Archive | Potash/Phosphate

Nutrien’s US$1.8B N.B. mine writeoff illustrates dismal state of potash market – by Gabriel Freidman (Financial Post – November 7, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

For nearly three years, the town has been working to absorb the shock of the closure

Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd., the largest potash company in the world, announced late Monday evening that it is closing a mine in Sussex, N.B. that cost billions of dollars to construct and that it had barely operated.

Marc Thorne, mayor of Sussex, said that the news arrived quickly. On Monday, the company asked for a meeting on short notice, and told him it planned to close its potash mine and return the site to nature.

“In four or five years, there may not be any indication that the mine was even there,” said Thorne. The situation illustrates the dismal state of the potash market. Nutrien’s predecessor, the Potash Company of Saskatchewan, started building the mine in 2007 and finished eight years later at a cost of US$2.2 billion. Continue Reading →

Battle over phosphate mining roils small Florida town – by Alan Toth and Laura Newberry (PBS.org – October 31, 2018)

https://www.pbs.org/

Phosphate mining is a major industry in Florida, but it’s also a major source of pollution, responsible for red tide, toxic algal blooms and killing wildlife. In the northern part of the state, residents of a small town are resisting a man who wants to mine phosphate near their homes. Can the local government balance individual rights and with community health concerns? Laura Newberry reports.

Judy Woodruff:

In the coming midterm election, environmental issues have played an unusually large role in the state of Florida, in part due to the explosion of two blooms of algae that have crippled part of the state’s tourism economy and killed hundreds of thousands of fish and wildlife.

There are many factors driving these blooms, but scientists believe that the mining of phosphorous is one of them. Mining this mineral is a huge business in Florida.

And special correspondent Laura Newberry and producer Alan Toth tell us, the fight over a new mine is sharply dividing one Florida town. It’s the focus of this week’s on the Leading Edge of science and technology. Continue Reading →

A Push for Safer Fertilizer in Europe Carries a Whiff of Russian Intrigue – by Matt Apuzzo (New York Times – October 21, 2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/

BRUSSELS — The trade group Safer Phosphates would seem to have a pitch-perfect message for an environmentally conscious European Union. It advocates cleaner soil and healthier food, with a website showing pristine fields of wheat. It is also supporting legislation that would place tighter regulations on fertilizer.

But the group is not run by environmentalists. Its driving force is a Russian fertilizer giant that has ties to the Kremlin. And the environmental legislation it is backing would reset regulations in a way that could help the company, PhosAgro, push aside rivals and give it greater influence over the European food supply.

Fertilizer might not seem an obvious source of geopolitical tension. But with Moscow working openly and covertly to widen its sphere of power, the prospect of a politically connected Russian company cornering a key part of the European agricultural market has raised sharp concerns. Russia already wields tremendous clout as the European Union’s dominant provider of natural gas and as a growing source of nuclear fuel. Continue Reading →

With $4.1 billion at stake, Nutrien waits on Chilean court to rule on ‘Hail Mary’ lawsuit – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 20, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The giant potash company is tussling with a powerful businessman: the former son-in-law of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet

Saskatchewan-based Nutrien Ltd. persuaded antitrust authorities earlier this month to sign off on its US$4.1 billion sale of its stake in a South American lithium producer. But now the giant potash company is tussling with a powerful businessman: the former son-in-law of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Julio Ponce, a billionaire with a checkered past whose father-in-law previously ruled Chile, has filed a lawsuit seeking more time to review Nutrien’s US$4.1 billion sale in Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile to a Chinese buyer.

If the lawsuit delays the sale long enough, some analysts believe Nutrien may be forced to ditch its Chinese buyer and sell its stake in SQM on the open market — for as much as US$1 billion less than the original price. Continue Reading →

Nutrien’s new head of potash optimistic as industry enters ‘mode of recovery’ – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 24, 2018)

 

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Sitting in her office on the 11th floor of the Scotia Centre, her back to a wrap-around view of autumn bursting along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Susan Jones contemplates her new position as head of the world’s largest supply of potash.

