The flooding of the Cominco potash mine and its rehabilitation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 807, 1979

FRITZ F. PRUGGER Manager, Potash Operations, Cominco Ltd. Vanscoy, Saskatchewan

In August, 1970, during routine shaft grouting, a major water source was intersected. Water and quicksand under very high pressure entered the shaft at a rate of 65 m3 per minute. The mine and both shafts were flooded. The breach was sealed simultaneously from within the shaft and through a relief hole drilled from surface. The mine was dewatered, rehabilitated and the equipment was restored. Production resumed two years after the accident.
Keywords: Cominco potash mine, Shafts, Shaft sinking, Grouting, Flooding, Water inflow, Quicksand, Dewatering, Equipment rehabilitation.