Duel between Potash Corp and BHP far from over – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – May 3, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

The hostile takeover battle ended 18 months ago, but the fight to dominate Canada’s potash resources seems far from over between Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and BHP Billiton Ltd.
After fending off the Australian mining giant’s $39-billion bid with Ottawa’s help, Potash chief executive Bill Doyle said he remains a doubter about BHP’s Plan B — to build a Canadian-based global potash business from the ground up, starting with its proposed Jansen mine.
In an interview, Mr. Doyle suggested BHP’s construction progress at the Jansen mine and its expanding presence in Saskatoon are just part of “horse racing” in a competitive business.
“Until they decide to push ahead, we’ll believe it when we see it,” he said during a stop in Calgary, where he attended a meeting of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives this week.

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Mining slowdown hampers growth – by John Shmuel (Regina Leader Post – May 1, 2012)


Bank’s forecast in doubt
Canada’s gross domestic product unexpectedly fell 0.2 per cent in February, with much of the blame put on the mining sector.
“Potash mining was down 19 per cent as a result of the closure of mines in Saskatchewan in response to weak world demand,” the Statistics Canada report said. It was the steepest dive for the industry since 2009.
Statistics Canada blamed the decline on weakness in both the mining and manufacturing sectors, saying weak demand for some commodities and temporary mine closures contributed to the economic pullback. Market expectations were that real GDP would grow by 0.2 per cent. The dip follows growth of 0.1 per cent in January.
Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist with BMO Capital Markets, said in a report that mining, outside of oil and gas, was off seven per cent due to shutdowns in potash and nickel, part of which should soon be reversed. Two of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s mines in Saskatchewan, Rocanville and Lanigan, were shut down during February.

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Rough patch over, Potash CEO assures – by Peter Koven (National Post – April 27, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

After another very poor quarter from Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., chief executive Bill Doyle maintained that the rough patch is over and a recovery is well underway. But so far, investors are staying cautious and waiting to see the evidence for themselves.

Potash Corp. shares have been stuck in a rut for several months as fertilizer buyers deferred purchases amid global economic uncertainty. They fell another 3% on Thursday after the company reported first-quarter earnings of US56¢ a share, well short of expectations.

It was the second straight quarter of disappointing results. Saskatoon-based Potash Corp., which has been operating far below capacity, also slashed its full-year outlook.

Mr. Doyle rarely says anything negative about potash demand. Yet on Thursday, he acknowledged that demand took longer to pick up in Q1 than he expected, only doing so at the end of the quarter. He noted that buyers waited until the “last possible minute” to stock up on fertilizer before the spring planting season arrived.

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The Future Starts Now: Economic Space For First Nations (Mining) – by David E. Smith and Nathan Elliott – Insightwest Research)

Insightwest Research is a Regina, Saskatchewan company that provides insight-based, compliance-based and technical-based solutions for the energy and resource sectors in western Canada. http://www.insightwest.ca/

For the full report click here: The Future Starts Now: Economic Space For First Nations

First Nations Mining:

From diamonds to gold, coal to potash, nickel to zinc, and copper to uranium, mining is one of Canada’s greatest industries, and a major force propelling regional and national prosperity. Internationally recognized as a leader in engineering, Canada remains an innovator in mining. It is a reputation that continues to grow.  Of the world’s top ten most favorable mining jurisdictions, five are located in Canada.  Of these five, New Brunswick has been recognized by the international mining industry as the most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development.

Mining stimulates economic growth, job creation and spin-off activity in urban centres, rural areas and Aboriginal communities across the country.  In 2009, mining contributed $32 billion in GDP (3.2 per cent of overall GDP) and employed 306,000 workers in mineral extraction, processing and manufacturing.   That same year, mining accounted for 19 per cent of Canadian goods exports and $5.5 billion in taxes and royalties paid to levels of government. Further, there are more than 3,200 companies that provide the industry with services ranging from engineering consulting to drilling equipment.

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Provinces’ budgets get a lifeline from resource royalties – by Barrie McKenna (Globe and Mail – March 22, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

OTTAWA— China is becoming a key line item in the budgets of Canada’s resource-rich provinces.

From Alberta and Saskatchewan in the West to Quebec in the East, China’s thirst for commodities such as oil, fertilizer and iron ore is no longer just about jobs and economic activity – the gusher of royalties is also helping provinces balance, and even pad, their books.