It’s a big job: Jones is responsible for six of the 10 potash mines currently operating in Saskatchewan, as well as a supply chain that carries the pink-hued fertilizer from the Canadian prairies to India, China and 40 or so other countries around the world.

But Nutrien Ltd.’s new president of potash — a lawyer from Calgary who spent 13 years with Agrium Inc. before its blockbuster merger with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. earlier this year — seems more interested in the people who actually use potash. Continue Reading →

The Riches Beneath the Plains: Mineral Exploration and Mining in Saskatchewan is Still World Class (Investng News Network – September 17, 2018)

Investing News Network

This INNspired article is sponsored by Canadian Platinum https://www.canplats.ca/index.cfm

Mineral exploration and mining in Saskatchewan have consistently been recognized as the best examples for the industry in Canada, and the province is considered one of the greatest places in the world to conduct mining operations.

The latest Fraser Institute report places the flat province at number two in their worldwide rankings, just below Finland. As the third largest source of employment in the province, the mining industry is vitally important to Saskatchewan. This has led its provincial government to go out of its way to make sure mining in Saskatchewan is as attractive to mining firms as possible.

That’s not to say that Saskatchewan needs much help. Proudly boasting a rich and diverse mineral wealth, a skilled workforce and a strong mining history, Saskatchewan’s mining industry provides enormous opportunity and excellent stability for the mining firms conducting operations within its borders. Continue Reading →

Potash prices are perking up, but Canada’s big fertilizer giant isn’t the best way for investors to cash in – by David Milstead (Globe and Mail – August 31, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Perky potash prices have prompted more investor interest in the moribund sector this year, but Nutrien Ltd. is not poised to benefit as much as its international peers, because it has ceded its status as the best pure-play choice for fertilizer investors.

The news over the weekend that an Indian potash-supply contract came in US$50 a tonne higher than before and roughly US$10 a tonne above expectations, caused a pop in Nutrien shares this week. They’ve risen just more than 2.9 per cent through Thursday’s trading.

Mosaic Co. Inc. however, has jumped 5.7 per cent this week on the news. That underscores that Nutrien, formed by the merger of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc., no longer offers the best upside when prices are rising, as they are today. Continue Reading →

Belarus to propose higher potash price to China – by Andrei Makhovsky (Reuters India – August 28, 2018)

https://in.reuters.com/

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), the world’s largest potash exporter, will propose raising the price of its new contract with China to $290 per tonne, the level of its recently signed deal with India, Chief Executive Elena Kudryavets said.

China is the world’s largest consumer of potash, a crop nutrient, and a contract with the country usually establishes a global price floor.

However, this year BPC, which controls 20 percent of the global potash market, signed the annual contract with India before its talks with China were finished. Continue Reading →

Author to recognize potash mine accident sign books (Moab Times Independent – August 23, 2018)

http://www.moabtimes.com/

A gathering to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the tragic Cane Creek Potash Mine Explosion near Moab will be held on Aug. 26 and 27.

The Museum of Moab and the Grand County Historical Preservation Commission are sponsoring the event at the Grand Center at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27. David Vaughn will facilitate the night’s event and Kymberly Mele, the author of the book, “Disaster at Cane Creek,” will be one of several speakers. Mele will also sign books before this event, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the same location. The book is a comprehensive account of the 1963 Cane Creek underground potash mine explosion.

A gathering has also been planned for the previous day, Aug. 26, at the Cane Creek Mine Explosion Monument at Intrepid Potash Company (current owners of the facility) west of Moab at 4 p.m. This will be a chance for many to gather near the mine site and see the Cane Creek Monument. For those who need a ride to the mine site they may contact Vaughn. The mine site is located at the end of Potash Road on Hwy. 279. Continue Reading →

Eritrea Mulls Port as Ethiopia Rapprochement Spurs Investors – by Nizar Manek (Bloomberg News – August 23, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Eritrea is considering building a port on its Red Sea coastline to export potash from deposits being developed in the Horn of Africa nation, a mines ministry official said.

