PotashCorp one step closer to sealing merger deal with Agrium – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 19, 2017)


The world’s largest fertilizer company has to sell its minority stakes in three foreign-owned companies, valued at almost US$4 billion, to secure approval from the Indian government’s antitrust bureau to proceed with its proposed multi-billion-dollar merger.

An appellate court said this week that the Competition Commission of India’s approval of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s proposed merger with Agrium Inc. is conditional on the Saskatoon company selling the holdings within 18 months.

“This is another milestone reached on the road to a successful conclusion of the merger,” PotashCorp spokesman Randy Burton said. “The review process continues in both China and the U.S. and we expect to close the transaction by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.”

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NEWS RELEASE: Sherritt to Divest of Coal Assets for $946 Million and Focus on Core Businesses

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 24, 2013) –


Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt” or “the Corporation”) (TSX:S) today announced it is divesting its coal business for total consideration of $946 million.

A group led by Altius Minerals Corp., will acquire Sherritt’s entire royalty portfolio and its interest in coal development assets for cash consideration of $481 million, subject to closing adjustments.

Westmoreland Coal Company (“Westmoreland”) will acquire Sherritt’s operating coal assets, currently described as the Prairie and Mountain Operations, for total consideration of $465 million, comprised of $312 million in cash and the assumption of capital leases presently valued at $153 million, subject to closing adjustments.

“Today’s transaction to divest the coal business is the culmination of a competitive bidding process which has extended over several months. It simplifies our asset portfolio to concentrate on our core strengths, enhances our liquidity, and provides us with the opportunity to reduce our debt,” said David Pathe, Sherritt’s President and CEO.

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Cuba convicts 12 of corruption in nickel industry – by Laura Kane (Toronto Star – August 22, 2012)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

A Cuban court has convicted a dozen people of corruption in the nickel industry, including two employees of a Cuban-Canadian joint concern, state media announced Tuesday.

Accounting executive Alfredo Barallobre Rodriguez and deputy production director Orlando Carmenaty Olmo of Empresa Moa Nickel SA, a joint operation of Cuba and Toronto-based mining company Sherritt International Corp., were sentenced to six and five years, respectively. Company officials didn’t return requests for comment, and the nationality of the two men couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

High-ranking government officials and an executive at a state-run nickel company were also sentenced in the case, involving a contract for the expansion of the Pedro Soto Alba nickel and cobalt processing plant at the Moa mine. The convictions are the first in a wider crackdown on corruption that has already seen several foreigners, including two Canadians, detained.

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Why Ian Delaney, the Smiling Barracuda of Bay Street, is moving on – by Jacquie Mcnish (Globe and Mail – December 17, 2011)

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.

TORONTO— Weeks away from ending a 21-year run at the helm of Sherritt International Corp., Ian Delaney has lost none of the bluster that defined his tumultuous reign at the mining conglomerate.

“I’m not retiring; I’m firing myself,” he says, flashing the toothy grin that years ago earned him the nickname, the Smiling Barracuda of Bay Street.

In January, Mr. Delaney, 68, will hand the reins to successor David Pathe, saying it’s time. “One of the disadvantages about getting old is you get too thoughtful. We need younger people who have higher energy levels,” Mr. Delaney says.

Still, talking to the chief executive officer over a simple lunch of baked chicken and steamed vegetables at Sheritt’s spartan offices in Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, the Bay Street legend sounds more restless than tired. “The intensity is gone,” he says, poking at a steamed vegetable. “I can no longer flip the company on its ear every 18 months with a deal.”

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Weak demand saps nickel prices – by Pratima Desai – Reuters (Sudbury Star – August 17, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

LONDON — Deteriorating demand from stainless steel mills and rising mine production are likely to push the nickel market into surplus in the second half of the year and put modest downward pressure on prices.

The uncertain outlook for global economic growth and demand because of the debt crisis in the euro zone and the United States mean gloomier prospects for nickel demand.

Stainless steel producers use about two-thirds of global nickel output, which is estimated at above 1.5 million tonnes this year.

First-quarter production of stainless steel rose to a record high of 8.390 million tonnes, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum, and expectations for the second quarter are, at best, flat.

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NEWS RELEASE: Sherritt Provides Revised Estimates for the Ambatovy [Nickel Laterite] Project

TORONTO, June 14, 2011 – Sherritt International Corporation (TSX: S) today announced, following completion of a review of the estimated schedule and associated capital cost of the Ambatovy Project, that the Board of Directors has approved a revised schedule that anticipates first metal in first quarter 2012 and an associated capital cost estimate of US$5.5 billion, excluding financing charges, foreign exchange and working capital requirements. Sherritt will fund its 40% of the capital cost increase directly from funds on hand.

