Completed Repair of Sinkhole Near Berezniki

25.11.2011
Completed Repair of Sinkhole Near Berezniki

Uralkali (LSE: URKA) announces the successful completion of the works to repair the sinkhole under the train tracks that occurred on 25 November 2010. Uralkali together with the Urals Scientific, Research and Project Institute (“Galurgia” Perm city) and Mining Institute of the Urals Affiliate of the Russian Academy of Science will continue surveying, seismic, geophysical, gas and geochemical monitoring that will help to forecast further movements of soil in the area of the filled sinkhole. If no irregular movements of soil are registered in 2012, Uralkali will consider developing a project aimed at restoring the railway connection at this area and the “Berezniki” train station.

Uralkali also clarifies that the information that has appeared in public sources about a new sinkhole in the town of Berezniki is incorrect. As Uralkali has previously stated, the research carried out in the sinkhole area revealed a potentially hazardous area situated 400 metres away from the filled sinkhole, near the non-operational Berezniki mining construction administration office (“BMCAO”). The area is characterized by high speed of soil subsidence concentrated on a local area. Following the recommendations of the scientific institutes, the hazardous area was contained and safety and security personnel were stationed in spring 2011. Public access to this territory is prohibited. All production and transportation facilities including the railways are at some distance from the subsiding area and outside the risk zone.

Since the beginning of 2011 research of this area has been conducted on a regular basis. The Galurgia Institute and Mining Institute of the Russian Academy of Science have conducted a weekly monitoring of the area. These institutes do not exclude the possibility of the creation of a sinkhole on the spot of the potentially hazardous area near BMCAO. Regarding the potential of a sinkhole anywhere in the contained area they anticipate no negative consequences for the town of Berezniki, Uralkali and other industry facilities.

Uralkali (www.uralkali.com) is one of the world’s largest potash producers with a market share of about 20%. The Company’s assets consist of 5 mines and 8 ore-treatment mills situated in the towns of Berezniki and Solikamsk (Perm Territory, Russia). Uralkali employs over 23,000 people. Uralkali’s shares and GDRs are traded on the LSE, RTS and MICEX.

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Cardinal rules

Smoking in mines is prohibited.
Work at heights without wearing a safety harness is prohibited.
Work in electrical installations under voltage is prohibited.
It is forbidden to perform work and stay in the bottomhole zone during the operation of the mining machine.
Loading and unloading operations when people are in the danger zone are prohibited.
Working in underground mines with unsecured and/or unassembled roofing is prohibited.
It is forbidden to carry out repairs and maintenance of conveyors without disconnecting from energy sources, use of conveyors for transfer of people and goods (materials and/or equipment), crossing (either above or under) operating conveyors by employees are not allowed.
It is forbidden to carry out welding and flame work in underground mines and mine buildings without the necessary safety measures preventing fire.