Solution Mining is a proven and well-known technique where Potassium Chloride(KCl), commonly referred to as Potash, is dissolved by salt saturated brine injected into sylvinite layers to form caverns. The potassium-bearing solution is pumped to the surface for recrystallization and final processing. Surface processing is initiated either by evaporation ponds or mechanical evaporation. Where water is plentiful, evaporation ponds may be ideal. In arid or semi-arid agricultural zones, mechanical evaporation may be preferable as this process requires far less water and can utilize brines which are not included in water rights but are included in existing mineral rights.
Pilot Production:15,000 TPY
Single Well Solution Mining
Commercial Production:50,000-150,000 TPY
Dual Well Solution Mining
Well Field Development:200,000-500,000 TPY
Multi-Cavern, Single or Dual Well
Modular Mechanical Extraction of Potash
For decades, potash processing has typically been through concentration in ponds and flotation to separate salts. Challenges came with land and water availability, salt separation, and handling of salt wastes. Companies then focused on more efficient, consistent, mechanical methods which are not affected by weather and varying salt concentrations. Beneficially, custom potash levels can also be tailored to customer needs through this method. Many Canadian potash plants use evaporation-crystallization. Over the past 10 years great advances in surface processing using mechanical equipment (mostly factory or field assembled modules) provided optimized production at varying input salt levels and customized output finished product concentrations.
Benefits of Mechanical Evaporation
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