January 21, 2014 09:27
Belaruskali launches stage two of Berezovsky mine
MINSK. Jan 21 (Interfax) - Belaruskali, the only potash producer in Belarus and one of the largest suppliers of potash fertilizer to the world market, has completed building the second phase of the Berezovsky mine with capacity of 2 million tonnes of ore per year and put it into operation, the company told Interfax.
The first phase of the mine, also with capacity of 2 million tonnes per year, was put into operation in June 2012. The launch of the second phase therefore doubles the capacity of the Berezovsky field section of the company's fourth mining division to 4 million tonnes annually.
The third phase is expected to open in December 2014 or early 2015, expanding capacity at the Berezovsky mine to 6 million tonnes per year.
Belaruskali is also continuing to build the Krasnoslobodsky mine and is implementing a project to build a mining and enrichment operation at the Petrikovskoye potassium salt deposit in the country's Gomel region, which has booked reserves of 1.8 billion tonnes.
The company said that the Starobinskoye potash deposit constitutes Belaruskali's resource base and is considered one of the largest deposits in the world. The company's core production facilities currently consist of six mines and four enrichment plants. The renewal of the ore base is one of the key objectives at the current stage of Starobinskoye's development.
Belaruskali has built two mines in the past few years, resolving its resource supply issues for several decades to come. The company is also considering developing off-balance reserves of 94 million tonnes at Krasnoslobodsky. The reserves of the Berezovsky mine are estimated at 247.5 million tonnes.
In 2013, Belaruskali also secured the rights to resources in the western part of the Nezhinsky section of the Starobinskoye deposit. It has the opportunity to develop reserves at the Darasinsky section, which total 180 million tonnes. The company plans to begin stripping the fourth potash horizon at its second mining division in 2014.
State company Belneftekhim has reported that Belaruskali had capacity to produce 10.3 million tonnes of potash fertilizer annually as of January 1, 2012.
The company also said that the launch of the third phase at the Berezovsky mine would expand Belaruskali's fertilizer production capacity to 11 million tonnes, and that there are plans to increase capacity to 12.5 million tonnes by the beginning of 2020. A company spokesman said new capacity is being built more to replace the gradually depleting resource base than to expand the company's production potential.
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