Category Archives: potash

Saskatchewan’s economy will lead the country in GDP growth in 2018 and 2019 – RBC

RBC projecting Sask. economy to rebound in 2018 and 2019

Projecting a 2.7% growth in both years due to agriculture, with help from oil and gas

CBC News Posted: Dec 12, 2017 10:30 AM CT Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017 10:30 AM CT

Rebounds in the agricultural and mining sectors along with rising investment spending will be the main factors behind the economic rebound in 2018 and 2019, according to the RBC forecast.

Rebounds in the agricultural and mining sectors along with rising investment spending will be the main factors behind the economic rebound in 2018 and 2019, according to the RBC forecast. (Courtesy Paul Dornstauder)

Saskatchewan’s economy will lead the country in GDP growth in 2018 and 2019, according to RBC’s economic forecast.


RBC is projecting a growth of 2.7 per cent both years, if all goes well.

The economy is expected to receive a boost from the agriculture sector, with some help from oil and gas in the strengthening energy sector.

“Our view is that rebounds in the agricultural and mining sectors along with rising investment spending will be the main factors accelerating overall GDP growth over the next two years,” the report says.

Capital spending and the construction industry may have a good year, due to improvement in the mining sector as well.

Potash, after a decline in production in 2016, has increased so far this year thanks to a strong global demand and key contracts with China and India, the report says.

In addition, the bank is forecasting employment in the province to rise by half a percentage point and the unemployment rate to remain at 5.7 per cent next year.

Equalization payments – 2018-19 – something’s wrong with this system

As Brad Wall posted on Facebook . . .

Equilization payments 2018-19

Quebec is cutting income taxes, sending cheques to parents, and will balance their budget.

Wondering where they got the money?

This year, Quebec is receiving $11.7 BILLION in equalization, which makes up 11% of their total revenue. That’s $650 MILLION more than last year.

Saskatchewan taxpayers are contributing $580 million to equalization just this year and again receive ZERO dollars in equalization as our finances struggle with the challenge of stubbornly low commodity prices.

Something isn’t right.

Saskatchewan Mining Association supports Government of Saskatchewan’s Climate Change Strategy


Monday, December 4, 2017


Regina:  The Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA) is supportive of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Climate Change Plan which was released earlier today.  While the Saskatchewan Plan has a lower emissions threshold than the Federal Climate Change Plan, the sector-based, multi-faceted approach will ensure the ‘Made in Saskatchewan Plan’ is effective in reducing GHG emissions while ensuring the sustainability of Saskatchewan communities.

As Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy, the Saskatchewan Climate Change Plan features flexible compliance mechanisms, including adoption of innovative and best in class technology that will allow mining to continue to be a pillar of Saskatchewan’s economy while continuing to provide clean energy and food to the world.

The Saskatchewan mining sector is particularly sensitive to a price on carbon as it represents an additional direct cost for producers that international competitors aren’t paying. “Ensuring the mining sector remains globally competitive is vitally important to Saskatchewan, particularly in this period of low commodity prices,” said Pam Schwann, SMA President.    “We need to be mindful that, as we work to reduce GHG emissions, mining investments and jobs are not being exported to other international jurisdictions that don’t have the robust environment and safety regulatory framework that exists in Saskatchewan and Canada.”

Saskatchewan’s mining operations account for 3% of provincial GHG emissions. “Our members are committed to bringing our expertise to the table and working with the province to reduce GHG emissions from the mining sector.”  said Schwann.


About SMA

Saskatchewan Mining Association is an industry-driven organization representing the mining and mineral exploration industry with over 25 mining operations in the province.

SMA advocates on behalf of members on issues related to provincial and federal regulatory changes, develops and supports educational outreach programs, organizes and hosts public outreach and membership events.  Please visit


For more information please contact:

Pam Schwann, P. Geo, MSc

President, Saskatchewan Mining Association; (306) 757-9505

Young men in Sask. making more with apprenticeships than bachelor’s degrees: Stats Can

Young men in Sask. making more with apprenticeships than bachelor’s degrees: Stats Can

Sask. deviates from Canada-wide trend, in which those with apprenticeship certificates make 11% less

By Micki Cowan, CBC News Posted: Nov 29, 2017 11:54 AM CT Last Updated: Nov 29, 2017 6:12 PM CT

The number of young men getting apprenticeship certificates in Canada jumped nearly three percentage points since 2006.

