Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev's company will start building a potash mining and processing facility in Belarus in March 2013, according to Russia's news agency RIA Novosti.
The plant will have an annual output capacity of 1.8 million tons. Its construction is expected to take three years.
According to Mr. Gutseriyev, his British-registered GMC Global Energy plc. will invest around $500 million in the project, which is estimated to total 30 percent of its cost. The remaining amount will be provided either by Sberbank or another Russian bank.
In October 2011, GMC Global Energy plc. and the Belarusian Council of Ministers signed an agreement for the construction of the plant, which is expected to use three potash deposits.
Mikhail Gutseriyev, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $2.5 billion, is one of the "oligarchs" who fled Russia after reportedly falling out of favor with Vladimir Putin. In 2007, he was charged with tax evasion and illegal business activities. Mr. Gutseriyev denied the charges, sold oil company RussNeft, and moved to Britain. However, by April 2010, both charges against him were dropped, and he returned to Russia in May.