Our company entered the market for the production of epsomite relatively recently. However, the history of the plant will not be complete without a story about the long-term production in the Orenburg region of the main raw material of the enterprise – amorphous magnesite.
XIX century and the Soviet period
In the middle of the 19th century, researchers and geologists A. I. Antipov and N. G. Meglitsky studied the tectonic pattern of the Southern Urals. The result of their work was the book “Geological Description of the Southern Ural Range,” published in 1858. In it, in particular, magnesite deposits were mentioned in the Khalilovsky massif of the Orenburg province. The approximate area of magnesite-bearing serpentinite was named – about 500 hectares.
Many magnesite sites were discovered in 1913-1918 during the construction of the South Ural Railway. The richest of them were deposits south of Halilovo station. Extraction of these deposits of amorphous magnesites began in 1921 by the Orenburg “Gubsilikattrest” and continued by the Khalilov magnesite plant. At the first stage, production amounted to 2 thousand tons, and in the postwar period increased to 6-10 thousand tons of magnesite.
Work of CJSC “Lithosphere”
The history of the development of the Khalilovsky deposit of amorphous magnesites continued only after 40 years. In 1992, active entrepreneurs of the region, with the support of the authorities of the Gaisky district of the Orenburg region, created a new company – CJSC “Lithosphere”. The plans of the entrepreneurs included not only the extraction of magnesite ores, but also their processing, that is, the construction of a factory for the production of magnesium oxide.
Over the next years, the company was engaged in the exploration of the magnesite deposit and the design of the future enterprise, and then its creation. The result of the work was the construction of a quarry and the construction of a crushing and screening complex. A magnesite enrichment and sorting section and a railroad finished goods shipment section were also commissioned. In 2009, the company earned in full force.
Creation of SUFMS
For many years, the management of CJSC “Litosfera” sought to expand the technological cycles of the company – for this, in particular, various applied research was carried out together with scientists. One of the projects, “Industrial Production of Pure Magnesium Oxide from Serpentite-Magnesites of the Khalilovsky Deposit”, received in 2001 a silver medal of the First International Moscow Salon of Innovations and Investments and a diploma signed by Nobel Prize winner Academician Zhorez Alferov. The developed technology was recognized as unique and unparalleled in Russia.
In 2013, CJSC “Litosphere”, with the support of the governor of the Orenburg region, received approval to launch production on the basis of the boric acid workshop of OJSC “Criolite” – by this time the workshop had been mothballed for several years and was not used for its intended purpose. In March 2014, a memorandum was signed on the transfer of this workshop to the Government of the Orenburg Region. And on May 26 of the same year, the enterprise “South Ural Magnesium Compounds Plant” was established, the founders of which were CJSC “Lithosphere” and the Development Corporation of the Orenburg Region. This moment was the final of the great preparatory path and the beginning of the history of our enterprise itself.