This is a project for the development of a large-scale deposit as proved by the company (the reserves exceeding 600 million tons) of polyhalite ore, with the purpose of manufacturing high-grade mineral fertilizers: SOP (potassium sulfate). SOP production capacity is 1 million tons; ore mining capacity is 7.5 million tons. Elaboration grade: Class 4 AACE, estimation accuracy: +30%-30%.
SOP is an export oriented product containing potassium and sulfur. It enjoys high demand on the markets of China, India, Brazil, and EU Countries, and it enables to significantly improve the efficiency of agriculture, especially pertaining to citrus cultures, coffee, potato family, and tobacco. It is traded at the level of more than EUR 450 per ton, as compared with the price of potassium chloride (MOP) of EUR 180 – EUR 250 per ton.
The mine field is located 55 kilometers away from Kaliningrad and the nearest port. The ore reserves of straight product К2О amount to 64 million tons, as well as the reserves of MgO amounting to 29 million tons, while estimated reserves in further mine exploration are about 250 million tons of K2O.
Polyhalite ore contains four useful elements: Potassium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. In order to produce the end product – SOP – the ore is mined using shaft method from the depth of 900 meters, and potassium sulfate must be recovered from the ore. The ore contains around 10% of K2O; SOP contains about 50%, so for 1 million tons of product it is necessary to mine 5.5 million tons of ore, taking losses into account.
The technology developed for ore milling and ore treatment is based on milling, torrefaction, dissolution, water flushing, evaporization and drying/solidification, and no hazardous waste is generated.