The 16% (US$740 million) increase from the prior estimate is attributable to:

• inaccurate bulk material quantity estimates (including piping and electrical materials), the additional cost to procure, ship and install the materials, as well as the impact of poor performance by certain contractors (US$300 million, or 41% of the increase);
• additional service costs associated with the extension of the schedule, including site support services (which include food and accommodation), and additional EPCM services (US$195 million, or 26% of the increase); and

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An Overview of Nickel in 2011 – Excerpt From Global Mining Finance 2011

Global Mining Finance was created four years ago as an annual book to provide international mining executives and their peers in the financial community with an overview of the industry from a World-wide perspective. For the main website: http://www.globalminingfinance.com/past-editions.html

The following research on nickel was provided by Paradigm Capital, a research-driven investment dealer, providing Research, Trade Execution and Investment Banking services.

Commodity Focus – Nickel

Two-thirds of all nickel produced goes into stainless steel, but is also important in the world of hi-tech where the soft magnetic properties of nickel and its alloys are employed. In this article, Paradigm Capital takes a look at the market for nickel.

Demand: Driven by The Stainless Steel Recovery

Nickel has a high rate of recyclability, This distinction is often made between the use of newly produced metal and recycled scrap. By far the most important first use of nickel is the production of stainless steel which accounts for over 60% of total demand with other first-use sectors being alloys, casting, electroplating, chemicals and batteries. The stainless steel sector is growing at a CAGR of about 5-6% per annum.

The nickel market rebounded strongly in 2010 compared to a very weak 2009, as a result of improved stainless steel demand conditions in combination with an amplified restocking period. In addition, the austenitic ratio (i.e. nickel bearing stainless steel) which has traditionally run at around the 75% level, has slipped lower. This was due to nickel’s meteoric price rise in 2007 to $25/lb. which proved to be the catalyst that triggered substitution, particularly into lower nickel bearing intra stainless steel grades. This proved to be one of the double whammies.

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News Release: Sherritt Provides Update on the Ambatovy Project


Click here to view: Sherritt International Corporation 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

TORONTO, December 17, 2010 – Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt) (TSX:S) announced today the approval of increased capital costs for the Ambatovy Project to a total budget of US$4.76 billion, which includes a contingency of US$50 million. Sherritt intends to fund its 40% share of the capital cost increase directly.

During second-quarter 2010, the construction of the power plant, which was being executed under a turn-key contract, was identified as having high potential for delay in completion. The
slower construction progress on the power plant attracted additional costs in terms of management and engineering personnel and is the major contributing factor to the higher expected capital cost. During third-quarter 2010, Sherritt and the EPCM contractor assumed control of construction of the power plant.

Ian W. Delaney, Chairman and CEO of Sherritt commented, “We have thoroughly reviewed every facet of this Project and I am confident the required steps have been taken to keep it on track to produce metal by the summer of 2011. While the variance from our original capital projection is 5%, we felt the steps taken were necessary to ensure that the plant will operate as designed, and that we can ramp up production at a rate which will enable nickel to be delivered to customers as early as possible.”

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News Release: Sherritt to acquire a controlling interest in the Sulawesi Nickel Project


Click here to view: Sherritt International Corporation 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

TORONTO, December 1, 2010 – Sherritt International Corporation (“Sherritt” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: S) today announced it has executed an earn-in and shareholders agreement with a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Limited (“Rio Tinto”) whereby Sherritt will acquire an interest in the Sulawesi Nickel Project (the “Sulawesi Project”) in Indonesia. Subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, Sherritt will acquire a controlling 57.5% equity interest in the holding company that owns the Sulawesi Project, and Rio Tinto will continue to hold the remaining 42.5%. Sherritt has been appointed as the Operator and will license its commercially-proven, proprietary technology to the Project. As consideration for its interest, Sherritt has committed to fund US$110 million towards producing a feasibility study from which a development decision will be made.

In compliance with Indonesia’s Mining Law, local Indonesian interests are expected to acquire a 20% interest in the Project. Following that event, Sherritt and Rio Tinto together will indirectly own and control an 80% interest in the Sulawesi Project, which will give Sherritt a controlling interest and a 46% economic interest with Rio Tinto maintaining a 34% economic interest.

