Uralkali Mine

Russian potash producer Uralkali has announced plans to carry out repair work at the damaged Solikamsk-2 mine, after flooding halted production last week.

Due to water inflow at the mine, a 30m by 40m sinkhole is said to have formed at an abandoned mine about two miles to the east.

According to the company, the inflow of water in 2006 formed a sinkhole that forced another Uralkali operation to be permanently shutdown.

The Governor of the Perm region where Solikamsk-2 mine is located said the inflow has ‘practically stopped’ and there is no danger to local residents of any expansion of the sinkhole.

"The inflow has ‘practically stopped’ and there is no danger to local residents of any expansion of the sinkhole."

Uralkali chief executive Dmitry Osipov told reporters in Berezniki: "The possibility of starting work at half of the Solikamsk mine is being discussed."

The company said it has not spoken with authorities about restarting full or partial production at the mine, although it is in discussions about the viability of backfilling of areas, which could be considered dangerous, reports Reuters.

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Regional Governor Viktor Basargin said: "Fortunately everything is unfolding under a different scenario to a week ago.

"There is practically no inflow.

"We can say today that it’s possible to start work at the second mine, up to a level of about 50%."

Image: Production at Solikamsk-2 was ceased following flooding. Photo: courtesy of Uralkali.