First new Canadian potash mine in 40 years

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The first new potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 40 years is now being built by K+S Group of Kassel, Germany. The company last built a new potash mine in the province in the 1970s. The $3.25 billion mine is being built near Bethun.

“Over the next year, K+S will be spending $3.25 billion to bring this project to life. The Legacy project will create more than six million hours of direct employment in construction and another million hours through indirect employment. On average, there will be approximately 650 workers on this site throughout the four-year construction phases, peaking at more than 1,500 workers in 2013 and 2014,” Nobert Steiner, CEO of K+S Group was quoted as saying at the recent groundbreaking ceremony, the Regina Leader-Post reported.

The new mine is projected to produce 2.86 million tons annually of potash. The first production is anticipated to begin in 2015. Eventually, the mine could be expanded to produce 4 million tons of capacity.

With the company’s construction beginning on the new potash mine, many have wondered if K+S would now join Canpotex, the Canadian export consortium for potash. However, K+S said it is unlikely it will join Canpotex due to being bound by European anti-trust laws.

“But even though it doesn’t see a future with Canpotex, K+S has no appetite to chase market share by overproducing at the expense of price, and intends to gauge when to add further phases of construction by market conditions,” Steiner told Reuters.

Future potash demand hinges on demand from population growth in China and India and those country’s demand for meat.

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