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Sherritt International Corporation Chairman and CEO, Ian W. Delaney on Corporate Social Responsibility

Sherritt International Corp. Chairman and CEO Ian W. Delaney (photo-Sherritt)

Ian W. Delaney’s message to stakeholders came from the Sherritt International Corporation 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

In 2009, Sherritt continued to maintain an enviable record in successfully managing the environmental, health and safety aspects of its business. We recognize that as a diversified natural resource company, our business by its very nature impacts both the natural and social environments of the countries and communities in which we operate.

The nature of our business also demands that we enter into and honour many long-term commitments in multiple jurisdictions in order to cultivate and maintain the social license we must rely upon to successfully conduct business over the long term. We work closely with governments, communities and many other stakeholders on an ongoing basis to demonstrate our commitment to social responsibility. We also demonstrate this long-term commitment through donations and other forms of community investment as well as active engagement of employees in many local initiatives.

Sherritt has always been a safe place to work. We regard this fact not only as being the ethical way to operate, but also as an integral part of operating efficiency. Operating efficiency means doing things right and that includes doing them safely. Cutting corners in environmental, health and safety matters is bad business. It can lead to human loss, reputational loss and ultimately financial loss. We best serve our investors and other stakeholders by conscientiously managing a safe workplace and maintaining our stewardship of the environment.

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Castro’s Favourite Capitalist- by Rachel Pulfer (Walrus Magazine, December, 2009)

The Walrus is a Canadian general interest magazine which publishes long form journalism on Canadian and international affairs, along with fiction and poetry by Canadian writers. It launched in September 2003, as an attempt to create a Canadian equivalent to American magazines such as Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker.

Will Sherritt International come to regret dealing with Communist Cuba? CEO Ian Delaney doesn’t think so.

The sun is rising over Old Havana, but the man standing at the balcony rail is in the shade. He gazes out over the city’s crumbling rooftops but seems oblivious to the sun-washed beauty of the harbour. His stare is blank, disengaged. He will give only his first name, Rodolfo. He is the operator of the camera obscura. One of many curiosities in the old port, the centuries-old technology uses a system of mirrors to project a 360-degree view of the exterior onto a bowl-shaped interior screen. Fidel Castro reportedly had the camera installed to ensure that he could see all parts of Havana from a protected vantage point. It’s now a tourist attraction.

“I was a teacher,” says Rodolfo. “I was earning less than 20 convertible pesos [around $25] a month. Then, last summer, I got on with Sherritt. With a bonus, my salary bumped up to 50 convertible pesos a month.” Unfortunately, his prosperity was short lived. Earlier this year, the project was cut. “If you know anyone at Sherritt, please talk to them,” he says. “Get them to start it back up.”

The camera obscura is now Rodolfo’s principal source of income. With a monthly salary of 16 convertible pesos, he is one of millions of Cubans who are barely hanging on. Last year, the country’s agricultural sector was knocked out, due to a particularly fierce hurricane season. That, and collapsing markets for Cuban commodities — primarily nickel, oil, and gas — plunged the island into its toughest economic crisis in a generation. With deficits soaring and cash reserves low, the government is delaying payments on profit-sharing agreements with foreign investors, even going so far as to cancel the one to which Rodolfo alludes. This has forced a difficult balancing act on Ian Delaney — Cuba’s biggest outside investor, Rodolfo’s former employer, and the man known on Bay Street as Fidel Castro’s favourite capitalist.

Delaney is CEO and chairman of Sherritt International, a multi-billion-dollar commodities conglomerate based in Toronto. Eighteen years ago, he made a deal with the Cuban Communist leader.

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Sherritt International at Eighty – Marching to a Different Drum – by Jane Werniuk (Part 2 of 2)

The Canadian Mining Journal is Canada’s first mining publication.

This article was originally published – February/2008

Coal division

Coal contributed 7% of Sherritt’s revenue in the first nine months of 2007.

2003 was a pivotal year for the coal industry in western Canada, when the two major ownership groups exchanged thermal and metallurgical coal assets. Through its ownership of Luscar Coal Income Fund, Sherritt consolidated its holdings in thermal coal, while metallurgical coal was consolidated in the Elk Valley Coal Partnership.

Sherritt International and the Ontario Teachers’Pension Plan each own 41.2% interest in the Royal Utilities Income Fund, which controls Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. Sherritt manages the operations at PMRL’s eight surface mines in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The production from these mines is almost all sold to nearby coal-fired electrical generating plants. As well, Sherritt and the Ontario Teachers’ each own half of the Coal Valley export thermal coal mine in Alberta, which is operated by Sherritt.

