Potash

Talitsky mine

In 2014, VPC moved ahead with implementation of Acron Group’s largest investment project, construction of a mine in the Talitsky area in Perm Krai.

Talitsky Area Reserves

Balance sylvinite reserves according to State Reserves Committee (Rosnedra) (2012):

  • Categories А+В+С1: 726.1 mn t of salts (К2О: 163 mn t, KCl: 258 mn t)

Recoverable reserves (including temporarily inactive reserves) in accordance with the 2014 Development Plan for Sylvinite Reserves at the Talitsky area of the Verkhnekamsk: 255 mn t of KCl.

JORC resources (2011):

  • Measured and indicated resources: 708.9 mn t of salts (К2О: 156.9 mn t, KCl: 248.5 mn t)
  • Inferred resources: 910.2 mn t of salts (К2О: 155.9 mn t, KCl: 246.7 mn t).

Highlights

  • The engineering design for development of sylvinite reserves at the Talitsky area of the Verkhnekamsk potassium and magnesium salt deposit was drafted and submitted for review and approval to the Russian Federation State Reserves Commission
  • Design contracts signed; drafting of design documentation is underway for construction of external utility network (gas, water and power supply) and linear infrastructure (railway facilities)
  • Skip shaft No. 1
    • Construction and assembly of temporary structures for shaft sinking are underway
    • Freezing pipes inserted to form shaft’s ice wall
  • Cage shaft No. 2
    • Construction and assembly of temporary structures for shaft sinking are underway
    • Completed construction and equipment installation of shaft and freezing facility
    • Finalised grading at the Talitsky mine site near the shaft area
    • Completed construction of circular gallery and foundation for headframes
  • Main step-down power substation Talitskaya-1 110/6 kV brought on line
  • Completed reconstruction of Berezniki-Sortirovochnaya railway crossing
  • Finalised site deforesting to construct slime dam and salt tailings pile
  • Development Plans for 2015

    • Approval of Engineering design for development of sylvinite reserves at the Talitsky area of the Verkhnekamsk potassium and magnesium salt deposit by the Russian Federation State Reserves Commission (Rosnedra) (in January 2015, the development design was approved)
    • State expert review of design documentation for mine construction
    • Further design and engineering of the Talitsky mine facilities, state expert review of design documentation for construction of surface facilities of the Talitsky mine
    • Further design of off-site utility and linear structure facilities, obtaining approval of state expert review for the design documentation to build off-site utilities and linear structures.
    • Construction of temporary buildings and structures for sinking operations with further soil freezing and shaft sinking

    Key Trends in the Potash Fertiliser Market in 2014

    • In 2014, consumer purchasing power increased due to lower potash fertiliser prices. Consumers replenished inventories, giving up their wait-and-see attitude of the second half of 2013. As a result, global potash fertiliser sales reached a record high.
    • Despite growing demand and increased capacity utilisation, potash fertiliser prices did not increase significantly because of stronger competition.
    • According to IFA, consumption of potash fertilisers increased 1.7% in 2014, to 30.6 mn t of K2O. The IFA forecasts 0.9% growth in consumption in 2015 and expects that global sales will decrease because of existing inventory.

    For more details see Fertiliser Market Overview

    North Atlantic Potash Inc.

    NAP, an Acron Group subsidiary, holds 20 potash exploration permits for an approximately 1.4-mn-acre (5,600 km2) deposit in Saskatchewan, Canada. Acron Group considers these permits to be a long-term investment in its potash resource base. The area is divided into clusters, of which the most promising are the Albany project (nine permits in the south of the province), Foam Lake project (four permits in the north of the province) and Stockholm project (one permit in the southeast).

    The available resource base provides a wide range of investment options. Depending on the cluster, both mid-scale and large-scale projects may be implemented, while geological structures allow for a range of potash production technology, from conventional underground mining to solution (leaching) mining.

    Highlights

    • Albany project (joint venture with Rio Tinto Potash Management Inc.). In 2011, a joint venture (JV) agreement was signed with Rio Tinto Potash Management Inc. for nine permits. In June 2014, the joint venture was established and all nine Albany Project permits with a total area of 586,000 acres were transferred to it. In 2011–2013, an extensive exploration programme costing USD 50 mn was completed for this cluster. Based on the exploration results, 1.4 bn t of salts (inferred resources) with average KCl content of 31% were recorded. The northern part of КР 405 has an estimated 329 mn t of KCl that may be extracted using the solution method.
    • Foam Lake project (a cluster of four permits in the north of the province with a total area of 318,000 acres). In late 2012, resources were valuated according to NI 43-101 standards based on the exploration programme findings; 942 mn t of potash salts (indicated and inferred resources) at a depth of 1,000 to 1,100 m with average KCl content of 30% were recorded. Net recoverable KCl tonnage is estimated at 89 mn t. The cost of geological research was approximately USD 15 mn. This cluster is suitable for constructing a conventional potash mining facility.
    • Stockholm project (permit KP 421). A short exploration programme was completed in 2012. The exploration well showed very high content of K2O (34–45% in terms of KCl) at a depth of 1,100 to 1,200 m.

    The key strategy for this asset is to analyse the prospects for each permit and select the appropriate development options: either joint ventures with investors or sale.

    My Annual Report

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