Archive | Potash/Phosphate

Britain’s biggest mining project in peril as Sirius bond aborted – by Barbara Lewis and Noor Zainab Hussain (Reuters U.K. – September 17, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON (Reuters) – Sirius Minerals (SXX.L) scrapped a plan to raise $500 million in a bond sale on Tuesday, delaying a project to mine for fertiliser under a national park in northern England and halving the value of its shares.

The company had already suspended the bond issue in August. Sirius blamed market conditions aggravated by uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union for its failure to secure funding.

Sirius said on Tuesday the government had turned down a renewed request for backing in August. The company said it would conduct a six-month review to work out cost savings and would slow development of the project. Continue Reading →

Potash downturn forces tough decisions, expert says after Nutrien layoff announcment – by Bridget Yard (CBC News Saskatoon – September 12, 2019)

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

The resource economy in Saskatchewan felt the pain of downturns in the potash market and resulting cost-saving measures Wednesday, when Potash giant Nutrien announced that up to 750 employees at three of its Saskatchewan mines will be affected by temporary layoffs.

It’s the latest move in an industry that has seen over-supply issues for years — and while marginal gains have Nutrien projecting a positive outlook, one Saskatchewan expert predicts the market will continue to suffer, at least for a few more years.

One of the goals of the merger of PotashCorp and Agrium that formed Nutrien was to produce $500 million in savings each year, but “you don’t pull that out of the air,” said University of Saskatchewan professor Brooke Dobni, who specializes in analysis of the province’s potash industry. Continue Reading →

Nutrien to temporarily shut down three Saskatchewan potash mines – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 12, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The eight-week shutdowns are expected to affect between 600 and 700 miners.

The world’s largest fertilizer company says it will temporarily shutter three of its Saskatchewan potash mines to address what it calls a “short-term slowdown” in global potash markets.

Nutrien Ltd. said late Wednesday afternoon that its Allan, Lanigan and Vanscoy mines will be “proactively” shut down for eight weeks in the fourth quarter of the year.

The shutdowns are expected to affect between 600 and 700 miners across the three sites beginning in November, Nutrien spokesman Will Tigley said in a telephone interview. Continue Reading →

Nutrien aims for ‘mine of the future’ as Cory operation marks 50 years of potash – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 13, 2019)

https://leaderpost.com/

The visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

The gate clangs shut, blotting out most of the summer light filtering into the headframe. Gloved hands reach up to switch on headlamps; the beams jitter across the walls, echoing the nervous energy inside the cage as it descends into the blackness below.

For all the size and complexity of its surface operations — a vast network of mills, conveyors, warehouses and loading facilities — the visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

It’s like a small city, mine general manager Leon Boehm said as he drove an electric vehicle through the sweltering underground air toward one of the Cory mine’s active faces, the business end of Saskatchewan’s most iconic natural resource extraction industry. Continue Reading →

Rare earths filtered from phosphate mine waste (Mining Magazine – July 30, 2019)

https://www.miningmagazine.com/

The project for the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute had the aim of capturing, extracting and separating rare earth elements (REE) out of both phosphoric acid and the resulting waste.

Precision Periodic, which is a University of Central Florida incubator company, has developed a proprietary nano-filter for extracting and releasing multiple REEs, precious metals, heavy metals and/or radioactive elements out of acidic liquids. It is both reusable and scalable for different size applications.

With the Thor nano-filtration system, the test team was able to capture 40-60% of the REEs and radioactive elements in a five-minute, single pass-through from wet process phosphoric acid, and 80% of the REEs in a five-minute, single pass-through from sulphuric acid leached waste. Continue Reading →

Danakali to start developing vast potash project in Eritrea – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – July 26, 2019)

https://www.mining.com/

Australia’s Danakali (ASX, LON:DNK) is closer than ever to beginning the development of its world-class Colluli potash project in Eritrea, which is expected to become one of the world’s most significant and lowest cost sources of sulphate of potash (SOP), a premium grade fertilizer.

A key step toward that goal was taken late last year, when Danakali signed a $200 million funding mandate with a syndicate of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

Once those credit approvals are confirmed, something the Perth-based company estimates will happen “any day” now, Danakali will kick off development of the 1.1 billion-tonne potash project. Continue Reading →

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 →