Sask. could be ‘major producer’ of rare earth minerals – by Tyler Barrow (CTV News Saskatoon – May 31, 2022)

Mike Crabtree hopes Saskatchewan will serve as a catalyst for the rare earth elements industry. “The actual demand for rare earths is going to hockey stick literally over the next 10 years and Saskatchewan has the opportunity to be a major producer,” said Crabtree, president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Crabtree made his comments at Nutrien Tower in Saskatoon on a panel for Saskatchewan Mining Week. He said all 17 rare earth elements can be found in Saskatchewan. They are used in products such as cell phones, televisions, computers, vehicles and wind turbines.

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Nigeria buys emergency Canadian potash to replace lost Russian supply – by Julia Payne (Financial Post/Reuters – May 3, 2022)

LAGOS — Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after the country was unable to import the key fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigeria’s sovereign investment authority NSIA said.

Uche Orji, the head of NSIA, declined to comment on prices. However, spot prices today are up more than 250% for deliveries to west Africa compared to last year, according to commodities pricing agency Argus Media, dealing a further blow to the country’s finances.

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This Canadian mining company is sitting on billions worth of potash. Inside the battle that has angry shareholders alleging vote rigging and stock sabotage – by Steve Buist (Toronto Star – April 30, 2022)

Karnalyte Resources Inc. CEO denies allegations, says the company strives to put shareholders best interest “at the forefront of everything.”

Down the hall they marched and into the conference room at the Hampton Inn near Saskatoon’s airport, four armed city police officers acting as a security detail for the board of directors of a small Saskatchewan mining company called Karnalyte Resources Inc.

It was June 7, 2018, and Karnalyte’s annual general meeting was about to start. A handful of frustrated investors hoped to dethrone the board they believed was mismanaging the company. Including the police and the company’s board members, there were maybe 30 people in the room, 40 tops.

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Can the World Feed Itself? Historic Fertilizer Crunch Threatens Food Security – by Elizabeth Elkin and Samuel Gebre (Bloomberg News – May 1, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — For the first time ever, farmers the world over — all at the same time — are testing the limits of how little chemical fertilizer they can apply without devastating their yields come harvest time. Early predictions are bleak.

In Brazil, the world’s biggest soybean producer, a 20% cut in potash use could bring a 14% drop in yields, according to industry consultancy MB Agro. In Costa Rica, a coffee cooperative representing 1,200 small producers sees output falling as much as 15% next year if the farmers miss even one-third of normal application.

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A man called ‘Gitty’: Saskatchewan CEO is a global nuclear power player – by Joe O’ Connor (Financial Post – April 14, 2022)

How did a guy who grew up playing road hockey in this prairie province end up being on the board of the World Nuclear Association? Joe O’Connor has the story

Tim Leier’s phone lit up at 6:19 a.m. on April 1. It was “Gitty” texting him from the Prague airport to let him know he would do his best to get to Leier’s cottage on Emma Lake north of Saskatoon the following evening.

They had been planning a get-together of old hockey buddies who have been running around as a pack ever since they met at North Battleford Comprehensive High School 45 years go.

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Nutrien paid more than US$32-million to former CEOs – by David Milstead and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 5, 2022)

Agricultural giant Nutrien Inc. paid a combined US$32.7-million to former CEOs Chuck Magro and Mayo Schmidt since the beginning of 2021, illustrating the high cost of the company’s executive-suite revolving door.

The Saskatoon company said it paid Mr. Magro US$18.48-million in 2021, including US$8.09-million in severance and consulting payments after it fired him in April. The company said it paid his successor Mr. Schmidt, who had previously been serving as the company’s chairman, US$9.38-million in 2021, and another $4.83-million in severance in January when it fired him.

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Saskatchewan releases plan to advance small modular nuclear reactors – by Taz Dhaliwal and Connor O’Donovan (Global News – March 28, 2022)

The Saskatchewan provincial government, along with the governments of Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta, has announced a strategic plan outlining a path towards the use of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which it hopes can advance SaskPower’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Currently, 76 per cent of electricity in Saskatchewan is generated by fossil fuels, according to the province. “Saskatchewan will not make a final decision on whether it will be building an SMR for several years but SaskPower has been working diligently on planning work to help inform that decision,” SaskPower Minister Don Morgan said at a Monday morning press conference.

