Mr. Jerry Zhang reports
WESTERN POTASH CORP ACHIEVES HORIZONTAL SOLUTION MINING IN ALL THREE PRODUCTION CAVERNS
Western Potash Corp., Western Resources Corp.'s wholly-owned subsidiary, has safely and successfully completed the phase I production drilling program, and has start solution mining into all three horizontal caverns. These are the first intentionally drilled and connected horizontal potash caverns in Saskatchewan, and signify a new and improved method of extracting potash in the province.
The drilling included three directionally drilled production wells, which were then connected to injection wells. Advanced horizontal drilling techniques were used to target the high-grade potash bed, and measurements confirmed the consistency along the entire length of the horizontal wells. After casing and tubing were placed, water from the crystallization pond was successfully circulated into the injection well and back out the production well in all three caverns.
Pumping will be continuing to enlarge the caverns and saturate the brine with salt in preparation for the start of hot mining in early 2020. Hot mining will recirculate brine into the caverns and preferentially extract the KCl (leaving the NaCl in place underground), building an inventory of potash in the crystallization pond over the winter.
By the third quarter of 2020 the process plant will be constructed and ready to harvest the inventory of potash in the pond. The plant will then debrine, dry and compact the potash, and truck to the local Port Lajord fertilizer distribution centre for sale via Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM), who has signed a binding offtake for the entire phase I production. Appropriate operating permits were obtained as part of the continuing permitting process, and the project continues to work in close conjunction with the RM of Lajord, provincial government, the local community and businesses.
Fritz Venter, president and chief executive officer of Western Potash, commented:
"The entire drilling program was completed safely on schedule and budget, and we are very excited about the possibilities this new method of solution mining potash provides in the province. We would like to thank our own team and the over 30 Saskatchewan and Alberta companies that have been involved in the project, including Artisan Consulting Services Ltd. who provided overall drilling supervision and Akita Drilling who provided the drill rig and crew to operate the rig."
About Western Resources Corp.
Western Resources and the company's wholly owned subsidiary Western Potash are constructing Canada's newest and most innovative, environmentally friendly and capital-efficient potash mine. This will be the first potash mine in the world that will leave no salt tailings at the surface, thereby reducing the water consumption by half as well as significantly improved energy efficiency. The phase I project will be in production by quarter three of 2020, paving way for further expansion.
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