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K+S to resume output at German potash sites after Werra River flow improves


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Essential Metals & Mining Insights - January 2021

K+S to resume output at German potash sites after Werra River flow improves

Production will resume April 7 at 's and potash miningsites after short-time working restrictions were lifted as the flow of water inthe Werra River system has improved.

The German potash miner said April 5 that all short-timeworking restrictions have been lifted from the Werra plant for disposing salinewastewater from Unterbreizbach.

Production was halted April 1 as low rainfall reduced water volumes inthe Werra River, which was preventing the company from utilizing the river todispose of tailings. The move affected 950 jobs and over 3 million tonnes ofannualized potash and magnesium production.

In addition, the company will be able to return productionto full capacity due to the marked reduction in injection volume andrestoration of the retention basin capacity.

However, the lifting of short-time working restrictions onproduction are temporary and can be reintroduced at any time, it noted.

"[I]t still remains important that we receive aninjection permit ofsufficient scope as soon as possible, because when it comes to disposal, we'restill dependent on the Werra water flow," commented plant manager RolandKeidel.

In 2015, the company had to at its Unterbreizbachpotash sites because the disposal of the Werra plant's saline wastewater waslimited to discharging it into the Werra river.