The new superintendent of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, is concerned about potential conflicts between preservation of park values and mining for potash outside the park lands.
Meanwhile, one of the major potash exploration companies released drill core information that confirms early unverified potash thicknesses and concentrations.
PFNP Superintendent Brad Travers is quoted in the Arizona Journal newspaper that "This park has primarily a scientific story to tell, and our mission is to produce good science."
He also discussed plans to acquire private and state lands that lie within the 2004 expanded park boundaries but never purchased by the Park Service. Since then, the value of the potash under those lands has skyrocketed and most of the lands have been leased for mineral exploration. [right, PFNP expansion boundaries. Credit, NPS]
Tavers is quoted saying “We can’t protect resources that are being mined." But the paper also reports that he said, "There may be some ways we can come together on this. My hope is that the potash could be extracted in a way that doesn’t preclude protection of the park.”
At the same time, Passport Potash announced preliminary results from two core holes that intersected potash deposits at relatively shallow depths in the Holbrook evaporite basin. According to chemical assay results obtained from Skyline Laboratories in Tucson, Arizona, Passport reports values of KCl ranging from 11.93% to 24.34%. These are generally comparable to the amounts reported from the first exploration drilling into the deposit in the 1960s and 70s.
AZGS used average potash concentrations of 6% and 20% to calculate resources in our 2008 report.