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International Symposium : The Potash Industry in the 21st Century Exploration, Mining, Processing and Disposal of Resulting Residues

8th June 2017 @ 8:00 am - 10th June 2017 @ 5:00 pm

  • 8 June 2017: There will be a casual get together starting at 18:00, where there will be a chance, amongst other things, to talk shop with the mayor of Erfurt, Mr Andreas Bausewein, about Erfurt as a centre of potash engineering – in the Panorama Hall of the Congress Center at Messe Erfurt
  • 9 June 2017: After welcome addresses by the patron of the anniversary symposium, the Honorable Bodo Ramelow, Premier of the Free State of Thuringia, and Mr Hartmut Kiessling, the head of the Thuringian Mining Authority, there will be plenary lectures by high-level representatives of the fertilizer industry in Germany, the Republic of Belarus, the Kingdom of Jordan as well as Canada. In subsequent parallel sessions, innovative developments in the exploration and development of deposits, the extraction, haulage and beneficiation of solid potash ores as well as natural or technical brines up to the refinement of the final products will be discussed. In doing so, reference will often be made to current engineering for new potash projects in Europe, North and South America, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southeast Asia. A special lecture block is dedicated to environmental protection and the management of solid and liquid processing residues, while another deals with the multifarious aspects of the decommissioning, closure and abandonment of potash mines. Thereafter, an example of valuable international cooperation on the development of new potash production sites will be presented in a plenary session. At the end of the lecture programme, the – meanwhile experienced – “grandchild” generation of those who paved the way for Potash Engineering Made in Erfurt in the market economy 25 years ago will explain its perspective on the success story of the past quarter of a century. In a poster exhibition, more in-depth information on the lecture topics as well as other current focus areas of exploration, mining and processing of potash as well as the management of the resulting residues will be presented.
  • 10 June 2017: choice of three excursions to selected potash production sites in Central Germany that are closely tied to the history of German potash fertilizer production and hence also to the ERCOSPLAN Group of Companies:
  1. EXCURSION A: The Werra Potash District : K+S KALI GmbH’s Werra Plant is a potash producti- on unit with one of the highest outputs in the world. With a high recovery rate, apart from chloride- and sulphate-based potash fertilizers, a large number of KMg specialty products are produced here. This excursion will give an overview of the geologi- cal boundary conditions of the deposit and of the history of potash production in the Werra Potash District as well as the latest comprehensive invest- ment programme for environmental protection. Thanks to K+S KALI GmbH, it will possible to visit the Merkers Adventure Mine and the Heringen Tailings Pile.
  2. EXCURSION B: The South Harz Potash District: The changes in the economic landscape after German Reunication led to the almost simultaneous closure of six potash mines in the South Harz-Unst- rut Potash District. As a result, extensive demolition and reclamation works as well as the closure of the mines in a way that would ensure their long-term safety were carried out. Only at one potash production site, at DEUSA International GmbH in Bleicherode, is South Harz potash still being produced. Solution mining of carnallitite takes place using methods developed and optimized here in the past years, and will be presented as part of the excursion. This excursion also provides information on the extent and the methods of this renovation and reclamation campaign, which is unparalleled in the history of the international potash industry. Thanks to DEUSA International GmbH, it will be possible  to visit the Kehmstedt Brine Field and the processing plant in Bleicherode.
  3. EXCURSION C: The North Harz Potash District and Stassfurt: Industrial potash fertilizer production began in 1861 in the small town of Stassfurt, which is located in present-day Saxony-Anhalt. After a carnallitite horizon was discovered during the development of a rock salt deposit in 1856, it took less than five years before the potash plant in the world started production. This excursion will allow an insight into the early history of the potash industry, into the enthusiasm and pioneering spirit of this time, but it also chronicles the misjudgments and mistakes of these early years, which have affected the environment and urban planning in ways that are still not unproblematic up till today. The mineral extraction currently taking place at the Stassfurter Sattel and the subsequent use of the extraction cavities will also be mentioned. Thanks to the Stadtund Bergbaumuseum Stassfurt, it will be possible to view a historical model of potash mining in Stassfurt in detail.


8th June 2017 @ 8:00 am
10th June 2017 @ 5:00 pm


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