Archive | Potash/Phosphate

Nutrien says 34 workers trapped in Sask. potash mine now safely back on surface (Financial Post/Canadian Press – July 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

A spokesman said the workers, who were about a kilometre underground, were safe and had food, water, power and contact with the surface

SASKATOON — A fertilizer company says all 34 people who were trapped deep in a Saskatchewan potash mine for more than a day are now safely above ground.

Will Tigley, a spokesman with Nutrien Ltd., said a service shaft stopped working at its Cory mine near Saskatoon on Tuesday. On Wednesday evening, the staff took a separate elevator normally used to transport potash to the surface.

“We are happy to confirm that we have all of our 34 people above ground,” he said. “For the most part, all of our employees were in good spirits and we got some of our other employees to drive them home to their families.” Continue Reading →

Nutrien pondering potash production increases – by Devan C. Tasa (Humboldt Journal/Yorkton This Week – June 13, 2019)

https://www.yorktonthisweek.com/

Nutrien is considering whether it should increase its potash production capacity by five million tonnes by 2023, then by another five million tonnes after that.

At an event for investors in Toronto on May 28, Susan Jones, Nutrien’s executive vice president for potash, said they have five million tonnes of capacity in place at existing operations that can be quickly brought online with minimal investment if there’s a need.

“In other words, all of this available capacity has already been bought and paid for over the last decade, putting us in a unique position as the only producer with available tonnes to move tonnes into the market quickly, nimbly and flexibly as needed,” she said. Continue Reading →

Port of Saint John becomes exporter of potash despite Sussex mine shutdown (CTV Atlantic – June 11, 2019)

https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/

Pipelines have been controversial, but the so-called potash pipeline between Saskatchewan and Saint John has been a surprise success story even after our region’s only potash mine ceased production.

When potash mining abruptly came to an end three years ago in the Sussex area, the next domino that was expected to fall was the potash export terminal at the port of Saint John.

“In the worst-case scenario, we saw the potash terminal being mothballed, said Pat Riley of the International Longshoreman’s Association. “Without potash it just does not work.” But it is working, with potash mined in Saskatchewan and shipped by rail to New Brunswick. Continue Reading →

Potash producer Nutrien eyes expansion as BHP ponders entry – by Rod Nickel (Reuters Canada – May 28, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada’s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s biggest producer of potash fertilizer, said on Tuesday that it was evaluating whether to expand its annual production capacity by 5 million tonnes after 2023, around the time that metals miner BHP Billiton is considering a move into potash.

In a presentation to investors in Toronto, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said the additional capacity would consist of expansions to existing Canadian mines during the next decade.

Nutrien currently has some 5 million tonnes of idled potash capacity due to soft prices in recent years. Continue Reading →

BHP admits it ‘over-invested’ in Jansen mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 15, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

However, the company’s CEO told investors this week, it still considers the project east of Saskatoon ‘attractive.’

BHP “over-invested” in its massive Jansen potash mine, currently under construction east of Saskatoon, the Anglo-Australian company’s chief executive told investors this week.

However, Andrew Mackenzie said during a mining conference in Barcelona, BHP still considers the project “attractive” even though no final decision about its future has been made.

BHP has committed around US$3.9 billion to the project, but Mackenzie confirmed this week that it remains “uncertain” when the company’s board will make a decision about whether to proceed further. Continue Reading →

Threat of government delay pushed Sirius to markets to fund Yorkshire potash mine – source (Reuters U.K. – May 3, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Sirius Minerals opted to press on with a more complex and expensive funding package to develop its giant potash mine in Yorkshire to avoid a longer wait for government-backed financing, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters.

Sirius had planned to secure a debt financing package for the $3 billion (£2.3 billion) Woodside project – one of the largest mines to be built in Britain for years – from the government, with the rest funded by the market.

The mine has been touted by British Prime Minister Theresa May as the kind of project that fits “the northern powerhouse” — a government scheme to boost investment and jobs in the north of England. In January, finance minister Philip Hammond said discussions on government backing for the project were ongoing. Continue Reading →

Bomb Watchers Twitching as Looser Rules Weighed for Uranium – by Jonathan Tirone (Bloomberg News – April 15, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Back in the 1970s and 1980s when he was keeping America’s nuclear weapons up to date, Robert Kelley didn’t pay much attention to their source of uranium.

But then he was reassigned to lead the international team that accounted for the of hundreds of tons of the heavy metal Iraq secretly extracted at a fertilizer factory to feed Saddam Hussein’s weapons program.

That discovery at the Al-Qaim phosphate plant underscored a loophole in the global policing of nuclear materials, allowing countries without much scrutiny to derive uranium from a mineral more often used as a nutrient for soil. Continue Reading →

Mosaic suspends phosphate mines in Brazil after new rules for dams – by Marcelo Teixeira (Reuters U.S. – April 11, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SAO PAULO, April 11 (Reuters) – The Mosaic Company, a Brazilian fertilizer maker, said on Thursday it will suspend production at its phosphate mines of Tapira and Catalão after failing to obtain a deadline extension in order to provide stability certification for three of its tailings dams.

Phosphate is a crucial fertilizer ingredient and Mosaic’s operation is the largest in Brazil, which is a global leader in agriculture, producing more than 220 million tonnes of grains and 570 million tonnes of cane per year, among other products such as coffee, tobacco, cotton and fruits.

