sites, Usolskiy Potash and VolgaKaliy.
At the time of this release, some 100 meters away from the cage shaft, the sinking operations at the skip shaft were progressing at a depth of -491 meters with crews working on the haulage sections and loading stations. The target depth of Usolskiy’s skip shaft is -547 m. At present, approximately 70,000 m3 of overburden has been excavated during shaft sinking while a total of 8,361 iron tubings and 21,500 m3 of concrete were used for lining.
As previously announced, we continue to expect first production at Usolskiy to start in 2017 and to reach maximum capacity output in 2021. As at 30 September 2013, total cumulative capital expenditure at Usolskiy Potash amounted to more than USD 465 million.
On October 15th 2013, Usolskiy Potash celebrated its 5th anniversary. Acquired via auction in 2008 for USD 172m (RUB 4.1bn) and comprising 132.9 km², the license area is located in the southern section of the Verkhnekamskoe deposit, one of the largest potash deposits in the world. The average KCl content of Usolskiy’s ore has been established at 30.8%.
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