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K+ S group finishing preparations for major Potash deposit

Published by
Global Mining Review,


K+S KALI group has been following preparations for almost a year to begin the exploration of the western section of a promising potash deposit.


The Scholle von Calvörde deposit has been the aim of K+S for a while, as it’s tried to acquire a detailed understanding of the rock mechanics and hydrogeological conditions of that part of the deposit, which is where the future potential of the mine lies.

“Our existing knowledge of the deposit and the overburden are largely based on some boreholes that were drilled in the 1960s and 1970s. With the borehole that is now being drilled, we want to obtain more detailed information to back up our plans for the further development of the mine over the coming decades,” explained Jörg Feldberg, head of geology at the Zielitz potash plant.

The hole used in exploration will allow rock strata in the overburden to be examined up to a depth of 500 m, this will also allow for a detailed view of the deposit itself. The diameter of the hole is approximately 60 cm and decreases in several stages until it is reduced to about 15 cm at the target depth. Requirements are high in terms of the exact execution of the drilling works with regard to location and precision as well as the extensive geophysical research work. State-of-the-art techniques will be used to obtain rock samples and to take measurements within the borehole. It will be stabilized with piping and sealed. It is expected that the exploratory drilling works will be completed by the end of 2017. The drilling site and all the reinforcements will then be dismantled. The subsequent assessment of the findings will take several months.

The exploration of the deposit is part of a strategy for the future aimed at securing the production of high-grade plant nutrients and potassium chloride specialties at least until the middle of this century and to preserve the associated value added effects in the region.

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