Mining regulations in Brazil have been affected by a dam disaster in January, involving miner Vale SA,that killed hundreds, prompting new rules to try to avoid more accidents. Brazil has dozens of tailings dams, which hold back byproducts created during the extraction of mineral resources. Continue Reading →

Environmental concerns raised after CanPacific proposes new potash mine near Regina (CBC News Saskatchewan – April 2, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/

CanPacific documents say majority of site would be on cultivated land

An environmental group is expressing concern about a proposed 3.25 million-tonne per year CanPacific Potash mine near the village of Sedley, Sask.

CanPacific submitted its final environment impact statement to the province in January, the company says, and the project is pending environmental assessment approval.

Trevor Herriot, spokesperson for the group Public Pastures — Public Interest, said his concerns began when he read the environmental impact statement for the proposed mine near Sedley, which is about 50 kilometres southeast of Regina. Continue Reading →

Strong Demand From Farmers For Crop-Boosting Potash Triggers A Mining Rush – by Tim Treadgold (Forbes Magazine – March 20, 2019)

https://www.forbes.com/

Tim Treadgold has been writing about the mining and oil industries for more than 40 years.

Rising prices for potash, an important fertilizer which boosts crop yields, has sparked a rush in the mining industry as big and small companies look for ways to cash in.

BHP, the world’s biggest miner, has the most ambitious plan as it mulls the best time to start production at its $10 billion Jansen project in Canada. But even in Britain, a country which closed most of its mines decades ago, is working towards starting a $3 billion potash mine in North Yorkshire.

Other potash project developers in locations as far apart as Australia and Eritrea, on the horn of Africa, are hoping to catch strong demand from farmers who use the fertilizer which helps crops retain water while also improving their taste and overall quality. Continue Reading →

Nutrien outlook falls below expectations as trade dispute weighs on prices (Canadian Press/Financial Post – February 8, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

SASKATOON — Nutrien Ltd. says lower crop prices last year from trade uncertainty and high crop yields put pressure on its customers but that it expects the situation to improve this year.

Prices are already improving for key crops and the fundamentals have improved, said company CEO Chuck Magro on an earnings call Thursday. “We do expect farmer economics to improve in 2019, crop prices are up.”

He said farmers in the key U.S. market had a tough time last year as a trade dispute saw China impose tariffs on some U.S. crops. “Crop prices started to recover early in the year… but then the trade uncertainty hit, that provided a significant amount of pressure on crop prices, and that has hurt our farmer customers.” Continue Reading →

NDP renews longstanding call for potash royalty review – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 28, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The provincial government, however, is keeping its review, announced in 2015, on pause.

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling out the provincial government for shelving its planned potash royalty review, saying the only way to ensure fairness is to overhaul a complex system that has not undergone significant change in a decade.

Ryan Meili, who first floated the idea late last year, is the latest in a succession of NDP leaders and academics to question whether Saskatchewan potash producers are contributing enough to the provincial treasury.

“You’re going to want to make sure that whatever is happening is to the best interests of Saskatchewan people. It’s unlikely that the right decision would result in less money for us,” Meili said Monday. Continue Reading →

Nutrien merger effects ongoing one year later – by Ashley Robinson (The Western Producer – January 14, 2019)

https://www.producer.com/

WINNIPEG – After clearing various regulation hurdles, Agrium and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan merged together at the start of 2018 to become the world’s largest fertilizer company, Nutrien. At the time Nutrien had made various promises and many in Western Canada were cautious, hoping for the best but not fully knowing what to expect.

Now a year later, Nutrien has begun to settle into its new role in the agriculture world and according to retailers and producers it hasn’t really shaken things up all that much. However, there are a few things that still have many in Western Canada cautiously watching.

“I don’t want to pretend to call it a non-event because there’s always a concern about consolidation and all I can say at the moment is it doesn’t have any obvious impact,” said Ray Redfurn, president and founder of Redfern Farm Services in southwestern Manitoba. Continue Reading →

BHP’s $20 Billion Canadian Potash Dilemma: To Build or Not? – by David Stringer, Thomas Biesheuvel and Jen Skerritt (Bloomberg News – December 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group may be heading for another clash with investors as the world’s biggest miner gets closer to a decision on whether to build, sell or mothball its $20 billion potash project.

The Jansen mine in Canada is aimed at giving the company exposure to rising global food demand and represents one of its few big growth prospects. BHP has already spent about $2.7 billion on the project, according to an October filing, and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie last month spoke enthusiastically about the outlook for potash, a crop nutrient.

Yet investors and analysts are skeptical. The big-ticket project in the prairie province of Saskatchewan means getting into a new commodity dominated by a small handful of producers. Continue Reading →

Sisters of Mercy help push Canadian mining giant to abandon operations – by Michael Swan (The Catholic Register – December 10, 2018)

https://www.catholicregister.org/

After years of lobbying by a small community of Catholic sisters from eastern Canada, the world’s largest producer of potash is abandoning mining operations in territory south of Morocco.

Canadian-owned fertilizer giant Nutrien — created by a 2017 merger of Saskatoon-based Potash Corp. and Calgary-based Agrium Inc. — will cease all potash shipments from occupied and disputed Western Sahara territory before Jan. 1, 2019.

“It’s not our place as Canadians to go in and tell other countries how to live or what to do,” said Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland superior Sr. Elizabeth Davis. “It certainly is our place as Canadians — if we are living or working or present in other countries — to act with justice and to act ethically.” Continue Reading →