Archive | Potash/Phosphate

PotashCorp hires banks to lead sale of stake in Chilean lithium producer – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 24, 2017)

Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX, NYSE:POT), the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer by capacity, is said to have hired Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch to explore selling its stake in a Chilean lithium producer.

PotashCorp, which holds 32% of Chile’s Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM) and has three of eight board seats, is evaluating selling its part in the company to secure approval for its friendly merger with smaller rival Agrium (TSX, NYSE:AGU).

PotashCorp and Agrium said earlier this month their link-up would close several months later than previously anticipated as regulators in China and India put as a condition the divestment of certain minority interests the Canadian potash giant owns. Continue Reading →

‘Is it realistic to say it would be 50 per cent? No’: Mine workforce parity not likely in next decade, K+S says – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 18, 2017)

The company behind Saskatchewan’s newest potash mine employs a greater percentage of women than many of its competitors in the traditionally male-dominated industry, but its senior manager of human resources says achieving gender parity in the next decade will be a tall order.

Maryann Deutscher said that while K+S Potash Canada’s (KSPC) superintendent of primary mining is a woman and there are other similar success stories in the company, it will take time for perceptions about traditional and non-traditional roles to fade and a larger pool of women willing to work in engineering and the trades to develop.

“Is it realistic to say it would be 50 per cent? No, it’s probably not realistic because your pool’s just not there yet, right?” Deutscher said Tuesday in an interview before adding: “When you’re thinking 10 years, there’s people that have to be in those trades, in those operator-type roles now … Will it grow? It’d be great to see it even grow by 10 per cent and get up to that 25-30 per cent, for sure.” Continue Reading →

PotashCorp mulls selling stake in Chilean lithium producer SQM — report – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 13, 2017)

Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX, NYSE:POT), the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer by capacity, may sell its stake in Chilean lithium miner SQM to secure approval for its friendly merger with smaller rival Agrium (TSX, NYSE:AGU).

PotashCorp, which holds 32% percent of SQM and has three of eight board seats, said earlier this week the Canadian competition bureau had okayed the merger as it concluded the transaction would not lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of local competition for products sold by both companies, including potash fertilizer, dry or liquid phosphate fertilizer and nitric acid.

The parties, however, warned the link-up is expected to close several months later than previously anticipated due in part to authorities in China and India who want the divestment of certain minority interests owned by PotashCorp. Continue Reading →

Merger of PotashCorp., Agrium slowed by regulatory hurdles – by Ian Bickis (Toronto Star – September 8, 2017)

Canadian Press – CALGARY—The friendly merger of PotashCorp. and Agrium Inc. is now expected to close several months later than the previous target date due to concerns raised by regulatory bodies in four countries.

The two Canadian fertilizer producers say they have made progress on the approval process in all jurisdictions, but the deal likely won’t close until the end of the year, rather than midyear as originally expected.

When the deal was announced last September, it was estimated the combined company would have an enterprise value of $36 billion (U.S.) by joining PotashCorp’s extensive mining operations with Agrium’s mining and global retail network. Continue Reading →

Premier Wall says he expects head-office pledge to be honoured after PotashCorp-Agrium merger – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 31, 2017)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he expects that the “spirit and the letter” of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s pledge to the province in the wake of BHP Billiton’s failed takeover bid will be reflected in Nutrien Ltd., the company that will be formed when PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. merge later this year.

To that extent, the outgoing premier said, Saskatchewan’s new energy and resources minister Nancy Heppner will in the coming weeks contact Saskatoon-based PotashCorp and Agrium, which is headquartered in Calgary, to ensure the new firm’s head office will in fact be located in Saskatchewan.

“We want to ensure that Saskatchewan, as the head office for this company, has the maximum number of head office jobs, that the presence in this province is indisputably the head office,” Wall told reporters Wednesday at Government House in Regina after shuffling his 17-member cabinet. Continue Reading →

Ex-PotashCorp CEO says industry lacks leadership, calls Agrium merger ‘sad’ – by Ian Vandaelle (Business Network News – August 28, 2017)

Bill Doyle is decrying the state of his former field, arguing the potash industry lacks strong leadership amid persistently weak prices. In an interview on BNN Monday, the former Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan chief executive said the industry has sacrificed prices at the altar of volumes, chasing larger market share instead of seeking to firm up market conditions for the underlying commodity.

