K2 plant Esterhazy
Esterhazy, Sask.

Most of the potash that is mined is used for fertilizer. Salt is separated from the potash and used for table salt, water softening salt, livestock salt and road de-icing salt.

Potash is found over 1000 meters underground. A shaft is constructed from the surface so men and equipment can go underground. The miners go down the shaft in a cage. They travel through the underground tunnels in special 4-wheel drive vehicles. At the Allan Potash mine near Saskatoon there are approximately 830 km of tunnels. Fans circulate fresh air down the shaft and through the passageways.

mining equipment
Electrically powered machines drill for potash underground. The huge machines cut out the ore creating large tunnels. The ore is cut up by blades, broken into smaller pieces, moved by belts to the shafts, crushed then lifted to the surface.

potash pile
The potash is taken to the surface where the salt is separated from the potash.

The Potash Corporation of Sask. (PCS) operates six mines in Saskatchewan : Allan, Cory, Lanigan, Patience Lake, Rocanville and Esterhazy About 45 per cent of the potash is sold to the United States. It is transported by train or truck. Potash is also sold to markets in the Pacific Rim and Latin America


images courtesy of saskmining.ca

links - Sask.Energy and Resources
mine tour brochure (pdf document)

June 2011
source - Saskatchewan Energy and Resources