Archive | Potash/Phosphate

Encanto Potash and Muskowekwan First Nation sign new mining regulation agreement – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – February 28, 2017)

Encanto Potash Corp. has signed an agreement with Muskowekwan First Nation and the provincial and federal governments that it says will pave the way for construction of its proposed potash mine on the reserve northeast of Regina.

The agreement is expected to lead to the first First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), legislation that applies existing provincial rules to large-scale projects on First Nations land, the Toronto-based company said in a news release.

“By achieving this milestone, the first ever for such a planned large scale operation in Canada, we have been breaking entirely new ground,” Muskowekwan Chief Reginald Bellerose said in a statement. Continue Reading →

World’s biggest miner hasn’t given up hope for potash – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 21, 2017)

BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT), the largest mining company by market capitalization, sees potash as a key commodity in which to base its future growth despite prices are still hovering just above $210 a tonne, less than a half what they were only five years ago.

“Our preference long term is to grow in oil and copper, then possibly potash,” the firm’s chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie said when releasing first half of the year results Tuesday.

BHP seems to be in no rush to advance its massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. For years the company has been sinking shafts and installing some infrastructure on site, but has not fully committed itself to the project, nor received board approval for the mine. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 4-Potash slump drags on as competition overheats – by Rod Nickel (Reuters U.S. – January 26, 2017)

Jan 26, 2017 – The deepest slump in a decade for the oversupplied potash fertilizer market may abate only slightly in 2017, major producers say, and could take years to correct due to the imminent startup of new mines.

Canada’s Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc , the biggest fertilizer producer, forecast a much less profitable year on Thursday than analysts expected, and reported a surprisingly big drop in quarterly profit.

Potash prices are hovering around their lowest levels since 2007, amid bloated capacity and weakening farm incomes. Adding to miners’ problems, new low-cost mines are scheduled to begin production. Continue Reading →

[Florida phosphate mining] Mosaic wants to rezone 3,595 acres from agriculture to extraction – by Dale White (Sarasota Herald Tribune – January 25, 2017)

MANATEE COUNTY – At what is expected to be a contentious public hearing Thursday, the Manatee County Commission will consider Mosaic Fertilizer’s request to expand one of its phosphate mines.

Commissioners have already received hundreds of pages of correspondence from supporters and opponents of the Wingate East mine proposal, as well as numerous phone messages. (Read some of the public’s comments here.)

Because they want to attend a meeting at which the Palmetto City Commission is to approve its commitments for a proposed hotel adjoining the Bradenton Area Convention Center, the commissioners intend to pause the proceedings at 5 p.m. If the hearing has not been concluded and they have not rendered a decision, the commissioners will resume the hearing at 10 a.m. Monday. Continue Reading →

Vancouver junior inks $1 billion a year potash deal – by Frik Els ( – January 18, 2017)

Encanto Potash Corp. (CVE:EPO) on Wednesday announced the finalization of a blockbuster agreement with India’s national farmers co-operative to supply a minimum of 5 million tonnes of potash per year for the next twenty years.

Vancouver-based Encanto’s is advancing a $2.9 billion potash project in the Saskatchewan province of Canada in a joint venture with the Muskowekwan First Nation.

Encanto President Stavros Daskos said the deal is “clearly a defining moment for our company and the industry. India imports 100% of its potash and is susceptible to cartel-like practices from producers that can hurt its national food security.” Continue Reading →

Encanto Potash Corp. one step closer to financing $3B mine on Sask. First Nation – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 6, 2017)

A junior mining company with plans to build a potash mine on a reserve northeast of Regina says two new 20-year agreements to sell a total of seven million tonnes of potash annually bring it one step closer to financing and building the massive facility.

The agreements, known as offtakes, with “bankable” India-based firms should help Encanto Potash Corp. secure the $3 billion it needs to build the mine on Muskowekwan First Nation, said the Vancouver-based company’s director of corporate development.

“We think that with this offtake, we can get our corporate financing,” Gary Deathe said, adding that while no junior mining company has successfully financed a potash operation into production, that is “100 per cent” Encanto’s plan. Continue Reading →

Phosphate industry has a large footprint in Florida – by Zach Murdock (Sarasota Herald-Tribune – December 20, 2016)

SARASOTA – Four area environmental groups announced Tuesday that they plan to sue two federal agencies over approvals of more than 50,000 acres for phosphate mining across central Florida.

The groups contend the operations “irretrievably damage habitat for imperiled species, threaten water quality and forever change Florida’s landscape” in and around critical watersheds that are a major source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of Southwest Florida residents, including Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The joint lawsuit will be filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, ManaSota-88, People for Protecting Peace River and Suncoast Waterkeeper against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to the notice of intent to sue issued Tuesday morning. Continue Reading →

114 workers safe after underground fire at Sask. potash mine (CBC News Saskatoon – December 20, 2016)

More than 100 workers at PotashCorp’s Allan mine are safe this morning after a fire underground. Yesterday afternoon, at around 3:30 p.m. CST, a fire started in a front-end loader in the mine. Nearby workers quickly put the fire out, but the area had already filled with smoke.

After fire alarms were triggered, all 114 workers underground at the time were sent to shelters while the smoke was cleared. “Fortunately, they got the fire out quickly,” said PotashCorp spokesperson Randy Burton. “It can become serious depending on the amount of smoke generated.”

