|Owners||Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.|
3.042 Mt KCl (2011)
|Reserves & Resources||
Long room and pillar
|Processing Method||Crushing, flotation, de-brining, grading|
Four-rotor (9) & two-rotor (1) continuous mining machines
|Processing equipment||Crushers, scrubbers, flotation circuit, de-brining/drying equipment|
Ph: (306) 365-2030
General Manager (2012): Rob Bubnick
Last updated: June 8, 2012
PotashCorp owns and operates an underground potash mine at Lanigan, Saskatchewan. Production of potash from Lanigan mine began in 1968.
The mine site is located just off Highway 16 near the town of Guernsey, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Saskatoon, province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The Lanigan Potash Mining Lease Area encompasses approximately 52,025 hectares (128,557 acres).
Potash produced at Lanigan is standard and granular used in the fertilizer and agricultural industry. It is shipped via Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways to centers throughout North America or to ports for delivery offshore.
The Lanigan mine is located in central Saskatchewan, approx 100km east of the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is a landlocked Canadian prairie province and has a population of 1 million people mostly living in the southern part of the province, a region characterized by a semi-arid steppe climate - hot summers and windy cold winters.
Saskatchewan has about 53 percent of global potash reserves.
The sylvite (potash) deposits of Saskatchewan formed over 350 million years ago as a result of the final stage of evaporative concentration of sea water in a middle Devonian sea.
The productive Praire Evaporite Formation comprises a series of flat-lying sedimentary deposits of interbedded sylvite (KCl), carnallite, halite beds and clay and dolomite beds.
Stratigraphy of the region is dominated by three important potash bearing beds: the upper Patience Lake member (exploited by mines employing underground and solution mining methods); the middle Belle Plaine member (solution mining); and the lower Esterhazy member (underground and solution mining).
Virtually all Lanigan underground mining rooms are in one of two potash mineralized zones situated approx 15-30 m below the top of the host evaporite salt, the Prairie Evaporite Formation. Depth to the top of the main mineralized zones varies between 980 m and 1050 m, averaging approx 1000 m over most of the mining and exploration area.
Mining works are protected from aquifers in overlying formations by salt and potash beds, and salt plugged porosity in the overlying Dawson Bay Formation, a carbonate lying immediately above potash hosting salt beds.
Lanigan is the largest of PotashCorp's potash mines and has the
capacity to produce 3.828 million product tonnes a year from its deposits 1,000
meters (3,300 feet) below the Saskatchewan prairie. The current mining areas
stretch 5 kilometers north and 7.5 kilometers south from the main shaft.
Production began in 1968.
The Lanigan mine is a conventional potash mine and uses long room and pillar mining techniques to extract the ore. The mine employs nine four-rotor and one two-rotor mining machines. Each machine cuts a profile of 2.74 meters by 8.23 meters (9 feet by 27 feet) and advances at a rate of up to 30 centimeters per minute. They typically mine at 650 tonnes per hour. Once mined, the ore passes directly from the miner onto a conveyor system which transports the ore to underground storage bins for hoisting to the surface.
The ore, containing 33 percent KCl (potassium chloride, or potash), 56
percent NaCl (sodium chloride, or salt), 8 percent insoluble clay and 3 percent
other salts, is crushed to free the KCl. After scrubbing and de-sliming to
remove the clay, it is conditioned with reagents before the flotation process
in which the KCl is floated off the top of the cells. The concentrate is then
de-brined, dried and screened. Lanigan has the largest mill in the industry,
capable of handling more than 1,300 tonnes of ore per hour.
Lanigan potash is graded for application as fertilizer and is stored in three large bins with a combined capacity of 250,000 tonnes.
Most product from Lanigan travels by rail on Canadian National and Canadian Pacific to centers throughout North America for domestic sales or to ports for delivery offshore.
Lanigan has a nameplate capacity of 3.8 million tonnes KCl and as of
2012 had an operational capability of 3.3 million tonnes KCl.
In 2011, the company made local purchases of $55.3 million, representing 75 percent of total expenditures. It also announced $1 million contribution in support of the new Lanigan & District Medical Clinic.
During the same year the company also undertook site remediation and rehabilitation projects.