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Uralkali completes bulkhead at Solikamsk potash mines

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World Fertilizer,

Uralkali has completed the construction of an underground bulkhead between the Solikamsk-1 and Solikamsk-2 potash mines in the Perm region of Russia.

The new bulkhead, which has been designed specifically to improve the safety level of mining operations at Solikamsk-1, is a 65-m long waterproofing structure made up of seven segments of various sizes.

The waterproofing bulkhead was constructed with the use of technologies and materials certified in European laboratories. The structure’s components were developed specifically for the conditions of the Verkhnekamskoe deposit. Prior to its installation, all materials underwent pilot tests, taking into account the actual parameters of the rock mass, depth of excavation, and physical and mechanical characteristics of the relevant mine brines. A multifunctional machine manufactured in Germany for these tasks, MF-1500, was used to cut the mine working line and shape the cuts.

Sensors have been installed to monitor the pressure parameters in the segments of the bulkhead and transmit the data to specialists online.

The waterproofing structure was designed by JSC VNII Galurgii (Perm, Russia) in partnership with Germany’s IBeWa, specialised research institutes from Germany, Perm National Research Polytechnic University (Russia) and Moscow State University (Russia). The construction and installation works were completed by Thyssen Schachtbau GbmH (Germany) and Uralkali’s subsidiary LLC Uralkali-Remont.

Eduard Smirnov, Uralkali Subsoil Management Director, commented: "The unique waterproofing structure between Solikamsk-1 and Solikamsk-2 mines has been designed specifically for the operating conditions of the Verkhnekamskoe deposit. The bulkhead was designed and built to withstand the maximum possible design pressure from the brines. According to leading global specialised research institutes, this structure will guarantee the safety of mining operations at Solikamsk-1. This is particularly significant because Solikamsk-1 is Russia’s only source of carnallite, a raw material crucial to Russia’s titanium and magnesium industry."

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