The most widely used method for the extraction of potash ore in North America is underground cavern mining which uses a variety of underground techniques and equipment. These conventional mining techniques face technical challenges and can incur significant costs.
An alternative mining method is solution mining. Solution mining involves introducing a fluid into the mineral deposit via a drilled well. The carnallite mineral dissolves in this fluid to form a brine solution which is brought back to the surface. The potassium and magnesium minerals are then recovered from the solution and processed. The benefits of using this mining process include:
- lower capital expenditures;
- shorter time to production; and
- lower environmental impact.
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Source: Equity Research