"Apatite"

"APATITE" (RU: "Апатит") is the productive consortium named after S.M.Kirov for the extraction and beneficiation of apatite-nepheline ores of the Khibinskaya group of deposits of the Ministry for the Production of Mineral Fertilizers of the USSR. It is situated within the Murmansk province of the RSFSR. The major industrial centre is the Kirovsk city. The enterprise comprises 4 open pit mines and 3 underground mines, 2 beneficiation plants, transport and auxiliary workshops. The industrial reserves of the ores of these deposits are 3.2 billion tonnes. The length of the ore bodies is 2-3 kilometres, the thickness is 40-300 metres, the dip is 20-50 degrees, the content of P2O5 is 7.5-19%.

The ore is the complex raw material for the obtainment of apatite, nepheline, sphene, titanomagnetite, and aegirite concentrates. There is used at the mines the system of the multiple level forced caving, with ore breaking using the deep boreholes with the diameter of 105 millimetres, with scraper delivery, or with the vibrating yield of the ore from the blocks. The height of the level is 70 metres, the width of the block is 80-300 metres, the length is 70-140 metres; the breaking of the ore is conducted using the sections of 300-400 thousand tonnes of the ore. The hauling of the ore is performed with the help of electrical locomotives. At the open pit mines, the development is conducted using the transverse stopes, without the cutting trenches, with temporary ramps, and with hauling of the ore into the external dumps. The height of the benches is 12-15 metres. There are used at the stripping and extracting works the machines for the roller-cone bit drilling, and one-bucket power shovels. The transport is the heavy load dump trucks (up to 120 tonnes). The ore from the open pit mines (central mine) is passed through the capital vertical ore passes with diameter of 6 metres and depth of 500 metres, into horizontal capital adits, from where it is transported within the railway dump cars with the help of the electrical locomotives of the standard gauge to beneficiation plants within the Kirovsk and Apatity cities. The average monthly productivity of the worker within the stope (according to the rock mass) during the open pit development is 1800-1900 cubic metres, during the underground development is 330-350 cubic metres.

The crushing of the ore is the three-stage one, with preliminary screening, with grinding within the ball mills, within the closed cycle, with classifier and hydrocyclones. The beneficiation is performed within the pneumatic and mechanical flotation machines, with subsequent dehydration within the hydrocyclones, within the radial thickeners, and within the vacuum filters. The drying is within the direct flow drum dryers, with three-stage cleaning of the throw-out gases. The extraction of the ore is 47.3 million tonnes (1981), including 31.0 million tonnes using the open pit method. The enterprise has been awarded with the Order of Lenin (1965), and with the Order of the October Revolution (1971).