EuroChem, Russia’s largest fertilizer company, announced that it has restarted the sinking of the cage shaft at its VolgaKaliy potash project following the successful completion of the shaft freezing stage. The cage shaft sinking operations have been resumed from the 100 meter mark following the suspension as a result of the failure in the grouting technology used by Shaft Sinkers, a South African contractor, which had been hired by the company for the project.

EuroChem has taken the necessary steps to continue with the sinking of the cage shaft by deploying freezing technology. After installing a freeze plant to protect the shaft during sinking and performing necessary works, EuroChem construction teams continued to sink the cage shaft. The shaft is now being protected during the sinking effort by a freeze wall which is designed and operated by Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH. Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH is also involved in the sinking of VolgaKaliy’s skip shaft and the company’s other potash project, EuroChem Usolskiy Potash.

Clark Bailey, head of mining at EuroChem, commented: “We are pleased with the progress we are making with the sinking of the cage shaft. We have suffered a delay of approximately two years and nine months as a result of the failure of the original shaft sinking grouting technology used by Shaft Sinkers. We anticipate to completely finish the cage shaft in 2017."

Formed in 2001, EuroChem has grown into one of the world’s leading nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilizer producers. With revenues amounting to $5.4 billion in 2012, EuroChem is approaching a global top five position among fertiliser companies. Head-quartered in Moscow, it operates production facilities in Russia and Belgium, and has a network of distribution and sales offices globally.

With its core business centred on nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, EuroChem is currently developing two sizeable greenfield potash projects in Russia, which will provide it with more than 8 million tonnes of annual potash capacity. EuroChem employs 20,000 people worldwide. The company is committed to its people and adheres to international standards of corporate governance and sustainability.