TEL-AVIV, Israel, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
ICL (TASE:ICL), a global specialty minerals company that fulfills essential needs of the world's growing population in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets, today announced that its ICL Fertilizers' subsidiary, Cleveland Potash Ltd. ("CPL"), will expand its activities to mine Polyhalite, which it markets under the name Polysulphate, at its Boulby Mine located in North East England. This follows the announcement that the UK government has approved a grant of £4.9 million for the expansion project.
CPL, a UK company owned by ICL Fertilizers, will begin implementing a £38 million investment programme designed to increase production capacity and mining of Polyhalite to around 600,000 tonnes per year, compared to its current production level of approximately 130,000 tonnes.
The investment will be made over the coming year after which ICL will evaluate the potential for a further expansion of the project. CPL is the only company mining Polyhalite today and from 2010 ICL Fertilizers began to market Polysulphate as a new fertilizer into agricultural markets.
Geological studies conducted by ICL Fertilizers indicate that there are deposits amounting to more than a billion tonnes of Polyhalite under the company's Potash mine at Boulby. The Boulby Mine, owned by ICL, is the only Potash producer in the UK and has been mining in the North East of England since 1969.
Polyhalite is a unique mineral. It is a complex salt comprising Sulphur, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium which are all essential nutrients for crop production. Polysulphate has the additional benefit of being low in Chlorides and can be used as a specialty fertilizer suitable for fertilizing crops and agricultural land that are sensitive to chlorine. As a natural product, Polysulphate is certified and approved for use in organic farming systems.
An additional advantage of Polysulphate is its high Sulphur content (48% SO3) which means that this mineral provides a solution for Sulphur-deficient land, a growing concern for farmers in the Western world as the amount of Sulphur deposition from the atmosphere decreases. Polysulphate can be applied directly to land in its natural form or be used as raw material input for fertilizer production.
Commenting on the news, ICL Fertilizers CEO, Nissim Adar, said, "We see significant potential in increasing our production capacity and marketing of Polysulphate from CPL's mine. We are very grateful to the British government for their faith in ICL and in this project. The positive response by our customers to Polysulphate, and our expectation of increased demand for this fertilizer led us to decide to substantially increase our production."
CPL's Managing Director, Phil Baines added: "Over the last two fertilizer seasons we began to introduce Polysulphate into agricultural markets in an amount of tens of thousands of tonnes. We have been very encouraged by farmers' positive reaction which indicates a potential to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes at an economically feasible price over the coming years. As a result, we are prepared to expand production and sales. In addition, the fact that the Polyhalite deposits are located below CPL's existing Potash workings facilitates the mining process, making it more efficient and economical to produce. These factors were the basis for our decision to invest in the expansion of our production capacity. We are very proud of our contribution towards a sustainable European agriculture alongside our important contribution to expanding employment and economic growth in the local economy. We are very grateful to the UK government for its decision to support our company, and look forward to continued cooperation to benefit the common interest of both the public and the company."
ICL, a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfill humanity's essential needs, primarily in three markets: agriculture, food and engineered materials.
The agricultural products that ICL produces help to feed the world's growing population. The potash and phosphates that it mines and manufactures are used as ingredients in fertilizers and serve as an essential component in the pharmaceutical and food additives industries. The food additives that ICL produces enable people to have greater access to more varied and higher quality food. ICL's water treatment products supply clean water to millions of people, as well as to industry around the world. Other substances, based on bromine and phosphates help to create energy that is more efficient and environmentally friendly, prevent the spread of forest fires and allow the safe and widespread use of a variety of products and materials.
ICL benefits from a broad presence throughout the world and proximity to large markets, including in emerging regions. ICL operates within a strategic framework of sustainability that includes a commitment to the environment, support of communities in which ICL's manufacturing operations are located and where its employees live, and a commitment to all its employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
ICL is a public company whose shares are traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: ICL). The company employs approximately 12,000 people worldwide, and its sales in 2013 totaled circa US$6.3 billion. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.icl-group.com
About Cleveland Potash Ltd.
Cleveland Potash, a subsidiary of ICL Fertilizers, is a producer and supplier of potash fertilizers for agriculture and industry uses. Cleveland Potash operates the United Kingdom's only potash mine, from which it produces over a million tons of potash for fertilizers and more than half a million tons of salt each year. Customers use Cleveland Potash's high-quality potash products for fertilizer production, as well as for glass making and applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Cleveland Potash's salt products also meet a variety of needs, from road maintenance to sugar beet cultivation, and are also used as an ingredient in animal feeds.
Fleisher Communications and Public Relations