Reject pick up halted in April

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013

PotashCorp-Aurora will halt all pick up of its oversized materials — also known as “reject” — during April.

Construction taking place in the area near the pick-up site is causing safety concerns for the phosphate-mining company.

“We’re doing a construction project, and where it’s located, it would be too congested for people to come on the site safely,” said Ray McKeithan, manager of public affairs for PotashCorp-Aurora

McKeithan said the mined reject is good material for roads, parking lots and pathways, and the company gives it away to approved organizations, usually nonprofits — for example, pathways to the new handicapped-accessible group campground at Goose Creek State Park were constructed with reject donated by PotashCorp.

The reject is made up of a slurry mixture from the mine that contains many other elements besides phosphate rock: dirt, clay, fossils, among them. These materials are screened from the phosphate before it’s processed at the site’s chemical plants. Until last year, it was a one-step process to remove the reject. Now, through the COARSE recovery project, the previously rejected material is reprocessed to extract as much phosphate as possible.

“We feel we’re maximizing the utilization of the resources we’re extracting,” McKeithan said.

The closing of the pick-up site is temporary, McKeithan said.

“We’re just doing this for the mutual protection of visitors and employees.”