Tuesday 9 August 2016

Miner injured in accident at Saskatchewan mine.

A miner is in a critical condition in a hospital in Saskatchewan following an accident at a potash mine in Vascoy, about 30 km southwest of Saskatoon, early on the morning of Monday 8 August 2016. The worker at the Agrium Inc. operated mine has not yet been identified, nor have full details of the incident been released, though it is understood that the injuries occered when the man became trapped between two pieces of equipment. Activity at the mine has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

The Vascoy Potash Mine. Potash Works.

There are large reserves of potash (potassium salt), an important mineral in the production of commercial fertilizers, buried beneath the plains of southern Saskatchewan, though accessing these has proved difficult for mining contractors. The potash-bearing deposits are at their shallowest along a line that runs southeast from Saskatoon to Regina, where they are buried at a depth of approximately 1000 m. The deposits get deeper to the southwest of this line, reaching 1600 m at Belle Plaine (between Regina and Moose Jaw) and as deep as 3000 m bellow Montana and North Dakota. This depth in itself is not an insurmountable problem, but the deposits are also beneath the Blairmore Aquifer, at a depth of 400-600 m in the Saskatoon/Regina area, which needs to be sealed of by mining engineers sinking shafts to the potash deposits in order prevent flooding (water bearing strata can overlie dry strata as long as there is a water-impermeable layer, typically clay, in between).

Simplified geology of the Saskatchewan potash deposits (labeled as 'Salt). Uralkali.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/96-miners-trapped-underground-by-fire.html96 miners trapped underground by fire in Saskatchewan.                                          Ninety Six workers were forced to evacuate to underground shelters after a fire at a PotashCorp operated mine at Allan in Saskatchewan (about...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/worker-dies-at-saskatchewan-potash-mine.htmlWorker dies at Saskatchewan potash mine.   A 25 year old man from Newfoundland has died at the Agrium owned Vanscoy Potash Mine, approximately 32 kilometers southwest of Saskatoon, apparently after falling 18 m from scaffolding, at around 3.30 am...
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