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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Potash (or carbonate of potash) is an impure form of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) mixed with other potassium salts.
  • Muriate of Potash potassium chloride (KCl), a refined red or greyish red, cubic, crystalline compound that closely resembles common salt (sodium chloride).
  • Potash ore can be considered a soft rock.
  • Potash is an essential plant nutrient.

Production & Process

  • Potash production provided late-18th and early-19th century settlers in North America a way to obtain badly needed cash and credit as they cleared their wooded land for crops.
  • Flotation and crystallisation are two processes used for the purification of KCl from potash ores.
  • Potash is extracted from buried ancient evaporites by underground or solution mining.
  • Potash is mined using two-and four-rotor continuous boring machines.

Application & Technology

  • Caustic potash is a major industrial chemical used as a base in many chemical processes.
  • Solar pond technology used for the efficient recove~ of potash.
  • The potash mining industry also expressed the desire to be able to track the stratigraphy in the mine roof using radar technology.

Market

  • The major share of the potash produced in Saskatchewan goes for export. The US is the major consumer with 52% of the total, another 43% goes to overseas markets and only a mere 5% is used in Canada.

  • Potash prices are usually negotiated between suppliers and consumers based on delivery contracts.

  • More than 50 % of India's import of Potash is from Jordan and Israel, where it is recovered from Dead Sea brine.

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