K+S turns sod on first new potash mine in Saskatchewan in 40 years – by Bruce Johnstone (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – June 19, 2012)


The company that’s building the first new potash mine in Saskatchewan in 40 years is the same company that helped build the last new potash mine in the province in the 1970s, before it was taken over by the then-NDP government to become Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan’s Lanigan mine.
But Nobert Steiner, CEO of K+S Group of Kassel, Germany, which is building the $3.25-billion solution potash mine near Bethune, 80 km northwest of Regina, says there are no hard feelings about the forced sale of the former Alwinsal mine to the Blakeney government for $76.5 million in 1977.
“Even more than a generation later, you can hardly believe that such an act could happen in a country belonging to the western world,’’ Steiner told participants at a sod-turning ceremony at the Legacy project site Tuesday. “However, after so many years, we are not looking back in anger anymore.’’
In fact, Steiner said K+S, which first came to Saskatchewan in the 1960s and started producing potash in 1968, was welcomed back to the province by none other than Premier Brad Wall. (Steiner said the K in K+S stands for Kali or potash in German, while the S stands for Salz or salt.)
After K+S acquired Potash One, the Vancouver-based junior mining company that developed the Legacy Project, for $434 million in March 2011, Europe’s largest potash company and the world’s fifth-largest potash producer, wasted no time in ramping up activity at the Legacy site. Then in fall of 2011, K+S announced that it was proceeding to build a solution potash mine at the Legacy project site. “It will be the first new greenfield mine in Saskatchewan in 40 years,’’ Steiner said.
“Over the next years, K+S will be spending $3.25 billion to bring this project to life. The Legacy project will create more than six million hours of direct employment in construction and another million hours through indirect employment. On average, there will be approximately 650 workers on this site throughout the four-year construction phases, peaking at more than 1,500 workers in 2013 and 2014.’’
When in production at the end of 2015, K+S will need to hire 300 highly skilled full-time employees to operate and maintain the mine, which will initially produce one million tonnes of potassium chloride a year, increasing to 2.86 million tonnes by 2023.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Star Phoenix website: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/turns+first+potash+mine+Saskatchewan+years/6808608/story.html

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