KIROVSK, Russia, Aug. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Vostochny mine of the Kirovsk branch of Apatit (PhosAgro Group), a ceremony was held to mark the shipment of the 2 billionth tonne of apatite-nepheline ore, which has been mined for the past 90 years since the plant was established.
Attending the ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak; Viktor Yevtukhov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade; Alexander Orlov, Director of the Department for Chemistry, Technology and Bioengineering at the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade; Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of the Murmansk Region; Andrey A. Guryev, CEO of PhosAgro; Andrey G. Guryev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of PhosAgro; Andrey Abrashitov, Director of the Kirovsk branch of Apatit; and other company officials. The event was timed to coincide with Miner's Day and the Apatit Plant's 90th anniversary.
The honour of documenting this production achievement fell on the Vostochny mine, where Dmitry Kozak, Andrey Chibis, Andrey Guryev and Andrey Abrashitov issued a joint command to carry out a mass explosion in an open pit and to then send the commemorative tonne of ore to the apatite-nepheline facility for processing.
Two billion tonnes of ore have been produced at four mines at the mining and beneficiation complex: Kirovsky (800 million tonnes), Central (720 million tonnes), Vostochny (250 million tonnes), and Rasvumchorr (230 million tonnes).
"Two billion tonnes of ore – that's more than 19 million dump cars," said PhosAgro CEO Andrey A. Guryev. "If you were to line them up in a train, its length would stretch more than 250,000 kilometres, which is equivalent 7 times the length of the Earth's equator. Nearly 700 million tonnes of phosphate rock have been produced from ore at the mining and beneficiation complex in Khibiny. There's little left to do to achieve that milestone, which we'll reach in September. For 90 years, the Apatit Plant has been producing phosphate rock in Russia, which serves as the raw material required to produce high-performance, environmentally friendly phosphate-based fertilizers. The plant has become the flagship facility in the domestic mineral fertilizer industry and the basis of food security not only in Russia, but around the world."
Andrey G. Guryev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of PhosAgro, drew attendees' attention to the fact that along with the scientific and technological progress taking place at the plant, production performance for ore in general is growing. To produce the first 100 million tonnes required more than 30 years, and the half-billion mark was reached 15 years later. The next 500 million tonnes were mined in just 10 years. In December 2001, the 1.5 billionth tonne was shipped, and now the 2 billionth tonne of ore has been mined.
"There will be new billions of tonnes ahead, since Russia has no alternative to the Khibiny deposits," said Andrei G. Guryev. "The company is making major investments in developing its resource base and is outfitting mines with modern equipment. The introduction of unmanned haul trucks and excavators in open pits is not far off. A few years ago, this seemed like a fantasy, but today it's a reality."
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak believes that PhosAgro is the pearl of the entire mining industry.
"One of PhosAgro's magnificent achievements is that its corporate standards for environmental cleanliness of mineral fertilizers have become international standards. This is not just about the company's success, however; it's also about protecting people's health and creating conditions to produce organic food."
Kozak noted how the mining industry has changed over the past several decades. New technologies are being introduced, production facilities are being modernised, productivity is growing, and considerable attention is being paid to improving occupational safety and environmental protection.
The ecological purity of phosphate rock and the phosphate-based mineral fertilizers produced from it was underscored by Irina Bokova, an independent member of PhosAgro's Board of Directors. She noted that the European Union had recently placed trade limits on mineral fertilizers containing a high percentage of impurities, including cadmium. This decision elevates PhosAgro products to the premium category.
"The European Union has decided that companies that manufacture pure products – and PhosAgro is among the small number of companies that do so – would be eligible for green labelling. Green labelling is an indicator of environmental friendliness and helps when it comes to strengthening our market position. But I will go a little further. I think that this will have a positive affect not only the PhosAgro's image, but also that of Russian industry and Russia as a whole," Bokova concluded.
Speaking both on his own accord and for Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Viktor Yevtukhov, Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, expressed gratitude to the plant's leadership for their effective management, for introducing modern digital production, and for the entire team's dedicated, professional work that have brought benefit both to the plant and the country.
Andrei Chibis, Acting Governor of the Murmansk Region, congratulated employees of PhosAgro and the Kirovsk branch of Apatit on the upcoming Miner's Day celebration, noting that PhosAgro, one of the largest employers and taxpayers in the Murmansk Region, is actively growing.
"I want to thank PhosAgro for their social partnership," he said. "This really allows us to change the quality of life for the better. Happy Miner's Day to everyone – may the plant continue to prosper!"
At the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak presented state awards to three employees of the Apatit Plant (PhosAgro Group) in recognition of their professional achievements, active social engagement and many years of dedicated work. The title "Honoured Miner of the Russian Federation" was awarded to Anatoly Mikhailovich Chuykin, a rig operator at the Kirovsk branch of the Apatit Plant. "For Merit to the Fatherland, II level" medals were awarded to Olga Polozova, head of the planning and process section of the steam and gas supply unit of the Apatit Plant (Cherepovets), and Andrey Teplenichev, head of the repair and maintenance division of the Apatit Plant (Cherepovets).
About the Company
PhosAgro (www.phosagro.ru) is a Russian vertically integrated company and one of the world's leading producers of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock (P2O5>39%).
PhosAgro Group is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, one of the world's leading producers of MAP/DAP, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe and the only one in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate.
PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, 39 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 100 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia.
PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes.
More information about PhosAgro can be found at www.phosagro.ru.