October 13, 2009 / 6:17 AM / 10 years ago

Uralkali can use potash from flooded mine -report

MOSCOW, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Russian miner Uralkali (URKA.MM) may be able to use more than half of the potash reserves that were thought to be lost in a flood at one of its mines in 2006, Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday.

The lost reserves had been valued at 84.6 billion roubles ($2.86 billion) by Russian subsoil agency Rosnedra.

Around 50 to 60 percent of the previously “lost” reserves can be used, Kommersant quoted Denis Khramov, head of the Natural Resources Ministry’s state policy department, as telling a parliamentary committee.

The reserves can be accessed through some of the functioning mining tunnels, the newspaper said.

Uralkali was not immediately available for comment.

“While these reserves can potentially increase Uralkali’s resource base, we do not expect the company to start developing them from the neighbouring mines any time soon,” analysts at VTB Capital said in a research note.

“Such extraction would significantly increase technological risks for Mines 2 and 4, while Uralkali currently has other sufficient reserves to produce the necessary volumes,” VTB Capital said. ($1=29.60 Rouble) (Writing by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Hans Peters)

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