Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New potash mine opens in June

The first new potash mine in 40 years is scheduled to open the end of next month in Saskatchewan.

It is the biggest project K+S AG of Germany has undertaken, and it’s coming on line with prices much lower than when it began digging the multi-billion-dollar mine five years ago.

"To tell you the truth, we made the investment decision at a time when prices were significantly higher," said chief executive officer Norbert Steiner during an opening ceremony at the site near Bethune, about 70 kilometres north of Regina.

"But still, we are of the opinion that the cost that we will have for the production of our products here in Saskatchewan will be significantly lower compared to the prices that we have right now in the industry and, therefore, we foresee that we have a positive (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) already in 2018 and of course the better years will come afterwards," he said.

The company aims to reach capacity of two million tonnes by the end of this year.

The mining technique involves dissolving potash in water, pumping it 1.5 kilometres to the surface where the minerals are recovered.

K+S will not be joining the export cartel that the federal and Saskatchewan governments condone for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Mosaic and Agrium. 

Potash Corp. is in the process of buying Agrium, the world's largest fertilizer retailer.