ICL (NYSE & TASE:ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, reported today that on June 30 a dike partially collapsed at Pool 3 (which is used for the accumulation of phosphogypsum water, a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer production processes conducted at the plant (of ICL Rotem, an ICL subsidiary located in Israel’s Negev region which produces phosphate fertilizers. The Company took immediate action to stop the flow of phosphogypsum water from leaking out of the accumulation pool, in full coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The Company notified its insurers regarding the Rotem spill and is investigating the circumstances that led to the incident in order to prevent its future recurrence. The Company is currently unable to fully assess the ramifications of the incident that occurred at the facility, including its environmental and financial implications, nor the Company’s exposure to any enforcement proceedings that may arise as a result of the event.
On July 1 the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection ordered ICL Rotem to discontinue its use of the three active phosphogypsum water accumulation pools (Pools 1-3), and to submit an alternative plan for the accumulation of effluents (phosphogypsum water) generated in its production of phosphate fertilizers. The Company has submitted an application for the temporary use of an alternative Pool 4, and is continuing its efforts, aided by external experts, to find solutions for the continued operation of the Rotem plant and the short- and long-term restoration of the pools in coordination with the authorities. In the meantime, the Company has partially ceased production at the specific facility which accounts for less than half of the phosphoric acid production in the plant. The Company prepares various alternatives for resumption of its operation in full compliance with Israel’s regulatory authorities.