On Wednesday, Saskatchewan unveiled a budget with a small surplus for 2012-13 thanks to sharply higher oil and potash royalties. Potash will bring in $705-million, up 36 per cent from last year. Oil will generate another $1.6-billion in royalties, up 8 per cent. Saskatchewan now gets nearly 30 per cent of its revenue from various resource royalties.

Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand predicted on Tuesday that royalties from the province’s booming mining industry will grow nearly tenfold over the next decade, putting $4-billion into provincial coffers.

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Raise tax rate for miners, Steelworkers say – by Liz Cowan (Northern Ontario Business – February 23, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.  

Mining is booming in Ontario but some say the province isn’t getting its fair share of the resources.

“Minerals are not a renewable resource and every province charges a royalty to take ore out of its ground,” said Marie Kelly, a staff member of United Steelworkers District 6 (Ontario and Atlantic provinces). “Ontario is clearly the most mineral-rich province in Canada. We take out the most ore out of the ground on any given time of the year and yet we have the lowest royalty percentage.”

Kelly spoke to the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness in Sudbury in early February to point out the province’s return on minerals.

Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador collect more mining revenue than Ontario even though their mine production is less.

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New B.C. port facilities key for exports, Potash Corp. CEO says – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – February 15, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

OTTAWA— Potash Corp. chief executive Bill Doyle expects to see steadily rising worldwide demand for the fertilizer and the need for new export capacity from Western Canada, despite the recent price weakness that has led global producers to cut back on supply.

Western Canadian potash exports should double in the coming decade and, as a result, the industry will need new port facilities in British Columbia, Mr. Doyle said in an interview Tuesday.

In partnership with CN Rail, Canpotex, the marketing arm of Saskatchewan potash producers, has proposed a new export terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Mr. Doyle said he expects an investment decision to be made on the $800-million project this year.

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Canada opens doors to uranium trade with China – by Kip Keen (Mineweb.com – February 11, 2012)


The big talking point in Canada is that as Chinese-Canadian relations warm up, so too will Canadian uranium in Chinese nuclear reactors.

HALIFAX, NS – Uranium producers in Canada got a heavy dose of good news as the country’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, abolished trade rules that banned the export of uranium to China.

Prime Minister Harper, who has been on a trade mission in China with Canadian business leaders, made the announcement as part of a slew of other agreements between China and Canada.

The Canadian government will amend a 1994 nuclear agreement between the two countries to allow uranium exports to China, though the exact details of what the amendment would say is unclear. Chinese and Canadian officials are to work them out over the coming months, a federal government statement said.

Government officials in Canada touted the uranium deal on two fronts, economic and environmental.

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Uranium deal with china ‘important’ for Saskatchewan – by Joe Couture (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – January 10, 2012)


Wall claims ‘great day’ for province

An agreement that is expected to allow Canadian companies to ship uranium to China is “very, very important” for Saskatchewan, Premier Brad Wall said on Thursday in reaction to news from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the Asian superpower.

“It’s a great day for Saskatchewan and we want to thank the federal government and the prime minister for raising a very Saskatchewan issue on their trade mission and making progress,” Wall told reporters Thursday at the Legislative Building.

Though a small amount of Saskatchewan uranium has been shipped to China before under special agreements, the new trade agreement signed by Harper is expected to allow Saskatchewan producers to directly sell Canadian yellowcake – a type of uranium concentrate powder – to China, he continued.

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What is holding Northern Ontario back? – by David Robinson (Northern Ontario Business – February, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.  

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University. drobinson@laurentian.ca 

Premier Brad Wall is proud of Saskatchewan. The province is booming. Migration from other provinces is up 40 per cent —people are streaming in from places like Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. The province is even planning a jobs mission to Ireland to recruit workers.

But here is a question. Is our premier proud of Northern Ontario? Is anyone proud? In fact, is there anyone to be proud?

Saskatchewan, with about 33 per cent more people than Northern Ontario, and with only 80 per cent of the area of Northern Ontario, is managed by 58 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). In efficient Northern Ontario, we make do with 10 MPPs. And 10 per cent of a premier.

But if Ontario is so efficient, why is Saskatchewan doing so well by comparison?