“There’s just no one that’s stepped up to the plate that’s taking a leadership role,” he said. “Price is so much more important than volume and producing, according to the market. It’s one thing to pay lip service to it, it’s another thing to actually have the intestinal fortitude to do it.”

Prices of the fertilizer ingredient collapsed after Belarus’s Uralkali broke up the production cartel in 2013, effectively leaving producers to their own devices instead of seeking to balance supply and demand. Under Doyle, PotashCorp was considered the swing producer in the space, and was quick to curtail production when potash demand plummeted in 2009. Continue Reading →

K+S opens west coast terminal to ship potash from Legacy mine (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 28, 2017)

Just over a year after its new $4.1-billion Legacy mine began producing potash, K+S Potash Canada has opened the west coast facility that will allow it to ship potassium-laced salts extracted in Saskatchewan to customers in Asia and South America.

The Port Moody, B.C. storage and handling facility is the product of a 2014 agreement between K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) — a subsidiary of the Kassel, Germany-based K+S Group — and Pacific Coast Terminals Co. Ltd. (PCT).

According to the Saskatoon-based potash miner, the deal resulted in modifications of PCT’s existing facility and the construction of a new storage building capable of holding 160,000 tonnes of potash. The solution mine can produce up to 2.86 million tonnes per year. Continue Reading →

BHP explores $2 billion stake sale in Canada potash mine: sources – by John Tilak and Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters U.S. – August 25, 2017)

TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd is considering selling a 25 percent interest in its Canadian potash mine project, a stake that could be worth close to $2 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The move comes as activist investor Elliott Management Corp has been pushing the company for changes. BHP is working with an investment bank for the potential stake sale in its partly built Jansen, Saskatchewan potash project, the sources said this week.

For BHP, the move will help share the risk of developing the mine and reduce its exposure to the project, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Continue Reading →

Editorial painted misleading picture of mining – by Jim Taylor (Gainesville Sun – August 24, 2017)

Jim Taylor is a local attorney who lives in Bradford County and represents HPS Enterprises.

You might be surprised to learn that phosphate mining in Florida first started here in Alachua County more than 130 years ago. Phosphate nutrients are just as important for farmers to grow the food we eat as they were back then, but the processes we use to mine this crucial resource have undergone significant advancements.

That’s why it was disappointing to read The Sun’s recent editorial, “Mine poses threat to river, aquifer,” which paints an incomplete and misleading picture of the phosphate mining plans that have been submitted to officials in Union and Bradford counties.

The families pursuing this opportunity are local residents who have owned this land for decades. They are part of our community. They have a vested interest in returning the land to productive use for wildlife, agriculture and other purposes after mining has taken place, and they want to make sure our area’s precious natural environment and quality of life are protected for generations to come. Continue Reading →

Slumping fertilizer producers gear up to fill truck demand – by Rod Nickel (Reuters U.s. – August 24, 2017)

(Reuters) – Fertilizer companies, coping with a stubborn price slump, are banking on tighter emissions standards for diesel trucks in the United States and Europe to buoy their balance sheets.

Nitrogen fertilizer producers including CF Industries Holdings Inc and Agrium Inc are accelerating output of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a water and urea solution used to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide. The niche market offers premiums of $50 to $100 per short ton over the crop nutrients they sell at prices that are depressed due to excessive supplies.

DEF demand has risen since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set tighter emissions controls in 2010 for diesel trucks made by Volvo [VOLVO.UL], Daimler AG and others. The European Union, in which DEF is known as AdBlue, introduced similar legislation in 2013. Continue Reading →

BHP’s US$14B Saskatchewan mine delay comes amid dark outlook for potash producers – by Jesse Snyder (Financial Post -August 23, 2017)

BHP Billiton Ltd.’s decision to delay a major potash mine in Saskatchewan comes amid a persistent weakening of demand for fertilizer, leading producers to shelve major investments and ink sizeable mergers with competitors to boost revenues.

