cradle of the worldwide potash industry ...
... is the town of Stassfurt, south of
Magdeburg, in the North Harz district of Central Germany.
In 1861 carnallite processing by a simple cold
leaching technology started here. Due to the lack of experience
and missing of theoretical understanding of the widespread
interactions between rock mechanics, mine stability and subsurface
solution processes the pioneers of potash mining did fatal mistakes.
Today, the natural environment in this area is
inﬂuenced by early potash mining which needs a permanent
monitoring of subsurface processes. The long-term experiences in
this area are both source and motivation for sustainable and
environmental safe design of modern potash and mineral salt
first underground dispository for radioactive waste in salt rocks
... was established in
the rock salt mine Bartensleben-Marie near Morsleben. Early
investigations and basic concepts for this project were developed
on the mining and rock mechanical experiences from potash and rock
salt mining and carried out by the predeccessor of ERCOSPLAN , the
KALI-INGENIEURBÜRO in 1966.
During the operating time approximately
36,750m³ of low and medium radioactive waste as well as 6,621
radiation sources were safely stored.
Since 1999 this dispository is in closing
procedure. The significance of this underground dispository can be
explained by the fact that the stored wastes are separated from
the biosphere on a long term basis.
first slurry backfill operation ...
... started in the Bleicherode mine in
1908. Guided by the experience from several rock mechanical
problems in the young Stassfurt potash mining district, like roof
instabilities, pillar collapses and rock bursts which led in
connections with water inflows to the loss of whole mines, the
Prussian Mining Authority stipulated the general regulation for
backfilling of potash mining in 1896.
Driven by this mining law the potash mine
operators were looking for efficient backfill methods and adapted
the hydraulic backfill method from the Silesian coal mining
industry and backfilled the whole amount of processing residues
into the mine openings after extraction.
Due to the relatively low cost and the high
efficiency, this technology conquered the young potash industry.
By 1911 about 6.6 million cubic metres of backfill material have
been brought into 30 separate mines. In the South Harz potash
district a total amount of 37.7 million tonnes processing residues
were backfilled between 1955 and 1964 which corresponded to 60 to
80 % of the total accumulated residues.
Today, highly efficient slurry backfill
operations are used for residue backfill as well as industrial
waste utilisation for backfilling measures in the mines of
Sondershausen, Bleicherode, Sollstedt and Unterbreizbach.
most modern potash plant in Europe ...
... is located in Zielitz, north of
Magdeburg, Central Germany. The sylvite deposit was explored
during the 1960‘s, design and engineering was completed in 1972 by
the KALI-INGENIEURBÜRO Erfurt, the predecessor of ERCOSPLAN.
Since July 1973 the Zielitz plant has produced
MOP fertilizers and potash products for industrial use. After a
widespread modernisation of the plant in the mid 1990`s the
annual production capacity strongly increased.
Today, the Zielitz plant is operated by K+S
KALI GmbH with an extraction of more than 40,000 tons ROM per day.
In 2005 - like a gift to the 50th anniversary
of establishment of the KALI-INGENIEURBÜRO the production broke through the 1.5 million tonnes K2O marker line.
first processing plant for sylvite worldwide ...
... started industrial
production by hot leaching technology in February 1898 in
Sondershausen, South Harz district of Central Germany.
The main production period here was 1970 until
1992 when 560 million tonnes potash ore were used for a production
of more than 130 million tonnes of potassium fertilizers, equal to a
money value of approx. 7.5 billion US $.
Today, post-operational backfill of the mine
openings, partly by re-use of industrial waste material, is still
active in the South Harz district.
Beside these underground activities the main
focus on Earth‘s surface is to cover the huge tailings piles with
a total volume of 170 million cubic meters by soil and planting.
centre of innovative engineering of the German potash industry ...
... was established in 1955 under the name of
KALI-INGENIEURBÜRO in Erfurt.
Today, at the same location ERCOSPLAN Group of
Companies as the successor of the former KALI-INGENIEURBÜRO
is still active serving industrial clients, mining and
environmental authorities around the world by transferring special
know-how for successful projects.
highly efficient selective solution mining technology of
... was developed at the Kehmstedt site,
South Harz district
of Central Germany.
The low-grade carnallitic potash ore is
selectively solved by hot leaching in double-well caverns. The
saturated brines are processed to potassium fertilizers as well as
to several magnesium products.
Today, this innovative potash plant is operated
by DEUSA International GmbH which has spent more than 25 million € for debottlenecking and extension during the last three years.
most valuable potash deposit ...
... has been under extraction in the Werra
district, Central Germany, since 1900. Beside KCl contents up
to 20 percent in average remarkable Kieserite contents up to 20
percent qualify this deposit to one of the world class mineral
Up to today, approximately 10 percent of the
cumulative world potash production were created in this potash
Today, the unified Werra production center,
operated by K+S KALI GmbH , is an important backbone for the
German MOP and SOP production.