Why investors should make room for fertilizer stocks in their portfolios – by James Cooper (Northern Miner – September 8, 2023)


Today I want to draw your attention to the other side of the commodities market — food. The soft commodities are an important but overlooked investment theme. As we head toward the pointy end of this commodity cycle, the ‘softs’ as some like to call them, could follow the same trajectory as their metal cousins.

While the demand and supply fundamentals are different, commodity-wide booms are just that — higher prices across all sectors of this market. This is what we witnessed during the last early 2000s boom.

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BHP speeds up Jansen project in Saskatchewan despite falling potash prices – by Colin McClelland (Mining.com – August 31, 2023)


BHP, the world’s largest miner by market valuation, is increasing its capital spending this year on the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan by 55% even as potash prices dropped by more than a third this year.

Construction outlays at the site 180 km north of Regina are planned to rise to $1 billion from $647 million as crews work to start the mine in late 2026 instead of in 2027 as earlier planned, the company’s Calgary-based potash unit said. Jansen’s $5.7 billion stage one is 26% complete and would produce 4.4 million tonnes a year when finished, it said.

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Is potash a critical mineral? It is in Canada, and could soon be one in the U.S. too – by Leslie Hook (Financial Times/Financial Post – August 22, 2023)


The Ukraine war thrust fertilizer minerals to the centre of the food security debate

The vital role of fertilizer minerals in food production has propelled a niche corner of the mining industry to the centre of a global debate about the security of supplies. Potash and phosphate rock surged in price after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. In June, United States lawmakers even proposed adding them to the country’s list of critical minerals in new legislation in Congress.

“Our food security is our national security, so when we’re dependent on Russian and Chinese minerals for the fertilizer that grows our crops, we are putting ourselves at risk,” said Democrat congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, one of the sponsors of the bill.

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Nutrien’s woes mount, as fertilizer giant slashes capital expenditures, slashes profit forecast again – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – August 3, 2023)


Nutrien Ltd. is indefinitely suspending plans to ramp up its potash production, cutting its capital expenditure and reducing its profit forecast yet again, as a prolonged slump in the global fertilizer market takes its toll on the Canadian giant.

Saskatoon-based Nutrien announced late Wednesday that it is reducing its 2023 adjusted net earnings per share guidance to roughly US$4.72 a share, compared with around US$6.50 a share in May – a figure that had already been revised downward from February.

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Vancouver port strike hitting potash exports at crunch time for overseas farmers – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 6, 2023)


The strike at four British Columbia ports is putting more pressure on an already-stressed international potash shipping network, with overseas farmers potentially caught in the crosshair. Nutrien Ltd, The Mosaic Company and K+S Potash Canada operate large potash mines in Saskatchewan, and all rely heavily on shipping the agricultural commodity overseas from the West Coast.

Canpotex Ltd., which handles potash shipments for Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd. and Tampa-based Mosaic, sends 70 per cent of its international shipments through the Port of Vancouver, one of four facilities affected by the strike.

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Mining companies betting on autonomous technology to make dangerous jobs safer – by Amanda Stephenson (CBC News Calgary/Canadian Press – June 25, 2023)


Powerful tech allowing companies to remove human labour from underground work

Forget about the canary in the coal mine — experts say the day is coming when there won’t even be a need for a human. The global mining industry has come a long way since the days when coal-blackened miners would carry a bird underground with them in hopes its distress would alert them to the presence of toxic gases.

Today, companies are employing everything from driverless haul trucks to remote-controlled and robotic drilling machines to remove human labour from some of their most hazardous operations.

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Florida’s fertilizer industry funds research that prompts phosphorus-friendly laws – by Fernando Figueroa and Serra Sowers (Miami Herald – June 15, 2023)


When The Mosaic Co. wanted to study using phosphogypsum — a waste byproduct of the phosphate industry now heaped into small mountains — in road construction, it turned to the Sustainable Materials Management Research Laboratory at the University of Florida’s College of Engineering.

Environmental engineering professor Timothy Townsend works in Florida and around the world on sustainable solid and hazardous waste management. Mosaic, a Tampa-based Fortune 500 company that mines phosphate for fertilizer, has sponsored roughly $500,000 in research funding for his lab over the past three years for projects that seek to find beneficial uses for phosphogypsum.

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Saskatchewan’s rich resource revenue ride may be ending – by Phil Tank (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 17, 2023)


With the price of oil and potash dropping, the boom that fuelled Saskatchewan’s budget surplus after Russia invaded Ukraine could be ending.

The party might be ending. The surge in resource prices that bestowed a windfall of so much unexpected resource revenue money on our province that even the Saskatchewan Party managed to balance the budget shows signs of declining.

