Despite the pandemic, the Kirovsk Branch of Apatit continued the implementation of investment projects to expand mining and beneficiation capacities, the key ones being aimed at developing the plant’s ore and raw material base. In 2021, extensive preparations took place at the Kirovsky mine to launch the new +10 m level, which was commissioned in 1Q 2022.
At the Vostochny mine, transport infrastructure development was a priority in 2021. In particular, the Rudnaya railway station was reconstructed, its throughput going up by 20%, and three newly acquired Caterpillar mining dump trucks were deployed, each with a capacity of 180 tonnes. The development of the Rasvumchorr mine continued in 2021, reaching a milestone of 250 mt in ore output.
At the Kirovsky mine, main shaft No. 1 was re-equipped and commissioned, resulting in a 63% output increase from 1.9 to 3 mtpa. Furthermore, the Kirovsky mine output is expected to reach 25 mtpa in five years.
At the Rasvumchorr mine, a maintenance and repair centre for self-propelled machinery was opened. A special room was set up underground at the +310 m level, which enabled maintenance and repairs without the need to surface the machinery.
To increase the supply of fresh air to the lower horizons of underground mines, in 2017 we launched main ventilation fans in the western service shaft of Kirovsky Mine and the VS-1 and VS-2 shafts of Rasvumchorrsky Mine. The air supplied to the mine is heated using gas-powered heating units.
Investment in the project stands at RUB 1.5 billion.
The main shaft No. 2 (GS-2) equipped with two skips (self-unloaders) with a capacity of 45 t was put into operation after an overhaul at the Kirovsk mine in August 2015. From the engineering perspective, it is a highly complex underground crusher and above-ground mining facility designed to deliver ore from the underground facility to the surface from a depth of about 350 m. The launch of GS-2 enabled us to replace retired capacities and boost the mine’s production from 14 to 22 mtpa.
Total investment in the project exceeded RUB 12 billion.