While coal was not initially one of Sherritt’s traditional core businesses, it is now a substantial part of the Sherritt puzzle. The company moves 500 million tonnes (t) of material each year to mine 40 million t of coal, making Sherritt the largest surface miner in Canada.

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Sherritt International at Eighty – Marching to a Different Drum – by Jane Werniuk (Part 1 of 2)

The Canadian Mining Journal is Canada’s first mining publication.

This article was originally published – February/2008

Sherritt International is a resources company built from the bricks of a Canadian nickel miner, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, shown by the timeline in this article. Despite the intervening decades and corporate upheavals, Sherritt is still a nickel company grounded in the strength of its research, technical innovation and operational expertise. But it has become international, and is aggressively focusing on growth in all its business units–metals, coal, power generation, and oil and gas.

In a recent two-hour interview with the company’s president and CEO Jowdat Waheed at its uptown Toronto head office, I learned that Sherritt has decided to get its story in front of the public, which prompted Waheed to invite me to visit the company’s metals, technology and coal offices and facilities in western Canada followed by a trip to see its Cuban assets, all in four days in early February. It is from this brief immersion that I bring you a snapshot of Sherritt International, today.

Metals division

This is by far the largest part of the company, bringing in 62% of Sherritt’s revenue and 80% of its operating earnings in the first nine months of 2007.

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A History of Sherritt – Fifty Years of Pressure Hydrometallurgy at Fort Saskatchewan – by M. E. Chalkley, P. Cordingley, G. Freeman, J. Budac, R. Krentz and H. Scheie (Part 5 of 5)

Application of Sherritt’s Pressure Hydrometallurgical Technology to Other Metals

Much of Sherritt’s metallurgical and product technology developed over the last 50 years can be traced back to work done during the development of the ammonia leach process.  Pressure leaching of sulphide ores and concentrates, using continuous horizontal autoclaves, provided the basis for a thriving pressure hydrometallurgical process licensing business which offered processes for treating nickel mattes and concentrates, zinc concentrates, and refractory gold ores and concentrates.  The nickel reduction process perfected in the Ottawa pilot plant was subsequently licensed worldwide.

During the early 1950’s, following the successful commissioning of the nickel refinery at Fort Saskatchewan, Sherritt utilized its laboratory and pilot plant facilities in Ottawa to look for other potential applications for pressure leaching processes in the metals industry (14).  Laboratory tests were carried out on the pressure leaching of uranium ores and on the pressure oxidation of refractory gold ores, where the oxidative pressure treatment proved an excellent method for oxidizing pyrite and arsenopyrite to liberate the gold for subsequent recovery.

Two additional leaching plants were built by Chemico to treat cobalt concentrates in the aftermath of the Korean War, when the cobalt price was artificially high, but both plants became uneconomic as the price of cobalt declined, and closed in the early 1960s.  A fourth pressure leaching plant was the Port Nickel plant, constructed by Freeport to treat the nickel-cobalt sulphide from Moa.

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A History of Sherritt – Fifty Years of Pressure Hydrometallurgy at Fort Saskatchewan – by M. E. Chalkley, P. Cordingley, G. Freeman, J. Budac, R. Krentz and H. Scheie (Part 4 of 5)

Pressure Hydrometallurgy at Moa

The acid pressure leach process for the treatment of low magnesium content lateritic ore has been in operation at the Pedro Sotto Alba plant in Moa, Holguin, Cuba since 1959.  The plant was originally constructed by Chemico for Moa Bay Mining Company, a subsidiary of Freeport Sulphur, but was taken over by the Cuban government in 1960.  The plant recommenced operations in 1961, under Cuban management.

Under Cuban management the production at Moa gradually increased and improvements were made to the recovery of nickel and cobalt.  In December 1994, Sherritt Inc. and General Nickel Co. S.A. announced the formation of a combined enterprise that included the Moa plant, now known as Moa Nickel S.A.   The nickel and cobalt sulphides produced by Moa Nickel S.A. (13) are transported to the nickel and cobalt refinery at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada now known as “Corefco” (The Cobalt Refinery Company Inc.), a second combined enterprise company, for processing to pure metal products.

At Moa, Nickel limonite ore is processed in a high-pressure acid leach to selectively dissolve nickel and cobalt from the ore.  Concentrated sulphuric acid is the lixiviant.

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