Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. awarded VALE contract to expand World Potash Production Capacity

NIAGARA, ON, Jan. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. announced an agreement with VALE for the turnkey supply of salt evaporators and potash crystallizers for their Potasio Rio Colorado (PRC) potash solution mining plant in Argentina's Mendoza Province.

The world's first new green-field solution mining project of its size in over 40 years, the U$150-U$300-million potash crystallization plant is the heart of the U$4.2 billion VALE investment in PRC.

Construction of the crystallization plant is expected to begin in December 2012 - operational in January, 2014.  The plant will increase world potash production by 5-percent, producing 2.4-million tonnes of potash per year (tpa), with potential phased-in increases to 4.2-million tpa before 2020.  The current world potash market is about 50-million tpa. Canada is the largest producer (35%); China is the largest consumer (27%).

"Canadians are world leaders in solution mining and potash processing," said H.- Rudi Kroeker, President and CEO of Whiting Equipment Canada Inc.

Whiting Equipment Canada's most recent potash crystallization plant equipment will begin start up this spring at Qinghai Salt Lake located in Western China. Whiting Equipment Canada has delivered the first order for long-delivery alloy materials required to fabricate similar capacity evaporation/crystallization equipment for Potash One's (K+S) Legacy Project potash solution mine in Southern Saskatchewan.

Whiting Equipment Canada uses technology invented by their sister company Swenson Technology Inc. (Monee, Illinois) to develop the process and engineer the processing equipment.

First performed in Saskatchewan 50 years ago, using Swenson technology, solution mining uses water to dissolve potash from deep underground ore zones. The brine is taken from the well field; the salt and potash are separated through fractional crystallization. The resulting salt and potash slurries are sent through dewatering equipment. The water is then pumped back into the well to dissolve more potash.

Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. engineers and manufactures high quality custom designed equipment for chemical & metallurgical industries, materials handling & railways, mass transit, and other sectors across North America and around the world. Whiting Equipment Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of Whiting Corporation (Monee, Illinois).

SOURCE Whiting Equipment Canada Inc.

For further information:

H.-Rudi Kroeker, President and CEO
(905) 732-7585
Email: hrk@whiting.ca

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