Kirovsk – PhosAgro ("PhosAgro" or "the Company") (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), a leading global vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producer, announces the completion of construction of the second Yuksporsky tunnel at Apatit’s Kirovsk mine.
The completion of construction works on the second Yuksporsky tunnel was announced by Apatit CEO Konstantin Nikitin at a conference dedicated to Apatit’s results for the first half of 2013.
The project is part of an investment programme to modernise and update PhosAgro’s fixed assets and to reduce costs by introducing the latest equipment at the Group’s enterprises. The Yuksporsky tunnel has great significance for the development of the Kirovsk mine and for Apatit’s entire mineral resource base. In parallel with the construction of the tunnel, compressed-air and process-water systems and fire-fighting pipelines were installed.
The combined Kirovsky mine is Apatit’s largest by production volumes and one of the biggest in Europe. With the introduction of new levels, by 2015 production capacity will increase from the current 11 million tonnes of apatite-nepheline ore a year to 14 million.
Mikhail Rybnikov, CEO of PhosAgro AG, said: “The ore mined at the Kirovsk mine was previously sent for further processing along the first Yuksporsky tunnel. To increase volumes of ore brought out of the combined Kirovsky mine by rail, four years ago the PhosAgro AG management company adopted a resolution to lay down a second Yuksporsky tunnel running parallel to the first one. Investment in this long-term and large-scale project, which started in 2009, amounted to about RUB 3.5 billion. This is a unique structure and was a particularly difficult engineering project. The work was carried out by mining engineers from the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Construction Management No. 30 from Bashkortostan.”
Konstantin Nikitin, CEO of OJSC Apatit said: “The Kirovsk mine has more than 75 years of reserves, so the new tunnel will be used for decades to come. Construction has demanded significant investments, and these costs will be justified in the long term. The tunnel construction was completed quickly thanks to the hard work of the tunnelling teams, timbermen, mechanics, electricians, surveyors, mining engineers and other specialists.”