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Kirovsk Branch of Apatit

Operations The Kirovsk branch of Apatit JSC is a mining and processing plant with a 95-year history.

It was founded in 1929 as Apatit Trust to mine apatite-nepheline ore from the Khibiny deposit, one of the world’s largest and richest deposits and the main source of unique phosphate rock in Russia.

Over the years, the company has mined and processed more than 2.1 billion tonnes of ore and produced more than 745 million tonnes of apatite concentrate and 77 million tonnes of nepheline concentrate.

The branch of Apatit JSC in the Khibiny Mountains the is a flagship of Russia’s mining industry and a core enterprise of PhosAgro, supplying apatite concentrate to the Company’s production facilities in other regions to produce fertilizers that are in demand in the domestic market and in 100 countries worldwide.

Today, the Kirovsk branch of Apatit JSC is the world’s largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock (with P2O5 content of at least 37.5%) and Russia’s only producer of nepheline concentrate.

The site is developing six Khibiny Mountains deposits: Kukisvumchorr, Yukspor, Apatitovy Cirque, Rasvumchorr Plateau, Koashva and Njorkpahk.


Investment program

The key focus areas of Apatit’s Kirovsk Branch investment programme are developing its resource base, processing capacities and production infrastructure facilities and ensuring industrial and environmental safety. The company is actively running a digitalisation programme. For example, a modern transport operations control centre for support service vehicles was rolled out jointly with Samoilov Scientific Research Institute for Fertilizers and Insectofungicides. Total investment in the development of mining and processing capacities for the last five years exceeded RUB 53 billion.

Mining 2023

Construction of the +10 m level at the Kirovsky mine

The second phase of construction of the new level was completed in October 2023, when the first apatite-nepheline ore from the project was also mined at the Yukspor deposit.

The level’s maximum output will be 9.4 million tonnes by 2028, based on the planned development of the mine under the programme for development of the ore and raw material base at the Kirovsky branch of Apatit JSC.

Operations at the +10 m level of the Kirovsky mine commenced in March 2024.


From 2019 to 2023, apatite-nepheline processing plant No. 2 (ANOF-2) underwent modernisation of its apatite concentrate filtration process, with the installation of new process equipment — ceramic filters — in section No. 15. The aim of the project is to reduce cake moisture content, increase drying capacity, and reduce operating costs for fuel oil and electricity.

In 2022–2023, the main grinding equipment at ANOF-2 was upgraded: four physically degraded MSHR 4.5×5.0 grate discharge ball mills were replaced with new, larger MSHR 4.8×5.0 mills made by Russia’s Tyazhmash JSC, improving processing reliability and creating a reserve for apatite concentrate production capacity to be increased.


In February 2022, the first stage of the investment project to develop the +10 m level of the Kirovsky mine was completed, and testing of crushing and delivery system No. 1 and the locomotive haulage system was carried out in the Kukisvumchorr wing of the new level.

The project’s main objective is to improve mining capacities and optimise transport systems at the Kirovsky mine.

Development of the +10 m level at the Kirovsky mine continued with the installation of equipment and preparation for the start-up of the crushing and delivery system and an additional ore extraction path at the Yukspor deposit.

At the Rasvumchorrsky mine, construction was completed, and loading and delivery system No. 4 was commissioned. The commissioning of loading and delivery system No. 4 will enable the western and central parts of the Rasvumchorr Plateau deposit to be mined.


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.


Stripping of reserves and preparation for mining at the Rasvumchorr Plateau deposit at the Kirovsk branch of Apatit JSC

The project will result in new capacities, making it possible to maintain apatite-nepheline ore output in line with the chosen option for development of the company’s ore and raw material base. The maximum ore output will be over 6 million tonnes per year by 2035. Ore extraction at the +430 m level of the Rasvumchorr Plateau deposit is scheduled to commence in 2025 under the first start-up complex. Ore extraction at the +310 m level will commence in 2031 under the second start-up complex.

The reserves of the Rasvumchorr Plateau deposit will be extracted by the Rasvumchorrsky mine, which will not only allow the life of the mine to be extended to at least 2050 but will also boost the total output of the combined mine to 8.5 million tonnes per year.

Increased ore output from open-pit mining operations, Koashva and Njorkpahk open pits

The investment project for the development of the Vostochny mine aims to intensify open-pit mining by purchasing mining and transport equipment to boost productivity at the Koashva and Njorkpahk open pits, relocating infrastructure facilities and expanding the production capacity of the concentration plant. As a result, the capacity of Koashva will increase to 7.9 million tonnes by 2030, and the capacity of Njorkpahk will increase to 4.5 million tonnes in 2022.

The first phase of equipment procurement has been completed. Relative to 2019, production had increased from 5.9 million tonnes to 8.4 million tonnes by 2023. From 2025, equipment will be procured as part of the second phase to increase and maintain the mining rate.

Construction of facilities to divert the Loparskaya River and Gakman Creek, with mining of reserves from the crown pillar under the Saami open pit

The aim of the project is to extract reserves from the crown pillar under the Saami open pit and the Loparskaya River, including 54.4 million tonnes in balance reserves from the protective pillar, by 2035. Production operations at the site are to commence in 2028.

Construction of facilities for underground mining of reserves in the Gakman section of the Yukspor deposit at the Kirovsky mine

The aim of the project is to maintain the design annual output of the Kirovsky mine. The project envisages the mining of 16.9 million tonnes of ore by 2035. Production operations at the section are to commence in 2024.


As part of the investment project "Increasing ANOF-3 design capacity at the Kirovsk branch of Apatit JSC to produce up to 10.5 million tonnes of apatite concentrate per year", steps are being taken to upgrade key processes and to modernise the ore processing and beneficiation equipment currently in place.

In the period 2019–2022, modernisation of the fine crushing plant was carried out. More efficient state-of-the-art crushers were installed that reduce the size of the finely crushed ore from 30 mm to 18 mm, thereby improving the efficiency of the subsequent ore grinding process. Plans are in place to further optimise the parameters of the fine crushed ore. The work was completed in 2022.

In April 2023, the new ball mill No. 11 (central discharge ball mill 5.5×6.5) was put into operation. This and the modernisation of the fine crushing equipment are the key aspects of the technical upgrading of ore treatment processes at ANOF-3 planned as part of the investment project to increase the capacity of the apatite concentrate plant.

In addition, measures for the following processing stages will be implemented up to 2026:

thickening of apatite concentrate; drying and gas cleaning of apatite concentrate; modernisation of pumping facilities (flotation, filtration, drying); modernisation of beneficiation conveyors Nos. 39 and 40.

Once all of the measures have been implemented, output should reach 9.84 million tonnes of apatite concentrate per year.

In 2020–2024, a project for technical upgrading of the hydraulic transport and tailings storage system at the ANOF-3 tailings site is being implemented. The aim of the project is to ensure compliance with regulatory parameters of by-product storage against a backdrop of increasing production volumes.



High-grade phosphate rock


Syenite alkali aluminium concentrate


Nepheline concentrate