Our North American operation was awarded an EPCM services contract by Karnalyte Resources Inc. for the Wynyard Carnallite Project in Canada. The facility is initially expected to produce 625,000 tonnes of potash per year and to expand to 2.125 million tonnes over the next five to six years.
We will coordinate with ERCOSPLAN of Erfurt, Germany, which will provide engineering, cavern development, mine planning, and commissioning for the solution mining element of the project under direct contract to the client. We worked with Karnalyte and ERCOSPLAN to prepare the detailed feasibility study and Environmental Impact Statement in 2011. The first phase of the Wynyard project concentrated on the production of high-quality potash products, primarily granulated potash pellets for use as fertilisers for agricultural markets. The brine rich in magnesium chloride and sodium chloride was treated as waste and disposed back underground into the spent caverns. In subsequent phases of the project, these waste streams were treated to produce marketable sodium chloride and magnesium products.
Karnalyte plans to use the solution mining process in Canada to produce potash from carnallite. Solution mining involves the introduction of heated brine (salt and water solution) into the mineral deposit via a drilled well to create caverns. The carnallite mineral dissolves in this fluid to form a brine solution which is brought back to the surface. The potassium and magnesium minerals can then be recovered from the solution and processed.