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Acron Vice President Sergey Fedorov Pays Working Visit to Perm Branch of Verkhnekamsk Potash Company

Acron’s Vice President Sergey Fedorov visited the Perm branch of Verkhekamsk Potash Company (VPC) on April 28 – 29. This branch is implementing one of the projects overseen by Mr. Fedorov – development of the Talitsky area of the Verkhnekamsk potash deposit. Mr. Fedorov held conferences with experts fr om Genesis Perm on drilling and geological surveying and with specialists fr om Geoprognoz Research and Production Company on analysis of follow-up exploration and initial geological data for feasibility study conditions.

Mr. Fedorov had an extended session with managers and chief project engineers at Galurgia Research and Design Institute (Perm) and announced that Genesis Perm had finalised its part of the work, drilled five exploration wells and analysed the data obtained. The Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Science has fully executed seismic and electrical exploration work and performed digital processing and interpretation of the data obtained. Perm State University has conducted an Analysis of the natural environmental baseline and submitted it to Permnedra.

The Federal Subsoil Use Agency made alterations to the license agreement in April 2010 in response to VPC’s request, and Mr. Fedorov emphasized that all operations are conducted in accordance with the established timeline. Changes made to the license agreement are based on a thorough analysis of exploration data and caused by the necessity of additional surveying and expert assessment. The initial license agreement was designed for a company with working production facilities and infrastructure, while VPC, which won the auction for the license, has to construct its operations from the ground up. As a result, the timeline was adjusted in order to make it more realistic and to ensure organised operations. According to these changes, the launch of the mine facility was postponed from 2014 to 2016, and its reaching design capacity was postponed from 2016 to late 2018. However, due to the substantial volume of preliminary work, the Company is not slowing up its pace.

Galurgia is presently performing a pre-design analysis of the solutions required to commence design of the Talitsky mine and processing facilities. The document entitled “Main design solutions for construction of the Talitsky mining and processing integrated facility” has already been finalised.

In the course of negotiation, VPC signed a number of agreements with the Institute, worth several million roubles, on establishing initial data and legal requirements for exploration conditions of the feasibility study. The next stage of the project, preparation for large-scale design work for Talitsky mine construction, is about to start. During the current year VPC will collect initial data for the project’s technical design, conduct an engineering survey of the mine site and tailing infrastructure, finalise the shaft sinking design, drill shaft wells, and construct a road to the mine site.

Pursuant to the license agreement’s timeline, the design of feasibility study conditions and approval of mineral reserves should be finalized by February 2012, and the technical design and government approval of the project should be obtained by February 2014.

Site selection was performed on a multi-variant basis in cooperation with Berezniki and the Usolsky district administration. There was a choice of six mine sites and three options for the pulp depository and waste storage location. In January 2010, the Head of the municipal administration authorised a certificate of approval for the mine construction site, pulp depository and waste storage for the Talitsky potash mining and processing integrated facility. The certificate was approved after the amendment of several requirements for the land allotment, including a mandatory sanitary and epidemiological inspection report. Now VPC is working to meet the new certificate terms.
VPC management decided to give the city’s new mayor an introduction to the work flow at the Talitsky area. Acron Vice President Fedorov met with Berezniki Mayor Sergey Diakov, Galurgia General Director Arkady Grinberg, the Head of VPC’s Perm branch Leonid Spehov and others. Representatives of the Company described VPC’s short-term plans and its current activity. They were pleasantly surprised by the Mayor’s awareness of VPC’s progress in the development of the Talitsky area. Sergey Diakov showed genuine interest in activity of VPC’s unit in Berezniki, and in the results of a demographical analysis of the district’s data; he also gave recommendations on project management, ground water hydrology and the future mine’s sewage treatment. Sergey Fedorov presented the Mayor with an icon of the Holy Martyr Barbara, the patron saint of miners. The gift is symbolic for the mining city of Berezniki. People call Saint Barbara the helper and protectress of those who work underground. In commemoration of this meeting, the Mayor received books about Veliky Novgorod and the Acron Group.

Meeting participants shared their views on the future of cooperation between the mine facility and the city. VPC plans to be actively involved in the social and economical development of Berezniki, wh ere the Company will construct its mine facility and wh ere thousand of its employees will live and work. It is essential to make life in the city comfortable and well organised, therefore the interests of the municipal administration and mine management coincide on this point.