Plans for the harbor signal the country’s reemergence as a potential investor destination after its surprise rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia last month ended two decades of political tensions.

The facility could be used to ship potash from Ethiopia and adds to a series of port developments in the strategically located region by nations including Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland. Continue Reading →

Israel seeks early re-tender of mining rights to shore up Dead Sea – by Ari Rabinovitch (Reuters U.S. – August 12, 2018)

https://www.reuters.com/

EIN BOKEK, Israel (Reuters) – The Dead Sea is shrinking at the rate of about a meter a year, leaving behind deserted beaches and sinkholes in a slow-motion environmental disaster.

The main culprit is the drying up of the Jordan river, its main tributary, as communities upstream draw on it for farming and drinking. But mineral extraction makes the crisis worse – of the 700-800 million cubic meters of water lost each year, 250-350 million cubic meters is due to mining, Israel estimates.

Up to now, the Israeli government has rarely intervened in the operations of the biggest extractor: the Dead Sea Works, formerly state-owned and now operated under a 70-year concession by Israel Chemicals (ICL). That is about to change. Continue Reading →

Nutrien to cut 80 jobs at Vanscoy potash operation, raises earnings forecast – by Ian Bickis (Canadian Press/Financial Post – August 1, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

SASKATOON — Nutrien Ltd. increased its earnings forecast for the year Wednesday after announcing job cuts at its Vanscoy potash operation in Saskatchewan earlier in the day. The fertilizer giant said the job cuts will take place in the fourth quarter this year and include about 30 staff and 50 hourly positions.

The changes are meant to make the Vanscoy operations more efficient as it looks for synergies following the merger of Potash Corp. and Agrium Inc. to form Nutrien at the start of the year, the company said.

Nutrien said in its second-quarter results out Wednesday that it had achieved US$246 million in synergies as of the end of June, up from the US$150 million it said it had achieved as of March. Continue Reading →

TRANSFORMATION: Digging out from a mine closure: Sussex gives itself a shake and tries new things – by Connell Smith (CBC News New Brunswick – July 16, 2018)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/

Southern New Brunswick town lost 1,000 jobs almost overnight when PotashCorp pulled out

Uwe Fiehn has a numbers problem. Despite a fairly steady stream of lunch-time customers exclaiming over the pastries and European breads, the owner of the Country Home Bakery knows a lot more people should be stopping in.

“Every day we need 100 to 110 customers, then you have a very good business,” Fiehn said. “If you have 80 customers every day, that’s also perfect. “But we have at the moment just 50 to 55, you know?” Fiehn and his wife, Linda, bought the property in Sussex Corner, outside Sussex, in August 2015.

1,000 jobs gone

Five months later, PotashCorp delivered the shattering news to Sussex and surrounding communities that it was closing its mine in nearby Penobsquis. Continue Reading →

Why now might be the right time to plant Nutrien in your portfolio – by Jonathan Ratner (Financial Post – July 5, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

A recent rally in potash and nitrogen prices has pushed Nutrien’s shares back up toward the level at which they began trading post-merger

Maybe it has something to do with the name change, but more likely it is the result of a persistently weak market for fertilizer ingredients.

Any way you slice it, Nutrien Ltd. has been buried in the back of many investors’ minds since it was created through the US$36-billion mega-merger of Agrium and PotashCorp of Saskatchewan early this year.

But things could be about to change, thanks to a recent rally in potash and nitrogen prices that has pushed Nutrien’s shares back up toward the level at which they began trading post-merger. Continue Reading →

Nutrien to occupy what will be Saskatchewan’s tallest office building – by Alex Macherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – June 14, 2018)

http://thestarphoenix.com/

The world’s largest fertilizer company is set to move into what will become the province’s tallest office building once it’s built on the north edge of Saskatoon’s River Landing.

Nutrien Ltd. on Thursday announced plans to relocate its roughly 300 local employees to the 18-storey steel-and-glass tower, construction of which is set to begin soon.

While the terms of the agreement are confidential, Nutrien President and CEO Chuck Magro described it as a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment for the company. Continue Reading →