Sink Holes

Mortal Mindy's picture

Whilst on the subject of Cows ... back in August there appeared a rather large hole in the County of Durham, alas my broomstick had its feathers clipped, and the extent of the damage to said hole is still up for exploration:  "A giant sinkhole that has opened up on farmland in County Durham has continued to cause increasing concern as it threatens to get bigger, a landowner said. John Hensby, 71, from Cowshill near Bishop Auckland, said he had been warned the 110ft (35m) wide chasm would grow. It opened up on Mr Henby's land, above an old lead mine, about 260ft (80m) from his house." Noted at that time (headlines "sinkhole so deep you can't see the bottom .." but then “With more rain coming tomorrow and on Monday we could see a lot more of the hole.” eh? RALMHO - it started about five foot deep ... sure she she wasn't carrying a shovel? .... wonder if they have a tea shop - could be an interesting day out for a Bank Holiday ..... oh well I guess thats what you get for shooting rabbits..."

Meanwhile back in the Serious land of Potty Ash, a more 'insane' hole suddenly appeared in the Russian outback @ 18/11/14:  "Before the giant hole appeared near the town of Solikamsk, the company, which is Russia's biggest potash miner, evacuated workers at the Solikamsk-2 mine, due to the inflow of saline water. Operations at the site have been halted, and the level of underground water is being monitored." Locals were told not to worry about it ...  every time I start 'sinking'

But, the significance of this 'event' and potential impacts have been reverberating -

Reasons for the sink hole? "Potentially, fresh water could mix with the brine in a flooded mine, which in turn may create microfractures in a concrete wall by that time.
Tectonic fractures are other possible way water/brine mix may penetrate and dissolve protective pillar. Theoretically, this process may take years, if it really happens.
We will continue to monitor Uralkali’s official statements in this regard"

So what has this got to do with us? Well, firstly the method of brine solution mining is of interest, does anyone use that around here? cough, - However the BGS report " Modern methods of underground solution and rocksalt mining do not cause subsidence and only raise modest planning issues at surface. Pumping of natural brine is unlikely to be permitted in future, although some old permissions are still in operation and there is still a legacy of subsidence from historic working by this method."  Methods of Boulby's mining can also be found on their Environmental Impact Statement

And,  secondly, the giant sink hole lies next to one of the worlds largest potash producers, 3% of world market, and production has ceased until further investigations and the mine is made safe.   This impacts on the commodity price of potash, and as world demand grows price for potash is expected to take an upward trend;  source:

copied here in full in case it vanishes:  "Posted on November 19, 2014 by Alessandro Bruno - sinkholeRussian fertilizer giant Uralkali (LI: URKA), just a year after shaking the potash market by terminating its strategic pricing alliance (BPC) with the Belarusian potash concern Belaruskali announced that it has been struggling with a temporary closure of a major mine, Solikamsk-2, located near Perm. Should the problem turn out to be a long term or even permanent failure there is the risk that the Russian potash producer will incur significant losses. Of course, this could benefit the competition and cause a significant price hike in the price of the popular mineral fertilizer. The mine affected by the shutdown is of considerable importance for Uralkali, covering a fifth of the company’s capacity. On Tuesday, production at Solikamsk was stopped after high levels of brine were discovered. Water dissolves the potash salts (potassium-laden salts) damaging a mine’s structure and causing sinkholes. This is not unusual for Uralkali, but this time the scale of the problem has been more severe than usual. In 2006, Uralkali suffered a similar incident in the same region and the closure lasted a very long time causing a 5% drop in production (but not as great a financial loss, given that potash prices were typically below USD$ 200/ton then).

The market’s reaction was immediate: Potash Corp (NYSE: POT) gained 6% percent in New York, an intraday jump not seen since 2012 while its CANPOTEX ‘cartel’ partners Mosaic (NYSE: MOS) and Agrium (TSX: AGU) enjoyed similar increases of 4.4 and 4.1 respectively. Indeed, Uralkali did not venture to suggest how long it would need to fix the problem and this is also good news for the smaller potash producers such as Germany’s K+S Group and even for potash juniors such as IC Potash (“ICP’, TSX: ICP | OTCQX: ICPTF) and Allana Potash (TSX: AAA | OTCQX: ALLRF). These juniors are among the nearest to production stage of all the new potash companies. The breakup of the BPC potash cartel that was announced on July 30, 2013, resulting from OAO Uralkali’s decision to ‘go it alone’ had shaken the potash sector.

Investors and sector executives alike feared a collapse of the sector with prices falling below USD$ 200/ton. Nevertheless, the market dynamics triggered by Uralkali’s move may have benefited the overall potash sector by lowering prices in the short term so as to increase them in the long term. In this sense the 25% average drop in potash shares in reaction to the Uralkali bombshell, helped make potash more affordable for those many potential customers who have stayed away because of prohibitive economics. The chance to sample the goods and see the agricultural benefits will have generated more demand while emphasizing the value of ‘project economics’.  Now, the favorable economics for the emerging juniors and production capacity of Uralkali’s international competitors, will raise potash’s value as an investment commodity. Should Uralkali fail to control the flow of brine, it could lose up to 30% of its net profit in the coming year. Meanwhile, the prospect of a tighter supply on the world market is expected to help fertilizer manufacturers to charge higher prices in the forthcoming negotiations with India and China, which usually take place between December and January.