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Inside the ultrasecretive exit of CEO Mayo Schmidt from Nutrien after eight months – by Niall McGee and Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2022)

Nutrien Ltd. cut ties with chief executive officer Mayo Schmidt after a culture clash over his imperious leadership style, his sluggishness in getting things done and friction involving his chief of staff, according to three sources.

The exit of Mr. Schmidt in January after only eight months on the job shocked investors in the world’s biggest fertilizer company, which lost more than $2-billion in market value after the news dropped. Nutrien did not explain why Mr. Schmidt was stepping down, and analysts criticized the company for being opaque.

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Nutrien to boost potash production by 1 million tonnes amid worries about food security – by Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post – March 18, 2022)

Affordable fertilizer will be key to increasing the supply of food if fewer acres are to offset a harvest that excludes Russia and Ukraine

Nutrien Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of fertilizers, pledged to do its part in fighting global food inflation, stating overnight on March 16 that it will increase potash production by “almost” one million tonnes in the second half of 2022, pushing total production this year to about 15 million tonnes.

The announcement comes amid serious worry that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause a spike in hunger in places such as Egypt and Iran, and economic stagnation in richer countries like Canada.

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Why Nutrien ripped higher as Russia’s attack stirs fertilizer fears – by Michelle Zadikian (BNN Bloomberg – March 11, 2022)

Fertilizer stocks have been on a tear as crop prices have surged and investors fear the global potash inventory crunch could get worse in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

As the world’s biggest potash producer, Nutrien Ltd. could have a chance to capitalize on growth opportunities in the market, but analysts agree it could take time for that to materialize.

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Nutrien sees long-lasting disruption to fertilizer market from Russian invasion – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 2, 2022)

Canada’s Nutrien (TSX, NYSE: NTR), the world’s largest potash miner, sees supply shortages of fertilizer getting worse due to the ongoing and escalating Russian invasion of Ukraine, two of the world’s top fertilizer producers.

Interim chief executive Ken Seitz, who took the helm in January after the sudden resignation of Mayo Schmidt, told a BMO Capital conference that Russia’s invasion could result in prolonged disruptions to the global supply of potash and nitrogen crop nutrients.

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Russia-Ukraine Tensions Spur Fears of Fertilizer Shortages, Food Price Hikes – by Jen Skerritt and Elizabeth Elkin (Bloomberg News – February 23, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — More price hikes for fertilizer — and consequently, food — are on the horizon as escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine add to fears of global shortages.

Russia is a low-cost, high-volume global producer for all major fertilizers, and it’s the world’s second-largest producer after Canada of potash, a key nutrient used on major commodity crops and produce. The conflict in the region could disrupt trade flows. U.S.-based Mosaic Co., a major fertilizer producer, warned of shortages in a call with analysts Wednesday.

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Nutrien predicts banner year ahead as global uncertainty sends potash soaring – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 18, 2022)

Fourth-quarter revenue beats expectations amid record potash sales

Nutrien Ltd., the world’s largest potash producer, reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat analyst expectations, and predicted 2022 would be another banner year for its two main businesses, fertilizer and farm retail.

The Saskatoon-based agricultural behemoth said on Feb. 17 that it quickly ramped up production and sold a record 13.6 million tonnes of potash in 2021 as demand reached record levels and prices soared amid supply constraints and uncertainty around the effect of sanctions imposed on Belarus, a major producer.

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As nuclear rises again, its second act is in doubt – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2022)

The uranium industry is in the early stages of a second act as some countries turn to nuclear power to help reduce their carbon footprints, but skepticism abounds about how long its moment in the sun will last.

Cameco Corp. last week announced plans to ramp up uranium production at its massive McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan. The company mothballed the mine in 2018 amid a prolonged uranium slump precipitated by the meltdown of the Fukushima power plant in Japan.

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Sask. uranium company Cameco to restart McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill this year – by David Shield (CBC News Saskatoon – February 9, 2022)

550 workers were laid off when mining complex closed in 2018

A Saskatchewan-based uranium company is planning to restart operations at a mining operation that has been shut down for just over four years.

On Wednesday, Cameco announced its plans to restart the McArthur River mine site and Key Lake mill sometime in 2022. Uranium ore from the mine, which is about 630 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, is processed at the mill, which is about 570 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

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