A major Pan-Arab joint venture is well under way in extracting potash from the waters of the Dead Sea.
GV Refinery area with mechanical digger in back-ground at Dead Sea, Jordan
CU Sign "Arab Potash Project"
SV Mechanical grab digging soil
GV AND LV PAN Refinery area with materials including piping (2 SHOTS)
GV & LV Houses under construction (3 SHOTS)
LV AND GV People walking in streets while more houses under construction (2 SHOTS)
GV Football pitch with houses in background
LV PAN FROM Jetty and intake piping to bulldozer
GV Jetty at waters edge
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Background: A major Pan-Arab joint venture is well under way in extracting potash from the waters of the Dead Sea. The Arab Potash Company was established 24 years ago, but because of the political unrest in the area, didn't get started until 1972. The government of Jordan owns 51 percent of the equity, with the rest being owned by various Arab governments and companies.
SYNOPSIS: The operation is located at the southernmost end of the Dead Sea which lies 1300 feet (396 metres) below sea level. Earth dikes are being constructed to enlarge the number of solar evaporation pans used to extract the minerals from the sea brine.
The brine is pumped in through pipes to the pans. After evaporation, the potash crystals and carnallite solids, containing potassium and magnesium chloride are extracted. Further processing is then required before the pure minerals emerge.
The plant has reached sufficient production to undertake the planned construction of houses, which will in time become a fully functioning town for personnel.
The refinery includes generating facilities for its own steam and electrical power production.
As development progresses the population grows, and projected plans call for future exploitation of other potential minerals in the salts.
The Arab Potash Company has provided recreational facilities for its staff, such as this football pitch.
A route about 180 kilometres (108 miles) long was required for the fleet of trucks to move the product to loading facilities at the port of Aqaba.
Ship loading and storage facilities at Aqaba are being developed for shipping the products to worldwide markets.