UPDATE 2-Uralkali prepares to start repair work at damaged potash mine

Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:19am EST
 
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* Says no discussion yet on when production to resume

* Sinkhole appeared at a nearby mine (Recasts after company clarification on production)

By Natalia Shurmina

BEREZNIKI, Russia, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Russia's Uralkali , the world's biggest potash producer, is preparing to start repair work at part of the damaged Solikamsk-2 mine, though it is unclear when output of the fertiliser will restart.

Production at the mine was halted last week after an inflow of water at the mine, which accounts for a fifth of the company's output and 3.5 percent of global capacity, and a huge sinkhole appeared at a nearby mine as a result.

The sinkhole, stretching 30 by 40 metres and found at an abandoned mine 3.5 km (2 miles) to the east, increased concern about the future of Solikamsk-2.

An inflow of water and the resulting sinkhole in 2006 forced another Uralkali operation to shut permanently.

The governor of the Perm region where Solikamsk-2 is located said the inflow of water at the mine had "practically stopped" and there was no danger to residents of the area from any possible expansion of the sinkhole.

"The possibility of starting work at half of the Solikamsk mine is being discussed," Chief Executive Dmitry Osipov told reporters in Berezniki in the Perm region.   Continued...