Thyssen Schachtbau and the Russian mining arm of the Swiss-based Eurochem – one of Europe’s largest fertiliser producers – are joining forces to drill for potash in Saratov and other mines around Volgograd . Earlier this month, the German company was granted permission by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to set up a new company to run the operation. Although final terms have not as yet been agreed, it is understood that Thyssen Schachtbau will own 55% of the new venture and Eurochem 45%. The two companies have been working together in Russia since 2008 and, according to Alfa Group analyst Andrew Schenk, the creation of the JV could trigger a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the sector. After Canada, Russia has the world’s largest deposits of potash (followed by Belarus).