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Saskatchewan is the shining light on the prairies – by David Breen Seymour (National Post – December 29, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

“No longer do businesses in the energy and mining industries
abandon the province in the face of hostile and activist
regulatory regimes that threaten to make their investments
worthless. Saskatchewan has discovered that, with its
resource base, creating space for secure investment and
innovation is all that’s required for substantial economic
growth.” (David Breen Seymour)

Ontario needs to rethink the Far North Act and specific
aspects of their Mining Act revisions that are causing
many junior mining companies – the lifeblood of the mining
sector – to slow down their activities or leave the
province. – (Stan Sudol)

Saskatchewan stands at an opportune time in its history.

Outside its borders, globalization means there are more people who want to buy what we have and also more people willing to sell us what we want in return. More demand for Saskatchewan’s food and energy-based products in tandem with more supply of the finished goods that its people buy could raise standards of living in Saskatchewan to levels never before seen anywhere. Inside the province’s borders, politics have matured, making it easier than ever to do business.

A deeper theme is that public policy matters. Throughout history, no factor has impacted on the quality of the lives people live more than the quality of their public policies. Many other explanations are given for prosperity, but none of them stand up to scrutiny. If natural resources were the key to prosperity, Nigeria would be rich and Singapore poor.

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Market forces to buffet potash – by Ryan W. Lijdsman (National Post – December 22, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Ryan W. Lijdsman is an international business consultant and freelance writer who has been working with various companies and governments in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

While BHP Billiton failed in its attempt to take over Potash Corp., it is succeeding in transforming the Canadian potash industry from supply management to free market. BHP and other new entrants are opening new potash mines that will sell directly to buyers, bypassing Canpotex. Over the long term, this transformation will be positive for both the industry and the governments that receive royalties, but in the short term the proposed supply increases are far greater than current demand, leading to market volatility as the forces of supply and demand clash.

Canadian potash has traditionally been exported through Canpotex, a producer-owned export cartel made up of Potash Corp., Mosaic and Agrium. Canpotex manages the price and volume of exports and with the other large global exporter Belarusian Potash Co. – a consortium that controls the exports of Belarusian and Russian potash – controls 70% of the export market.

The supply management that Canpotex provided producers has benefited the industry by providing stability when supply was greater than demand.

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[Saskatchewan] Mining boom must include all – StarPhoenix Editorial (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – December 3, 2011)


The problem with having a $50-billion windfall coming over the horizon is the danger it could mask the dark clouds that come with it.

This week Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, told a Saskatoon business crowd that Saskatchewan is in for a massive capital expansion in its mining sector during the next 20 years. For those in this province who have waited more than a generation for Saskatchewan’s ship to come in, this expansion can’t be but good news.

But if Saskatchewan is to be able to take advantage of the opportunities coming its way, it has some pretty significant ducks it must still get in a row. Not the least of which is addressing First Nations’ concerns – not only in terms of allowing them a cut of the action but also coming to terms with treaty issues that have been woefully neglected by various governments for almost two centuries.

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[Mining] Groups oppose [Caribou] strategy – by Scott Larson (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – December 2, 2011)


A proposed federal strategy to safeguard the habitat of the woodland caribou is causing concern in the mining industry. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its provincial counterpart, the Saskatchewan Mining Association, have started a letter-writing campaign to express their opposition to the strategy developed by Environment Canada.

The federal government released the draft strategy in August and it is open for public comment until February. The mining associations say it will severely limit any further resource or infrastructure development in northern Saskatchewan.

MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said the strategy would create a system that would see caribou habitat that had 35 per cent of its area disturbed declared off limits to further development.

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[Saskatchewan] Mines poised for $50B boost – by Scott Larson (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – December 2, 2011)


Continued growth expected

Saskatchewan is poised to see $50 billion in capital investment injected into the provincial mining industry during the next 20 years. Mining is a $7.1-billion industry in Saskatchewan and the province benefited from $3.1 billion in capital expenditures in 2010, the largest recipient of mining investment in Canada last year, said Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)

Gratton was speaking at a luncheon put on by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and the North Saskatoon Business Association.

“Canada and Saskatchewan are blessed with a diverse abundance of natural resources that are in demand from growing global economies, positioning both province and country for continued long-term growth,” Gratton said. “However, our focus cannot solely rest on the economic benefits mining brings.

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