ESTERHAZY, Saskatchewan -- The Mosaic Company announced Monday that at approximately 9 a.m. CST, rescue teams had safely evacuated all 72 mine workers from inside the Esterhazy potash mine.

"Everyone is now safe and accounted for and with their families. All of us at Mosaic are very thankful for this positive outcome that we've worked very hard to achieve," said Mosaic president and CEO Fritz Corrigan. "The reason I can give you this good news is because our mine workers followed our safety procedures to the letter, and our rescue teams performed in exemplary fashion."

Early Sunday, a fire of unknown origin broke out inside Mosaic's Esterhazy K-2 potash mine. Mine officials identified the fire quickly and deployed Mosaic's emergency safety procedures that directed mine workers to underground "refuge stations" equipped with oxygen, food, water, and other supplies to protect them while emergency teams worked to extinguish the blaze and test air quality for safe evacuation.

The Esterhazy mine site, which opened in 1962, is the largest potash mining facility in the world. The mine spans a 20-by-30 kilometer area approximately 3,100 feet below ground, and there are some 3,000 miles of tunnels within the mine.

Before the mine reopens, Mosaic will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the fire and assess damages and cleanup needs. A restart date has not been determined.

The Mosaic Company is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. For the global agriculture industry, Mosaic is a single source of phosphates, potash, nitrogen fertilizers and feed ingredients.

SOURCE: The Mosaic Company via PR Newswire