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Technical Announcement: USGS Assesses 39–54 Billion Metric Tons of Undiscovered Potash Resources in Central Asia

Technical Announcement: USGS Assesses 39–54 Billion Metric Tons of Undiscovered Potash Resources in Central Asia Energy

The Central Asia Salt Basin of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan has the potential to contain between 39 and 54 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources, according to a global mineral resource assessment led by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Known potash resources in the Central Asia Salt Basin consist of 1.63 billion metric tons.

Potash is produced worldwide at amounts exceeding 30 million metric tons per year, mostly for use in fertilizers. The term “potash” refers to potassium-bearing, water-soluble salts derived from evaporite basins, where seawater dried up and precipitated various salt compounds; the word for the element “potassium” is derived from potash. In fact, industry uses potash to refer to potassium chloride, as well as potassium sulfate, nitrate, and oxide forms.

The Central Asia Salt Basin hosts significant discovered potash resources and originated in an inland sea during Late Jurassic time. Seawater flowed into the Basin, mostly from its extreme northwestern margin near the modern Caspian Sea, during several evaporation episodes that deposited at least five different packages of evaporites, with virtually all potash in the second and fourth packages.

In this study, the Central Asia Salt Basin was subdivided into three tracts, also known as permissive areas, for evaluation: the Amu Darya tract in the west, the Gissar tract in the center, and the Afghan-Tajik tract in the east. The Gissar and Amu Darya tracts were each quantitatively assessed. The Afghan‑Tajik tract was only qualitatively assessed because of the extreme depth (as deep as 7 km) of the Jurassic salt, extensive deformation and a lack of known potash deposits.

In 2010, world potash production was about 33 million metric tons of K2O-equivalent (PDF). Canada was the largest producer of potash (9.5 million metric tons K2O-equivalent in 2010), followed by Russia, Belarus, China, Germany, Israel and Jordan. Potash is produced in many countries throughout the world, but production is concentrated in North America and Eurasia. Each of the 12 major potash-producing countries produced 1 million metric ton or more in 2010; production from other countries was less than 1 million metric ton each.

The USGS Mineral Resources Program delivers unbiased science and information to understand mineral resource potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment.

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Technical Announcement; USGS Assesses 39–54 Billion Metric Tons of Undiscovered Potash Resources in Central Asia Technical Announcement USGS Metric Tons Undiscovered Potash Resources Central Asia the caspian sea map caspian sea caspian sea lake caspian sea river caspian sea monster caspian sea oil caspian sea iran caspian sea countries caspian sea iran Caspian Sea fish Photo of the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea map Caspian Sea Caspian Sea Caspian Sea Isle depth of the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea sturgeon of the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea Khezer_Shahr Caspian Sea Caspian oil Bandar Amirabad Port Anzali Mazandaran Gilan, Golestan Babolsar Surrey you Tourist Attraction North Country Dodangeh Chahardangeh Caspian the Khazars the people of the Khazars people Caspian Caspian Sea Sea of Qazvin Khazarabad Surf coast Caspian Sea legal norms Caspian Caspian environment pollution of the Caspian Sea Caspian oil gas of the Caspian Sea Caspian Caspian Sea issues the legal system of the Caspian Sea Iran's share in Caspian legal aspects of the regime of the Caspian Sea environment of the Caspian Sea the importance and status of the Caspian Sea Caspian to the Persian Gulf connection National Institute of Oceanography features of the Caspian Sea Caspian Shipping Company Caspian Sea level Iran Russia Kazakhstan Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan fishing in the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea weather weather Caspian Sea Caspian Sea News marine transportation in the Caspian Sea region the Iranian islands in the Caspian Sea the scaffolding factory and shipyard Caspian ecological Institute of Caspian Sea Caspian Sea Shells in nitrate and phosphate important rivers Caspian Sea basin mammal Caspian Sea Caspian oil Company transfer Caspian Sea water Babylon Amol Attraction North northern tourist areas the forests of the north spectacular Photos of Mazandaran see Mazandaran forests forests of Mazandaran images Falls river forest Institute for Caspian Sea basin Caspian Sea level fluctuations Black gold caviar stellate sturgeon Hotels tourism Tourist