The price of potash, the main driver of the sudden Saskatchewan surplus, has been dropping since November. Last week, the CEO of Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd., Ken Seitz, indicated the company is reconsidering its plans to ramp up potash production after disappointing first-quarter results due to dropping prices and reduced sales.

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Canada can play a major role in addressing growing food insecurity, Nutrien CEO says – by Rosa Saba (Canadian Press/CTV News – April 5, 2023)


TORONTO – Canada is poised to play a big role in global food production as climate change makes farming more difficult and the world’s food supply chain is rendered fragile by political and economic uncertainty, said Nutrien CEO Ken Seitz. Seitz made the remarks in Toronto at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada.

He said climate change is redrawing the map of global food production and Canada has an opportunity to be a key player in addressing food insecurity. The world faces a double-barrelled problem, said Seitz: “To feed a rapidly growing world, we’ll need to produce more food and we’ll need to do it sustainably.”

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Conversations: Nutrien’s Ken Seitz on how Canada can seize its spot on the world stage – by Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post- April 3, 2023)


The game has changed and Canada, via Nutrien, could win it

If you were drafting a team to confront this age of climate, technological and geopolitical disruption, Ken Seitz might be a first-round pick.

The company Seitz leads, Nutrien Inc., is the world’s biggest producer of potash and the largest agricultural retailer. That puts the Saskatoon-based company in the middle of the climate fight since agriculture is both a significant source of greenhouse-gas emissions and export revenue.

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BHP open to potash partnership with Nutrien, leaves door open to new takeover attempt – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2023)


BHP Group Ltd. is open to partnering with Nutrien Ltd., and isn’t ruling out making another takeover attempt of the Canadian fertilizer giant, a senior executive with the Australian miner told The Globe and Mail. “We’re happy to partner,” Rag Udd, president minerals Americas with Melbourne-based BHP, said in an interview.

“If you take a look at the majority of our businesses, there’s some form of partnership there with other companies.” When asked whether a partnership with Nutrien meant a joint venture, a takeover of the company, or both, Mr. Udd replied, “There’s a myriad of options that could be looked at.”

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BHP inks $188m contracts with First Nations at Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan – by Staff (Mining.com – March 10, 2023)


BHP (NYSE: BHP, ASX: BHP) announced Friday that as construction progresses at its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, it has awarded three new contracts in partnership with local First Nation communities.

Covering camp management, site services and raw ore/handling foundation, the contracts include representation from the six First Nations surrounding the Jansen site, with whom BHP has opportunity agreements in place.

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BHP brings forward Jansen Stage 2 studies – by Mariaan Webb (Mining Weekly – February 21, 2023)


Diversified miner BHP is speeding up work at its Jansen potash mine, in Canada, as the group sees an attractive entry opportunity for supply in lower-risk jurisdictions amid increased geopolitical uncertainty.

The company, which previously bought forward first production at Jansen Stage 1 from 2027 to the end of 2026, on Tuesday confirmed that the feasibility study for Stage 2 would be completed a year earlier than previously planned.

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Russia and China Have a Stranglehold on the World’s Food Security – by Alan Crawford, Frank Jomo, Elizabeth Elkin and Matthew Bristow (Bloomberg News – February 19, 2023)


(Bloomberg) — The cargo trapped for months at the Dutch port of Rotterdam was so precious that the United Nations intervened to mediate its release. The World Food Programme chartered a ship to transport it to Mozambique, from where it’s being taken by truck through the interior to its end destination, Malawi. It’s not grain or maize, but 20,000 metric tons of Russian fertilizer, and it can’t come soon enough.

About 20% of Malawi’s population is projected to face acute food insecurity during the “lean season” through March, making the use of fertilizers to grow crops all the more vital. It’s one of 48 nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America identified by the International Monetary Fund as most at risk from the shock to food and fertilizer costs fanned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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[Florida] The Phosphate Industry Needs Additional Regulations – by Glenn Compton (Bradenton Times – February 05, 2023)


Glenn Compton is the Chairman of ManaSota 88, a non-profit organization that has spent over 30 years fighting to protect the environment of Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The Myakka River is an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) and must not be further polluted. More than 22,000 acres of land have the potential to be mined for phosphate in the Myakka River Basin. Phosphate companies have an interest in at least 22,375 acres of land in the Myakka River Basin not yet approved for mining.

In 1985, the Legislature of Florida adopted the Myakka River Wild and Scenic Designation and Preservation Act (Section 258.501, Florida Statutes), which designated a 34-mile segment of the Myakka River within Sarasota County as a “Florida wild and scenic” river.

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