On Tuesday, Melbourne-based BHP announced it would delay its multi-billion dollar Jansen potash mine, located about 150 kilometres east of Saskatoon. Analysts estimate the project could cost as much as US$14 billion to complete.

The decision comes amid a shaky outlook for Canadian potash producers, who have been forced to scale back major mining developments in the face of low commodity prices. It will also delay BHP’s entrance into the potash sector, as the company faces intense pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. to shed some of its underperforming assets. Continue Reading →

Brad Wall Retiring From Politics After Almost A Decade As Saskatchewan Premier – by Lauren Krugel (Huffington Post – August 10, 2017)

His fierce opposition to Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton’s hostile
takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan in 2010 made him a folk hero of
sorts. More recently, he has been an ardent champion of pipeline projects that
would connect Canada’s crude oil to global markets.

REGINA — One of Canada’s most high-profile premiers who rose to national prominence for his down-to-earth style, sharp wit and, more recently, his willingness to lock horns with Ottawa is retiring from politics after a decade in office.

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, who is 51, said he made the decision at the end of June after talking it over with his wife Tami. “I think renewal will be good for the province. I think renewal and a different perspective will be good for the government. I think renewal will be good for my party as well,” he said Thursday.

“Whatever I do after this — and I currently have no leads or prospects — this job will be the honour of my working life.” Wall said he will stay on as premier and Swift Current member of the legislature until his successor is chosen in a leadership race. Continue Reading →

USGS Assesses Billions of Potential Potash Resources in Ukraine (United States Geological Survey – August 3, 2017)

The Dnieper-Donets Basin of Ukraine could contain an estimated 4.3 billion tons of undiscovered potassium-bearing salt according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey assessment. In addition, previous estimates show that the nearby Pripyat Basin of Belarus could contain 80–200 billion metric tons of undiscovered potash resources.

The term “potash” refers to potassium-bearing, water-soluble salts like potassium chloride derived from evaporite basins, where seawater evaporated and precipitated various salt compounds. In 2010, world potash production was about 33 million metric tons, mostly for use in fertilizers.

Potash resources are often expressed in terms of the amount of potassium oxide (K2O) that can be obtained from the potassium-bearing salt. For instance, the 4.3 billion tons of potassium-bearing salt in the Dnieper-Donets Basin is the equivalent of 840 million tons K2O, while the 80–200 billion metric tons of potassium-bearing salt in the Pripyat Basin could contain 15-30 billion metric tons of K2O. Continue Reading →

BHP’s Canadian potash plan not a done deal – by Matt Chambers (The Australian – July 31, 2017)

It is unlikely that BHP’s latest $US4.7 billion ($5.8bn) plan for its Jansen potash project in Canada — which chief executive Andrew Mackenzie is aiming to have in ­directors’ hands for approval within a year — will go ahead with­out ­substantial improvements to ­design or the ­market outlook.

Mackenzie put the big Canadian potash project back on the drawing board as BHP’s major medium-term mining growth option, alongside a Spence copper mine expansion in Chile, just two months ago, after previously flagging a slowdown and even mothballing of the project. So it is expected to be a focal point of briefings after BHP delivers an expected full-year profit of $US7.2bn later this month.

At Spence, a $US2bn underground mine approval is looking very likely in the next few weeks, as copper sentiment is running hot and BHP has cut a previous cost estimate by a third, boosting the expected rate of return to around 15 per cent. Continue Reading →

Fertilizer maker Potash Corp beats revenue expectations – by Ahmed Farhatha and Rod Nickel (Reuters Canada – July 27, 2017)

(Reuters) – Canada’s Potash Corp of Saskatchewan reported bigger-than-expected revenue on Thursday as it sold more potash at higher prices compared with a year earlier, marking a slow recovery in the oversupplied market.

Potash prices have rebounded modestly since last year but remain low, under pressure from bloated global capacity and soft crop prices. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based fertilizer producer’s revenue rose 6.4 percent to $1.11 billion, beating the average estimate of $1.09 billion.

Potash Corp’s results were mostly in line with expectations, but the company’s second-half prospects may not be bolstered by improving potash market conditions, disappointing some investors, Citi analyst P.J. Juvekar said. Continue Reading →