Intrepid Potash began pumping potash-enriched brine from its HB Solar Solution mine into the first of its newly constructed solar evaporation ponds, marking the achievement of an important milestone in the development of this project, which is located near Carlsbad, N.M.

“This accomplishment demonstrates the persistence, professionalism and talent of our dedicated team of employees and contractors who have brought this project to life,” said Bob Jornayvaz, executive chairman, Intrepid. “We have a tremendous sense of pride in this project, which takes a non-potable water source and injects it into an idled potash mine to recover a resource that otherwise would remain undeveloped. The potash-enriched brine is deposited into lined ponds where we will use the sun’s energy to precipitate out potash.”

The HB Solar Solution mine is a $200 million to $230 million project and, when operating at full capacity, is expected to produce between 150,000 and 200,000 mt of potash per year.