24 August 2017

Deep Borehole in Westheide Municipality

Exploring the Potash Deposit in Connection with Planning the Future of the Zielitz Potash Plant

Following preparations that lasted close to a year, August 22 saw the launch of drilling works to explore the western section of the “Scholle von Calvörde” potash deposit. The aim is 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 exploratory borehole will allow rock strata in the overburden and in the deposit horizon to be examined up to a depth of approx. 550 meters. The diameter of the borehole starts at about 60 centimeters and decreases in several stages until it is reduced to about 15 centimeters 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.

About K+S KALI GmbH and the Zielitz plant

K+S KALI GmbH based in Kassel extracts crude salts containing potassium, magnesium and sulphur from its six mines in Germany. These are used to produce a wide range of fertiliser specialties and preliminary products for many different technical, industrial and pharmaceutical applications. K+S KALI GmbH is one of the world’s leading suppliers of potash and magnesium products. The company belonging to the K+S Group employs about 8,000 people. You can find further information about K+S KALI GmbH on the company website at www.kali-gmbh.com.

Having commenced production in 1973, the Zielitz plant is Germany’s youngest potash plant. As the largest single site operated by K+S KALI GmbH, the plant, which employs approx. 1,800 people, including some 130 trainees, is a key employer and training provider in Saxony-Anhalt. The Zielitz potash plant not only produces fertilizers but also intermediate products for numerous technical and industrial applications as well as products for the food industry. The plant produces them in compliance with Germany’s high environmental standards and in doing so, it is committed to pursuing the goal of sustainable potash production, which seeks a balance between protecting the environment, economic needs and the social obligation of preserving jobs.

Ulrich Göbel

Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722

Ulrich Göbel
Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666

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