K+S Will Ask Thuringia to Pay for Mining Legacy Issues
K+S AG, Europe’s biggest potash producer, said it will ask the state of Thuringia to continue assuming expenses to fortify a retired potash mine in the east German town of Merkers in order to prevent potential damage to villages in the region.
K+S currently has about 180 employees filling the former mine with rock in order to stabilize it after mining practices in the formerly communist east of Germany left the site in danger of collapsing, spokesman Michael Wudonig said. His comments came after Thuringia’s environmental minister Juergen Reinholz yesterday said the state would discontinue paying for the service by year-end.
Thuringia has paid about 250 million euros ($342 million) since 1999 to K+S to fill the former potash mine, and it will take “several more years” of work until the mine is safe, Wudonig said. While K+S’s contracts bind the company to secure the mine, it also has a valid contract with the state of Thuringia to assume the costs associated with it, Wudonig said.
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