Archive | Saskatchewan Mining

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 →

Canada could impact emissions were Ottawa not so obsessed with carbon taxes – by Brad Wall (Financial Post – January 18, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Brad Wall is the former premier of Saskatchewan. He is currently an adviser for Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt in Calgary.

Canadian technology could clean up hundreds of coal plants around the world

Three years ago, there we were at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference: 383 Canadians strong. Our delegation was larger than almost any other country’s, rivalling even the host country’s delegation. Canada was back.

Saskatchewan was there, too, with our three-person contribution to the overall Canadian throng, though we may have been a little out of step.

Just two weeks before Paris, the Alberta government had announced its own carbon tax. The explicit and implied promise was that this indulgence paid by Albertans would purchase the absolution required to secure pipeline approvals. Saskatchewan then was alone in its opposition to a nationally imposed carbon tax. So, in Paris we were — without intention — a few prairie skunks at this low-carbon garden party. 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 →

C$10.3m approved to advance of Wheeler River uranium project – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – December 18, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Spurred on by the positive results of its prefeasibility study (PFS) for the Wheeler River project, Canadian uranium company Denison Mines on Tuesday announced that C$10.3-million would be spent on advancing the Athabasca basin project in 2019.

The budget, approved by the Wheeler River joint venture in which Denison has 90% ownership, will be used to initiate the environmental assessment process, as well as engineering studies and related programmes required to advance the high-grade Phoenix deposit as an in-situ recovery (ISR) mining operation.

The initiation of the environmental assessment process and studies designed to ultimately support a feasibility study, illustrated the company’s commitment to achieving the project development timeline outlined in the PFS, said Denison president and CEO David Cates. 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 →

[Saskatchewan Mining] Diamond mine is ‘awesome’ employment opportunity: Métis director – by Glenn Hicks (Prince Albert Now – December 3, 2018)

https://www.panow.com/

This region’s director for the Métis Nation says the prospect of jobs at the planned Star Orion South Diamond Project is an “awesome opportunity” for her people.

She added the environmental and compensation concerns the local First Nation had with the project was not a priority for her organization whereas securing employment was. If it becomes operational, the mine in the Forte à la Corne area, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, could run for over 30 years and recover millions of diamonds, injecting billions of dollars into the provincial coffers.

“Any time we can get our Métis people employed and especially with the jobs of this essence … it’s an awesome opportunity I think, and hopefully we can all benefit from it,” Sherry McLennan, the regional director for the Métis Nation Western Region 2 told paNOW. Continue Reading →

‘This has been going on for a very long time’: Province suing feds over $278M mine cleanup after cost-sharing talks fail – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 27, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Saskatchewan is suing the federal government to avoid being left holding the entire bill for a massively over-budget uranium mine cleanup project, the total cost of which has grown more than 1,000 per cent, to $278.1 million.

The province is seeking $61.8 million — the bulk of Ottawa’s original $12.3 million commitment plus $50.6 million to cover half of what has been spent to date — and a court order that the federal government “contribute equally” to remaining costs.

Filed this week in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench, the statement of claim is the latest development in a 12-year dispute over the ballooning cost of burying radioactive tailings and other work at the abandoned Gunnar uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan. Continue Reading →

Only one senior Nutrien executive lives in Saskatchewan – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 19, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

When Pedro Farah takes over as chief financial officer of the world’s largest fertilizer company early next year, he will start looking for a home in Calgary rather than Saskatoon. That will leave Nutrien Ltd. with a single senior executive who lives and works in Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan’s former home: Newly installed president of potash Susan Jones.

Four of the remaining executives who report directly to Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro — plus Magro himself — live in Calgary; two reside in Loveland, Colo., and one calls Northbrook, Ill., home. That has the provincial government worried.

Premier Scott Moe’s communications director, Jim Billington, wrote in an email that Moe shares his predecessor’s concerns about the “business locations” of the company’s senior executives. Continue Reading →

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 →

Cameco says uranium market improves, but still a need for caution – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – November 5, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Although the uranium market has showed a “marked” improved over the past year, Canadian uranium major Cameco has cautioned that prices are still nowhere near where they have to be to restart the idled production capacity, let alone incentivise new production opportunities.

Significant production cuts, reductions in producer inventories and an increase in demand for uranium in the spot market have put pressure on uranium prices, with the current spot price up about 40% on last year, while the long-term price is about 6% higher than a year ago.

However, Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said that despite the “green shoots”, the market still had “a long way to go”, noting that prices were “nowhere near” the levels needed to trigger a restart of idled capacity. Continue Reading →

Government grants environmental approval for Prince Albert-area diamond mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 25, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The provincial government has signed off on a Saskatoon mining company’s plan to build a diamond mine east of Prince Albert, ending what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in Saskatchewan history.

The announcement is sure to please Star Diamond Corp. and its investors, many of whom have sunk their savings into the project only to grow increasingly frustrated by delays, a lack of information, and languishing share prices.

It is not, however, likely to please members of nearby James Smith Cree Nation. A consultant hired to speak for the First Nation told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this month that Star Diamond’s environmental plan was “hopelessly flawed.” Continue Reading →

Nuclear-missile commander vs. Saskatchewan premier: The debate over proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports – by Tom Blackwell (Financial Post – October 23, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Amid the multi-pronged Trump trade wars, uranium has been largely overlooked, but any protectionist measures could undermine a major Canadian export

Brian Boner isn’t alone in applauding proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports from foreign countries like Canada. His reasons for backing the idea, though, stand out.

As a former nuclear-missile crew commander — managing up to $5-billion worth of intercontinental atomic firepower — the Wyoming state senator says he knows the importance of a robust domestic uranium industry.

“I was responsible directly to the president for potential launch actions on anywhere from 10 to 50 ICBMs,” Boner says in comments to the U.S. Commerce Department, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles. “An increasingly uncertain geopolitical environment requires prudence and caution, especially in these crucial matters of defending our country from its existential threat.” 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 →