IMC (Cont Backfill Plant)



IMC Canada
K-2 Potash Mine
Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada

50 m3/hr


  • Conceptual Design
  • Struct./Mech. Engineering
  • Design & Supply of Control System
  • Supply/Fabrication of all Equipment
  • Supervision of Equipment Installation
  • Commissioning and Training


  • Pugmill
  • Sand Infeed Hopper
  • Four Belt Conveyors
  • Jet Mixer Pump And Tank Unit
  • Clay Hopper
  • Clay Hopper Discharge Auger
  • Jet Mixer Charge Auger
  • Cement Silo Legset
  • MCC/PLC System
  • Pneumatic Control System
  • Platform and Support Structure

IMC Canada operates two connecting underground mines near Esterhazy, mining potash, a valuable fertilizer used in agriculture. Esterhazy is known as ‘The Potash Capital of the World’.

Ground water control is a major factor in the operation of the newer K-2 mine and IMC chose to utilize a surface ‘grout’ plant to supply cemented fill to the mine via wellheads.

Working with IMC, Team Mixing Technologies designed a continuous backfill process supplied with ‘sheared clay’, cement, and sand. The mix is processed through a continuous pugmill and then pumped via a Schwing piston pump to the selected wellhead. Communication is maintained with underground during operation and various types of fill may be produced upon demand.

A sub-system of the plant uses a batch process incorporating a ‘Jet’ mixer to combine brine and raw clay. Here the clay is placed into suspension within the brine resulting in sheared clay which is stored and recirculated for use in the continuous process.

This plant is controlled automatically with a Modicon PLC with a color touchscreen featuring dynamic graphics. A Milltronics conveyor scale, radio frequency probes, capacitive probes, ultrasonic level indicator, magnetic flow meter, load cells, and a variety of variable frequency drives/DC drives, combined to make a complex and fully automated control system. In addition, the continuous backfill to the mine is monitored by IMC with a strip-chart recorder.