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Kiel-Windeweer area under consideration for new salt extraction site

The Nedmag magnesium salt company, in Veendam has settled on the area of Kiel-Windeweer in Groningen for development of a new salt extraction site. The plan is in line with a number of studies, but is provisional as yet, as it is still to be extensively discussed locally. 

The envisaged salt extraction site is located between the Kiel-Windeweer residential area and the town of Zuidlaarderveen. The prospective site encompasses a five hectare tract where magnesium salt will be mined from underground. 

Permit procedure
If the permit procedure goes according to plan, Nedmag will be able to start developing new salt extraction sites in this area around the year 2020. To become eligible for a permit for a new salt extraction site, Nedmag has elected to voluntarily conduct an extensive Environmental Effects Study, in which local stakeholders will be closely involved. Following an extensive procedure, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will then issue, according to the current expectation, the required permit.

Continuity of Nedmag
In February of this year, Nedmag announced its intention to invest millions in the company (€122 million to be exact), in order to safeguard Nedmag's continued viability and the employment it generates (some 400 people) for the coming decades. Of this investment, €57 million is earmarked for innovation, for instance, for objectives related to environmental sustainability, and €65 million for development of new magnesium salt sources.

Impacts of salt extraction
The salt extraction method utilised by Nedmag is associated with uniform subsidence. Numerous studies show the likelihood of damage to buildings and agriculture – as a direct consequence of subsidence – is extremely small. Salt extraction has never led to earthquakes in the Netherlands. However, Nedmag realises that extractive industries – including this type of salt mining – are currently under "a magnifying glass" due to the earthquakes caused by natural gas extraction. It has therefore elected to adhere to a thorough planning procedure involving local stakeholders.

The company
Nedmag is an independent company – founded in 1981 in Veendam – with two mining sites in the Netherlands (Tripscompagnie and Borgercompagnie) where magnesium salt is extracted, and a production facility in Veendam where the salt is converted into magnesium-based products.  These products have a wide range of applications, including as an (environmentally safe) agent in various industrial applications, and increasingly, in the food and health industries. Half of the shares in Nedmag are owned by the NOM (the Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands), a Dutch government entity. The other half are owned by the Lhoist Group (a Belgian family-owned company that operates internationally).

Uniquely pure salt layer
Nedmag owes its success in large part to the unique magnesium salt layer that was formed over millions of years at a depth of 1,500-1,800 metres in the northern part of the Netherlands. The magnesium salt contained in this layer is of unparalleled purity and therefore extremely well suited for Health & Wellness applications. As a result, the Veendam-based company, Zechstein Minerals (in which Nedmag holds an interest) has successfully entered this market and now supplies a variety of magnesium salt-based Health & Wellness products. In addition, Kisuma Chemicals, located next door, produces highly pure synthetic magnesium compounds derived from Nedmag’s salts, and has become the world’s largest producer of synthetic hydrotalcite.

For more information, please contact:

Marie-Lou Gregoire, Nedmag External Communications, +31 (0)598-651 911

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