Mosaic’s Esterhazy mine is the largest potash mine in the world with an annual capacity of 5.3 million tons. Mosaic will establish the new greenfield K3 mining complex at Esterhazy to expand their current mining operations. This expansion project will add a further 1 million tons to their annual output.
The K3 complex will comprise two 20-foot diameter shafts sunk to a depth of approximately 3,700 feet below collar together with the necessary service shaft headframe and hoists, ventilation circuits and the associated surface infrastructure.
Sinking of shafts in Saskatchewan is challenging due to the various geological formations and water pressures at depth, requiring unique sinking and shaft lining methodology. These sinking techniques include ground freezing from surface down to a depth of approximately 1,600 feet. Temporary support of the shaft ground wall is installed during shaft sinking so as to control the hazard of rock falls. The permanent shaft liner construction consists of support concrete as well as composite steel liner where required to prevent water ingress. These construction activities are facilitated by means of working from a five-level shaft sinking galloway.
Hatch completed the prefeasibility and feasibility studies and is providing EPCM services for the greenfield mining complex at Mosaic’s Esterhazy mine.
The headframe will be one of the tallest headframes in the world. It will contain some of the largest Koepe hoists in the world (60 tons payload skips) to achieve the planned future production requirements.