Archive | Potash/Phosphate

History Of Phosphate Mining In Florida Fraught With Peril – by Steve Newborn (WUSF Public Media – June 16, 2021)

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/

In our ongoing series on phosphate mines, WUSF reports on the long, tangled history of Florida’s phosphate mines and the environment.

At the construction entrance to the Piney Point phosphate plant – off Buckeye Road in northern Manatee County, just south of the Hillsborough County line – the smell of phosphate and gypsum hangs heavy in the air.

A bulldozer is busy pushing sand into a hole from which more than 200 million gallons of tainted water flowed into Tampa Bay. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Accidents like this fill the history books in Florida, including two here at this very site. Continue Reading →

Fertilizer markets boom on mixed fundamentals – by Julia Meehan (The Fence Post – June 14, 2021)

https://www.thefencepost.com/

LONDON — International fertilizer markets are currently experiencing an unseasonal boost in prices and demand, with some prices hitting historical highs. The major question now for producers, traders, co-operatives and farmers, is if current levels will be sustained and what availability will look like moving through the second half of 2021?

While some markets are exclusively impacted by production cuts, rising feedstock costs, sanction cuts, rising freight rates a major driver giving the market confidence is record crop prices.

AMMONIA

The unabated strength of ammonia, which has also been driving prices up for urea and nitrates, looks to remain a challenging market, where, on almost a daily basis, production problems are announced. Continue Reading →

BHP is in talks with Nutrien on giant potash mine – by Thomas Biesheuvel (Bloomberg News – May 26, 2021)

https://www.bloombergquint.com/

BHP Group is in talks with Nutrien Ltd. about a potential partnership in its massive Canadian potash venture as the world’s biggest mining company moves closer to a final decision on the project.

The two companies are discussing multiple options, including Nutrien becoming the operator and selling the potash through its existing channels, or the Canadian company taking a stake in the Jansen mine, according to people familiar with the matter.

There is no guarantee the talks will lead to a deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Continue Reading →

Analyst confident massive Sask. [BHP] potash mine will be approved as deadline approaches – by David Shield (CBC News Saskatoon – April 28, 2021)

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

While a final decision has not been given on a proposed large potash mine project in Saskatchewan, one financial analyst says he is quite confident it will be approved in the next few months.

Originally announced in 2010, BHP’s Jansen mine was once hailed as the largest potash project in the world. The site is located about 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon.

Low potash prices meant the company never gave the mine final approval. While production and service shafts have been dug, and are almost fully completed, BHP has yet to produce any mineral from the site. Continue Reading →

Phosphate mine collapse ‘imminent’ as DeSantis issues state of emergency in Florida county – by Mark Young and Ryan Callihan (Miami Herald – April 21, 2021)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/

PALMETTO, Fla. — Less than a day after Manatee County issued an emergency evacuation order for nearby residents of the troubled Piney Point industrial site, public safety officials have announced new and immediate evacuations around the phosphate mine, declaring the collapse of the gypsum stack is “imminent.”

Several hours later, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a State of Emergency for the county. “Due to a possible breach of mixed saltwater from the south reservoir at the Piney Point facility, I have declared a State of Emergency for Manatee County to ensure resources are allocated for necessary response & recovery.”

The public safety alert told residents: “Evacuate the area NOW. Collapse of Piney Point Stack is imminent. Immediate evacuation of Chapman Road to Airport Road and US 41 to O’Neill Road. Leave area IMMEDIATELY.” Continue Reading →

Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro stepping down as head of Saskatoon-based fertilizer giant – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – April 20, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Chuck Magro is stepping down as chief executive officer of Nutrien Ltd. and will be replaced by Mayo Schmidt, who is currently chairman of the Saskatoon-based fertilizer giant, the company said on Sunday.

As part of the executive shuffle, Russ Girling, Nutrien director and the former CEO of TC Energy Corp., will become board chairman. There is no indication of any controversy or pressure behind the executive changes. Nutrien said Mr. Magro, who has been its only CEO, is leaving to pursue other opportunities. It did not offer details.

Mr. Magro had been president and CEO of Calgary-based Agrium Inc. when it merged with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan in 2018 to cement its place as the world’s largest producer of fertilizer. He will help with the leadership transition until May 16, the company said. Continue Reading →

‘No community should suffer this’: Florida’s toxic breach was decades in the making – by Paola Rosa-Aquino (The Guardian – April 11, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

It’s been a week since a significant leak at a long-abandoned fertilizer plant in the Tampa Bay area threatened the surrounding groundwater, soil, and local water supplies.

Last weekend, officials ordered more than 300 families living near the 676-acre Piney Point plant site in Manatee county to evacuate. The sheriff even emptied out his jail’s first floor of inmates in case a “20-foot wall of water” came rolling their way.

By Monday, local officials said they thought the crisis had been averted; they lifted evacuation orders on Tuesday afternoon. But what they meant was that imminent catastrophe had been postponed. Continue Reading →

‘Imminent’ Collapse of Wastewater Reservoir in Florida Forces Evacuations – by Bryan Pietsch and Marie Fazio (New York Times – April 3, 2021)

https://www.nytimes.com/

A reservoir in Florida that holds nearly 400 million gallons of wastewater from a former phosphate mine was leaking on Saturday, prompting hundreds of evacuations, the authorities said.