In July 2013, Uralkali adopted a new strategy of pushing production levels higher to bring down prices of potash and conquer new markets, sacrificing margins in the process. That decision led to a stock market collapse of major industry players, who were accustomed to controlling and adjusting production to support prices. China had already been slated to pay 10% more for the 2015 contract to secure its supply of potash. Uralkali’s drop will surely play in favor of CANPOTEX and that price increase will surely be greater than 10%. Increasing tensions between Russia and the West will also raise potash prices. After Canada, Russia is the world’s largest producer of potash. The country also provides 7% and 8% of the supply of fertilizer phosphorus and nitrogen. Brazil has been gradually increasing potash imports used especially to grow soybeans, used for food and fuel. Demand has increased steadily from 2012 to 2014 while areas used to plant soybeans are expected to grow 4%. Already, fertilizer orders for the first half of 2014 gained 7% over 2013, and a corresponding increase is expected in the second half of 2014. - See more at: Read more at

Also sink holes are far more exciting than they may first appear, and challenges conspiracy theories that remain unexplored; 

In relation to the Bermuda Triangle; Scientist Vladimir Potapov (too busy RALMHO) see here: "But regardless of whether the Bermuda Triangle exists, the idea that methane release could sink ships holds some water, scientists say." 

No seriously this is no laughing matter. (too late got the giggles...)

Mr Potapov said that their theory will be studied further. ‘We all have to keep suggesting hypotheses and testing them,’ he said. ‘The crater itself is incredibly interesting from a scientific point of view.’

If only they could capture sink hole technology, could save a fortune ...

Anyhow back to cows ...

Further reading:

Jimmy Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014) Bless: holed on to my love-

Hey diddle diddle ...







Mortal Mindy's picture

Holy Order fills Hole

"A 200ft (60m)-deep sinkhole which opened up above an old lead mine is close to being filled in, ten months after it first appeared.

The crater appeared metres from the home of landowner John Hensby in Cowshill, County Durham.

Mr Hensby said bad weather had held up efforts to repair the hole, which had been slowly growing in size.

But the Church Commissioners, responsible for the mine, said it was in the final stages of repairs...

"It was like a bottomless pit - we had mine groupies getting too close to the edge and defying all the warning signs and we were worried about sheep falling in.... " - lol

"There is still an exorcist on site ..."

Oh. ok a sensitive little touch : - )

Mortal Mindy's picture

Solikamsk .. a triple effect?

"A crater in Russia, which emerged 10 months ago has tripled in size to become a 120m-wide sinkhole.

The sinkhole, near the town of Solikamsk, is believed to have been caused by flood erosion in an underground mine.

The collapsing soil has already claimed a number of holiday homes, but officials say local people are not in danger."

Doh, I never knew Solikamsk was a tourist resort ... sunni camps ...

Ooh 'trippled in size'? Unless the Express were exacturating ..

Hmmm ... Belarus, wot ave we missed ;


Nah, back to the pit,  Zzzzz


Maps :

Oh OK: -)

Benefitz Betty's picture

Sink Hole in Ripon


Ah, so ...  43 miles off course  ...  mind it could be that dragon shifting over them there hills.

tis like the Great escape innit ... make vroom make vroom :


Solid Ground:

Nope, can't find the elephant....

Wheres the Rum?








Benefitz Betty's picture

A Paradigm Shift

"Officials in southern Russia have been forced into providing transport for schoolchildren after a video emerged of them walking to school armed with an axe to fend off wolves.

Youngsters in the village of Verkhniy Nugush, in the autonomous Bashkortostan region, have to walk 10km (6.2 miles) to the nearest secondary school on a route that takes them through a forest. A video of the group trudging their way through deep snow, one student clutching an axe, was shared online by their parents. The journey became necessary after the village's own school closed, and no buses were put in place.

The parents say their children were attacked by a wolf recently but managed to escape, although the authorities say there haven't been any officially recorded attacks on humans, Rossiya 24 news channel reports.

Local officials initially told the MediaKorSet news portal that they knew about the situation but couldn't arrange a bus service because of a steep slope on the route. They said it had been agreed that parents would take it in turns to get the children to school.

Once the story made headlines, though, they backpedalled, announcing that transport would be provided after all. The local Bashinform news agency says a four-wheel-drive vehicle has been allocated after the intervention of the district prosecutor's office.

Noting the swift turnaround, MediaKorSet says: "Perhaps the media coverage and social media reaction helped the authorities to see the issue from a different angle."