Emergency response teams were sent out to vent the area and check on the safety of the workers. No one was hurt, although one worker was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Continue Reading →

Mosaic to Buy Vale’s Fertilizer Business for $2.5 Billion – by Paul Kiernan and Benjamin Parkin (Wall Street Journal – December 19, 2016)

RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilian mining firm Vale SA said Monday it will sell most of its fertilizer business to U.S.-based The Mosaic Company for around $2.5 billion, the latest step in its effort to pay down debt amid the commodity downturn.

The deal brings an end to Vale’s one-time hopes of capitalizing on global population growth by producing the fertilizers needed to cultivate crops.

For Mosaic, the acquisition represents a key foothold in one of the world’s largest fertilizer markets and should help feed existing distribution networks in Brazil, said Floris Bielders, Mosaic’s Brazil president. Continue Reading →

Everything you need to know about Saskatchewan’s potash industry cutbacks – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 24, 2016)

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s announcement that it plans to permanently reduce production at its Cory mine west of Saskatoon, resulting in 140 layoffs, and temporarily halt production at two other operations, is the latest in a long string of industry cutbacks this year. Here’s everything you need to know about Saskatchewan’s potash industry, and the challenges it faces.

Q: What does the province’s potash industry look like?

A: It’s dominated by three companies — PotashCorp, Mosaic Co. and Agrium Inc. — operating nine mines. A tenth, K+S Potash Canada’s Legacy project, is in the commissioning phase and expected to reach full production next year.

Together, these mines have a capacity of more than 30 million tonnes, or about half of total global demand. BHP Billiton has said its Jansen mine — which, at eight million tonnes per year, could be the world’s largest — could come online in the decade following 2020. Continue Reading →

Potash Corp. cuts jobs, Canadian potash output as prices sag – by Ian McGugan (Globe and Mail – November 24, 2016)

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. is slashing 140 jobs at its potash mine in Cory, Sask., as it continues to struggle with a glut of its namesake product. The company, which boasts the world’s largest capacity to produce fertilizer, has been hammered by falling prices as a wave of new potash production has overwhelmed global demand.

It is responding to the dismal market by cutting output, mothballing a large portion of its productive capacity and focusing on its lowest cost mines. It is also searching for potential synergies by merging with rival fertilizer producer Agrium Inc., which has a direct-to-farmer retail network.

Potash Corp. said Wednesday that it would trim production at the Cory mine to 0.8 million tonnes a year from 1.4 million. The cuts will mean the loss of 100 full-time and 40 part-time jobs. Continue Reading →

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. History (1975 – 1997) – by International Directory of Company Histories

For a large selection of corporate histories click: International Directory of Company Histories

Company Perspectives: In a world eager for plant nutrients, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PCS) offers double strength: by capacity, it is the world’s largest potash company and third largest phosphate producer. Export-oriented, it is a global pace-setter.

Company History: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. is the world’s largest producer of potash and the third largest producer of phosphate. Potash and phosphate are mined for their essential nutrients, potassium and phosphorus, which are used in making fertilizer. Potassium is used to increase crop yields, raise the food value of certain plants, and aids in resisting diseases leading to crop failure.

Phosphorus, which is instrumental in the process of plant photosynthesis, is necessary for the normal growth of either an animal or plant, and is an essential ingredient for its maintenance and repair. Through an aggressive acquisition policy, the company has been able to make its presence felt throughout the world. Continue Reading →

Southern Africa: Phosphate Mining Firms Set Sights On Southern Africa’s Sea Floor – by Mark Olalde ( – Novmeber 18, 2016)

Johannesburg — A persistent fear of diminishing phosphorus reserves has pushed mining companies to search far and wide for new sources. Companies identified phosphate deposits on the ocean floor and are fighting for mining rights around the world.

Countries in southern Africa have the potential to set an international precedent by allowing the first offshore mining operations. South Africa specifically is one of the first countries on the continent to begin legislating its marine economy to promote sustainable development, and questions surround mining’s place in this new economy.

While the fishing and coastal tourism industries account for slightly more than 1.4 billion dollars of GDP, the potential economic benefits from marine mining remain unclear. Continue Reading →

Namibia U-turn on phosphate mining – by Timo Shihepo (Southern Times – November 7, 2016)

WINDHOEK–NAMIBIA’S environment minister, Pohamba Shifeta, this week succumbed to public pressure and temporarily suspended the decision to issue an Environmental Impact Assessment clearance certificate for marine mining off the Namibian coast.

The controversial decision to grant Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP) permission to start mining was also subject to a legal suit by the country’s fishing industry before Shifeta’s U-turn on Wednesday.

Shifeta has denied any wrong-doing on his part and that of his ministry. He attributed his change of heart to “public interest”. The Minister of Environment and Tourism maintained that all the procedures were followed when awarding a clearance certificate, which sparked a highly-charged public debate. Continue Reading →

A Closer Look Into Florida’s Phosphate Mining Industry – by Avinash Pudota ( – November 6, 2016)

A Short History

Phosphate is a natural, non-renewable resource that is obtained by mining phosphate-containing minerals. Florida’s phosphate rock deposits are believed to have originated when conditions in the seawater caused dissolved phosphorus to solidify and form the sediment that is mined today (1). Sea life also played a big part in forming the sediment deposits.

A Army Corps of Engineers’ (5) captain first discovered River Pebble Phosphate along the Peace River, Florida in the late nineteenth century. Mining the phosphate began soon after. The Florida miners had no mechanized excavation equipment. That means early mining was by hand using wheelbarrows, wagons, picks and shovels.

The chore of mining was slow and labor intensive, but the phosphate pebble did show promise. Interest in this pebble increases and the phosphate industry was born. The early twentieth century brought mechanized excavation equipment like steam shovels to the Florida phosphate mines, but steam shovels didn’t last long. Continue Reading →