To mark the double jubilee celebrations – 65 years of potash project planning made in Erfurt and 25 years of ERCOSPLAN – the Erfurt/Germany-based group, ERCOSPLAN, organised an international symposium on the subject of “The potash industry in the 21st century – raw materials exploration, extraction and processing, as well as disposal of the waste this produces” from 8th to 10th June 2017 in the Thuringian state capital. Premier Bodo Ramelow was the patron of the event. More than 430 participants from 21 countries and six continents took part in the event.
The symposium addressed the major challenges of the potash industry with retrospectives, current project descriptions and innovative approaches. The topics ranged from exploration and development of deposits, raw materials extraction and processing through to eliminating waste. In his welcoming speech, Ramelow pointed out that potash and rock salt mining would have to be developed in harmony with the economy and ecology in future as well, and highlighted the importance of the ERCOSPLAN Group and its global consulting and planning activities. Dr. Henry Rauche, CEO of the ERCOSPLAN Group, then gave Ramelow a small token of his thanks for Ramelow’s tireless commitment on behalf of the potash miners and potash regions in Thuringia (Figure 1).
The official ceremony (Figure 2) was followed by 35 expert lectures given by potash producers, equipment suppliers, shaft construction companies, mining and environmental authorities, junior mining companies and many other experts, both in the plenary session and in four parallel sessions. Topics covered exploration, mining and hot leaching extraction, as well as processing potash-based raw materials, recovery of secondary components, elimination of solid and liquid waste and environmental protection in the potash industry.
This was the second edition of the potash symposium, which only takes place every five years, and yet it has already established itself as a fixed event in the calendar. (MS)