Potash

(1.5 days total for listed modules)

Brine extraction

Discusses approaches utilized for all current examples of Quaternary-age lakes and pans for production of muriate of potash (MOP) or sulfate of potash (SOP). Depending on brine inflow proportions, chemistry, and  climate (evaporitic versus cryogenic), the product is either carnallite (Dead Sea and Wendover) or sulfate of potash (Lop Nur and Great Salt Lake).

         Code #    Topic

  • 2125.01      Marine vs. nonmarine brines
  • 2125.02     Quaternary tectonics & potash brines
  • 2125.03     Controls on SOP vs. MOP precipitates
  • 2125.04     Reliable sampling of lake brines
  • 2125.05     Processing techniques & relative cost

Lop Nur pans, China

Potash geology

The greater part of the world’s potash is conventionally mined from ancient salt beds or diapir crests in Canada, Russia, Belarus, UK, and Germany. Geological characterization of all the world’s potash deposits shows that even in the vast bedded deposits of Canada, early through late diagenesis is a significant control on ore quality.

         Code #    Topic

  • 2150.01      Potash geology varies across time
  • 2150.02      Diagenesis, leaching and enrichment
  • 2150.03      World potash basin occurrences
  • 2150.04      Exploration criteria for soluble salt
  • 2150.05      Worldwide ranking of existing and        
                        potential future potash mining areas

Solikamsk sinkhole, Nov. 2014

Mining hazards

The high solubility of potash salts, means there are particular problems and hazards associated with the extraction of bedded and halokinetic potash.  Pervasive natural karst typifies all past and present salt deposits. Effects of these natural geohazards can be increased if various mine-flood possibilities are not accounted for in the mine plan and subsequent  development.

 

 

         Code #    Topic

  • 2175.01      Keep it in the “salt”
  • 2175.02      Natural fluid entry or not?
  • 2175.03      Seeing the problem
  • 2175.04      Controlling the problem
  • 2175.05      Avoiding the problem

Yekaterinburg carnallitite

 

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