Crews were “doing their best to control the outflow” of contaminated water into a creek at Piney Point in Florida, the site of a former phosphate mine that is south of Tampa, said Vanessa Baugh, the chairwoman of the Manatee County Commission.

The spillage was an “imminent hazard” that posed “an immediate and substantial danger to human health, safety, welfare and the environment,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, who issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. Continue Reading →

Global Potash Demand May Face Test as Indian Imports Set to Ease – by Pratik Parija (Bloomberg News – February 21, 2021)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

India’s going to be buying less potash after a run-up in prices, according to the country’s largest importer of the fertilizer, a move that may undercut expectations for global demand to hit a record this year.

Purchases in the fiscal year starting April may drop from about 5.5 million tons the year before, said P.S. Gahlaut, manging director of Indian Potash Ltd., which accounts for almost 50% of the country’s imports. He declined to give a forecast, but said demand will weaken as India still has a sizable stockpile.

“In India, consumption of potash is very price sensitive,” Gahlaut said in an interview. “Whenever prices have gone up, there’s an immediate effect on consumption.” Continue Reading →

Nutrien, Cameco CEOs again among highest-paid in Canada – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 4, 2021)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The heads of two publicly-traded corporations with significant mining operations in Saskatchewan were again among the country’s highest-paid executives in 2019.

Nutrien Ltd. CEO Chuck Magro’s $16.4-million pay package made him Canada’s 11th-highest-paid CEO, according to new data compiled by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Cameco Corp. CEO Tim Gitzel, meanwhile, was paid a total of $7 million, good for 84th place on the list, which the self-described “progressive” think tank has published annually since 2006. Continue Reading →

A huge rally in food prices is stoking record fertilizer demand – by Marcy Nicholson and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg News – December 9, 2020)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

Fertilizer producers are next in line to benefit from rising crop prices, with farmers poised to plant more acres in 2021.

For the world’s handful of companies that produce potash — a potassium-rich fertilizer mined underground from evaporated sea beds — it is the light at the end of the tunnel following several volatile years. Bloomberg’s Green Markets pegs global potash demand at a record in 2021, while Morningstar Inc. says it will likely set a new “high watermark.”

Farmers’ incomes in the U.S. and Canada are up from a year earlier, boosted by crop prices that surged to multi-year highs on the back of strong demand from China and by pandemic-related government stimulus. Continue Reading →

The 100-Day War: An oral history of BHP’s hostile takeover bid of PotashCorp – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 13, 2020)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Ten years after it happened, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix spoke with key players in what was at the time the biggest business story in the world.

It was ten years ago that BHP Billiton tried to buy Saskatchewan’s most iconic company. The Anglo-Australian mining giant’s hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. in the late summer and fall of 2010 was the biggest business story in the world at the time.

Tens of billions of dollars were at stake, not to mention a former Crown corporation at the heart of an industry that has long been considered the backbone of Saskatchewan’s identity, history and economy.

PotashCorp owned five of the nine potash mines then operating in the province, and employed thousands of people. It was also a global success, with operations around the world. And it was not for sale. Continue Reading →

ROB MAGAZINE: What investors still don’t understand about Nutrien – by Michael McCullough (Globe and Mail – October 27, 2020)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Farmers in Saskatchewan have been social distancing for over a century, the joke in the agricultural sector goes. Behind the cheap laugh lies an essential truth: A global pandemic isn’t felt much on a crop farm.

The work conditions don’t require a lot of human contact compared to other industries and, as another well-worn industry adage goes, “People gotta eat.”

Which is good news for Nutrien Inc., the largest producer of potash—and second largest of nitrogen fertilizer—in the world, with 20,000 employees and a market capitalization approaching $30 billion. Continue Reading →

Estevan looks to diverse coal usages, modular potash mines – by Evan Radford (Regina Leader-Post – November 2, 2020)

https://leaderpost.com/

As part of southeast Saskatchewan’s move away from burning coal, Estevan is looking to a new partnership struck with a nearby First Nation and a veteran geologist to help keep jobs and money in the area.

The city has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ocean Man First Nation and Buffalo Potash Corporation to study how and if it can bring modular potash mines to the area and a processing facility that wouldn’t burn coal, but would still use it to create fuel.

Ocean Man sits about 100 kilometres north of Estevan. Buffalo Potash Corp., founded in 2018, is headed by long-time geology consultant and potash expert Stephen (Steve) Halabura; some of his past work includes pinpointing underground potash reserves in the province and helping BHP Billiton set up its mining sites. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner develops environmentally friendly way to produce potash – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – October 11, 2020)

https://www.mining.com/

A Canadian company has developed a new, environmentally friendlier mechanism to produce potash without generating salt tailings and requiring no surface brine ponds.

According to Saskatoon-based Gensource Potash (TSX-V: GSP), the absence of tailings eliminates decommissioning risks, while not having ponds removes the single largest negative environmental impact of conventional potash mining.

The extraction method that Gensource has created injects a hot salt (NaCl) brine into horizontal caverns in the ore body, which selectively dissolves potash, (KCl) leaving salt in place. Continue Reading →