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Ukraine has started importing salt from Africa due to issues with extraction in the Zakarpattia region

27 Dec, 2023
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Ukraine has started importing salt from Africa due to issues with extraction in the Zakarpattia region

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Ukraine is forced to import technical salt from Africa due to the Bushtyn salt deposit in the Zakarpattia region not operating at full capacity.

This was disclosed in an interview with Ukrinform by Viktor Mykyta, the head of the Zakarpattia Regional State Administration.

"The situation with Zakarpattia salt is as follows: the enterprise started developing the deposit in 2022, after the Russian invasion. The work started at a very fast pace, and problems constantly arose. It is both an issue of the professional level of the workers and geology," he noted.

According to the head of the administration, the problem was that proper surveying was not conducted at the time of launching the deposit development.

"They initially did not plan to concrete the mine, later, when the passage began to fill in, it was necessary to do it. So they dug anew, installed metal structures, reinforced, and so on," Mykyta explained.

Also, if the deposit operates at full capacity, there is a risk of damaging the roads Mukachevo-Rohatyn and Kyiv-Chop with truck transportation.

"The capacity of this mine should meet the country's needs for technical salt. This is 400 thousand tons per year. Now imagine that these 400 thousand tons will be transported by trucks from the extraction site..." – said the head of the Zakarpattia Regional State Administration.

According to him, the authorities plan to negotiate with Ukrzaliznytsia to lay a separate track to the deposit.

 

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"There are agreements, but this issue is not closed today because the enterprise has already used all the investments," said the head of the administration.

In particular, funds were invested in the construction of a tunnel and passage to the salt mine.

"They are building two tunnels, one is reserve, so that in case of damage to the first, work continues through the reserve, and production does not stop. The second tunnel is currently unfinished. Therefore, now we are saying that the enterprise has reached the rock, started selecting technical salt," Mykyta emphasized.

To improve the infrastructure, conduct a geological survey of the deposit, and complete the passage, another year is needed. The investor has already invested about UAH 170 million in this project.

Currently, about 45 tons of technical salt are extracted daily at the Bushtyn deposit. If necessary, this figure can be increased to 200 tons (resulting in 600 tons of mixture for road spreading).

"This will be enough for Zakarpattia and neighboring regions. However, such a quantity of technical salt will not cover all the country's needs," emphasized Viktor Mykyta.

Therefore, technical salt is currently being imported from African countries at a cost of UAH 2,500 per ton.

Before the war, the cost of a ton of technical salt from Artemsol was UAH 1,500. When there was no salt in 2022, it was imported at a price of UAH 7,000-9,000 per ton.

The cost of Zakarpattia salt from the Bushtyn deposit is currently UAH 3,000, but the quality is significantly higher than African salt, according to the head of the regional administration.

"The producer conducted expertise, and it dissolves perfectly. Therefore, Zakarpattia salt will be bought. Plus, considering logistics, the salt that enters the ports, somewhere in the south of the country, will be used, and we will be able to meet the needs of the west and center with our own salt," he noted.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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