Issue 4 2016
Polyhalite - our modern need for prehistoric mineral
ICL extracts polyhalite from the depths of the earth along England's coast
Polyhalite - our modern need for prehistoric mineral
These days we are all - from farmers to fertilizer suppliers - continually focussed on how to improve crop performance.

In this edition of our newsletter we have decided to take the time for a deep, long look at the story of polyhalite and the amazing journey it has been from discovery into use as a new natural fertilizer produced and sold only by us, ICL, as Polysulphate™.

We also reveal the timeline of how we have brought it to market around the world and update you on some of the latest recognition of the power of Polysulphate™.

Great depths to new highs - latest recognition of the role for Polysulphate™
From deep down comes the natural fertilizer bringing high performance nutrition and better crop health and yields in the fields on the earth’s surface. In recent months we have shared news from Canada, India, and USA, of Polysulphate™ fast gaining recognition and respect.

At the root of all this success is the story of how we get the raw material, polyhalite. To help customers - new and existing - to see the story of how we get and deliver this new natural fertilizer we are delighted with our new and very popular infographic Polysulphate at a glance.

But there is more, much more, to marvel at.
Amazing polyhalite: a story with hidden depth
Found deep, 1200m below the earth’s surface, the polyhalite layer of rock lies under the North Sea off the north-eastern coast of the UK.

This polyhalite was deposited around 260 million years ago during the Permian age, much earlier than the Jurassic period when dinosaurs roamed our planet. In Permian times, Europe was much further south. The place now known as Boulby was then on the edge of a broad, shallow ocean called the Zechstein Sea.
The prevailing hot and dry conditions at that time meant the sea evaporated quicker than it could be re-filled, leaving behind polyhalite. Hence polyhalite is known as an evaporate mineral: a hydrated sulphate of potassium, calcium and magnesium with a formula: K2Ca2Mg(SO4)4·2H2O.

Polyhalite was first discovered and described by Friedrich Stromeyer in Salzburg, Austria in 1818. Polyhalite is derived from the Greek: ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and ‘halite’ meaning ‘salt’.
Timeline from mine to you
Decades of research and investment have resulted in the careful mining of polyhalite at Boulby, UK. The mine has been extracting potash for over 40 years and is the only mine in the world to produce polyhalite. These are the mining milestones that have resulted in the Polysulphate™ in use today:
  • 1999: Polyhalite exploration began
  • 2007: Initial pilot tests in (N)PK granulation
  • 2008: Polysulphate project approved by ICL board
  • 2009: Two 800m twin drifts created
  • 2010: 15,000 mt sample taken from polyhalite seam at Boulby
  • 2011: Drifts completed
  • 2012: Mining started
Looking ahead as well as back
The continuing success of our wonderful, natural and high performing fertilizer product as it becomes more and more respected and used by farmers around the world often leads to people asking us this question: how much polyhalite do you have?

Our answer is that it is estimated that there are one billion tons of polyhalite available from this one source at Boulby. News of that massive amount brings this edition of the Polysulphate™ Missive to a close.
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Mined in the UK, ICL is the first – and only producer – in the world to mine polyhalite, marketed as Polysulphate™