The history of the institute establishment is directly related to the development of potash industry in the country and in the world.
Development of national reserves of potash salts in Russia began in the 1920s. The first exploration brigade near Solikamsk in 1927 after one and half a year of the work has found out that potash salt reserves are huge here and they are closer to the ground surface than in Germany and France. At that time a construction of The First Potash Plant named after 10-anniversary of the October Revolution started.
30 April 1931
Salt laboratory of the Academy of Sciences of USSR was created in Leningrad to strengthen and expand mineral resources base of USSR and study salt lakes and mineral salt deposits. The laboratory was a precursor of the future All Union research and development institute of halurgy - VNIIG. From the mid- 1930s the potash sphere became leading in terms of research works of the institute.
At the beginning of the industrial development of Verkhnekamskoye deposit the institute’s specialists studied geochemistry, petrography, gas content of sylvinite and carnallite, carried out gravitational survey, planned exploration drilling in the deposit, research on dissolution rate of rock salt, sylvinite and carnallite. Major importance was given to selection and calculation of rational and safe parameters of the deposit development, determination of borders for water proof formation.
At that period the institute’s scientists began to work on the technique of magnesium metal production, which was of high public and economic importance. Fundamental research of carnallite feedstock has been performed and a technique of dehydrated carnallite production for magnesium production has been developed. The scientists carried out research works on hydroxide and magnesium oxide production.
End of the 1940s – first mid-1950s
Based on the research of VNIIG the projects of restoration and reconstruction of Stebnikovskiy potash plant and Kalushskiy chemical and metallurgical plant in the Ukraine were created, a chemical plant in Berezniki 1 potash plant was built.
Requirements to the amount and quality of the manufactured potash products increased. It became necessary to improve processes of potash ore dressing and performing underground works when developing potash reserves in terms of safe working conditions and mechanization of mining process. All this required constant presence of the research associates of VNIIG in the production sites.
Berezniki research laboratory was created among others based on the enterprises of Berezniki and Solikamsk region for fast development and implementation of experimental research works. Thefirst director was Nadezhda N. Rudnik. In January 1958 Ninel’ N. Teterina was assigned as a senior research associate of Berezniki research laboratory.
In the 1960s reconstruction and expansion of the first enterprise of national potash industry – Solikamsk 1 potash plant was realized under the developments of VNII Galurgii.
Flotation plants in Berezniki 1 and Soligorsk 1 potash plants (1963), in Soligorsk 2 potash plant (1965), in Stebnikovskiy potash plant (1966), Berezniki 2 and Soligorsk 3 potash plants (1969) were built and put in commission.
Solikamsk 2 potash plant (1973) and Soligorsk 4 mine (1979) were put into operation, and in the 1980s – Solikamsk 3 potash plant (1983) and Berezniki 4 potash plant (1987).
Strong contribution of VNII Galurgii specialists into the development of national salt, sulphate and phosphate industry is generally recognized. Under the institute’s projects: Mozyrsalt OJSC producing «Extra» salt (Belarus), salt mine Nr. 4 of the State enterprise Artyomsol (Soledar, Ukraine), one of the biggest in the world – Baskunchakskiy and Yar-Bishkadakskiy brine fields (Bashkortostan), sulphate enterprises – Karabogazsul’fat (Turkmenia) and Kuchuksulphate OJSC (Altai Territory), Kingiseppskiy ore dressing phosphate complex and others have been built and operate successfully .
The institute has made real progress relating the technique of underground salt solution and usage of mined out chambers for storing hazardous waste and for other purposes.
The country’s needs in expansion of potash fertilizers production caused foundation of subsidiaries – research laboratories directly in potash facilities. On the 13th October 1972 The Ural branch of VNIIG was created in Perm, which was responsible for scientific and technical policy in Verkhnekamskoye potash-magnesium salt deposit, and main tasks were as follows: development and implementation of new technologies; performance of design works; creation and improvement of the equipment for potash industry of Perm region. Initially the institute represented a complex department where a basis for future departments and laboratories were formed. Valeriy G. Ferapontov was a head of the complex department, later he was assigned as a chief engineer of Ural VNIIG. In 1974 the complex department was transformed into several independent design departments. The first director of Ural research and development institute of halurgy became Victor V. Filatov. Thanks to his executive talent, huge responsibility and creativity a team of highly-qualified specialists was formed, an engineering laboratory building was designed and constructed in relatively short terms.
Beginning the activity from performance of separate sections of projects and research works by subcontract, the institute became the main designer of the mines of production enterprise Uralkali by 1978.
By decision of The Ministry of chemical industry the institute became an authorized general designer of all the active mines of production enterprise Uralkali.
Under the projects of the institute formed in Perm: high-altitude waste storage up to 100 metres high, objects of interdepartment transport, construction of the main underground fan installation and other important production facilities were realized in domestic practice for the first time.
1984 - 2001
Design solutions on opening, preparation and mining of south-western, south-eastern and north-eastern blocks of the mine field were realized in Perm. Main achievements of Perm institute for that period:
-reconstruction of mining complex of the shaft Nr. 1 of Solikamsk mine;
- transition of Solikamsk 1 potash mine from locomotive to conveyer transport;
- implementation of the central scheme of preparation of southern block of the mine field of Solikamsk 2 potash mine with disposal of the upcast on belt entries;
- increase of capacity of Kamsko-Ust’inskiy gypsum quarry without putting into operation an additional ventilation shaft.
The institute was transformed into open joint stock company Ural research and development institute of halurgy (Galurgia OJSC).
Galurgia after overcoming an economic crisis under the guidance of Arkadiy Ya. Grinberg became one of the leading research and development institutes in potash industry. At that time the institute actively realized a market development strategy performing works for enterprises of Belarus, Tatarstan, Yakutia, in Gorkiy, Tula, Orenburg regions, cities: Berezniki, Solikamsk, Perm, Chaikovskiy.
In the first decade of XXI century Ural institute actively developed a design process, implemented CAD.
Saint Petersburg VNIIG and Perm institute reunited so that with common efforts they could provide solutions of technical tasks on development of the technique for mining and processing potash ores in the enterprises of the biggest potash fertilizers producer not only in Russia but also in the world – Uralkali PJSC.
Ability to carry out complex works – from exploration works and scientific substantiation to finished projects and maintenance of construction facilities – in combination with up-to-date management enabled the institute to develop successfully and provide high figures of production and economic activity.