The number of young men getting apprenticeship certificates in Canada jumped nearly three percentage points since 2006. (Shutterstock)

Young men in Saskatchewan are increasingly looking to make their fortunes in the trades, according to a new Statistics Canada report released Wednesday — and they seem to be making a bit more here than those with university undergraduate degrees.

Statistics Canada found that last year, 7.8 per cent of men in the country had an apprenticeship certificate, up from 4.9 per cent in 2006.

The proportion of men between 25 to 34 with certificates was even higher in resource-rich Prairie provinces like Saskatchewan.

Here, 11.9 per cent of young men had trades certificates last year, which was the second-highest proportion among provinces in Canada.

Anne Neufeld, vice-president academic of Saskatchewan Polytechnic, said the numbers indicate that more people are seeing the trades as a viable career option.

“There are many people who really like to work with their hands — they like to work outdoors, for example. So these trades opportunities are very, very attractive for these individuals, and their long-term career prospects are very, very strong,” Neufeld said.

She said 94 per cent of graduates from Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s programs have jobs within six months.

“So we’re not only attracting them, we’re graduating them, they’re finding well-paid jobs and they’re staying in the province to support the economy,” she said.

Fortune seeking

In Saskatchewan, the report found men were also making more money with apprenticeship certificates than with bachelor’s degrees — bucking the Canadian trend.

The median annual earnings for apprenticeship certificate holders in Saskatchewan was $86,059, compared with $84,825 for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Neufeld said Saskatchewan Polytechnic graduates’ starting salaries are just under $50,000 per year.

Canada-wide, men with apprenticeship certificates earned 11 per cent less than men with bachelor’s degrees.

Women’s trades stats lower

The percentage of women with apprenticeship certificates across the country is still much lower than men. According to the Stats Can report, that number has been stable since 2006 at less than two per cent.

Saskatchewan has more women with trades training, but the proportion dropped in the past decade from 2.7 per cent to 2.3 per cent. However, more women have a bachelor’s degree or a more advanced degree, with that number going from 24.6 per cent to 35 per cent.

‘We need to first create the role models.’– Anne Neufeld, Sask. Polytechnic

Neufeld said her school is prioritizing getting more women into the trades, although she said that takes time.

She noted that she is the first female vice-president academic the school has ever had.

She said boys often have an uncle or father in the trades they can look up to.

“Our goal is that we can have young girls and women who would have an aunt, a mother, an older sister in that field — so we need to first create the role models, and then I believe that will attract more girls and younger women into this fabulous career choice,” she said.

One method the school is using is summer camps that allow school-aged girls to give carpentry or welding a try.

Across Canada, women with apprenticeships had lower earnings than those with degrees, according to Statistics Canada.

The report said this shows women are apprenticing in lower-paying trades. Nearly three in 10 women chose hairstyling as their apprenticeship, with median earnings of $34,319.

Oil over $58 and Potash shipper Canpotex fully committed through February 2018

WTI Nov 23 8am

NOVEMBER 22, 2017

BRIEF-Potash shipper Canpotex fully committed through February 2018

Reuters Staff

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Canpotex Ltd, a potash export company owned by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc said in a press release on Wednesday:

* Potash volumes are fully committed through February 2018

* Asia, Latin America spot potash prices firming, reflecting strong demand Further company coverage: (Reporting By Rod Nickel)

Nebraska approves alternative route for TransCanada’s Keystone XL

Nebraska approves alternative route for TransCanada’s Keystone XL



Kinder Morgan pipe

NOVEMBER 20, 2017

TransCanada Corp. has received a new hurdle in its effort to complete its $8-billion (U.S.) Keystone XL pipeline after Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved an alternative to the company’s preferred route through the state.

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission ruled on Monday that TransCanada’s Keystone XL can be built along a “mainline” route, which shifts the line east of its preferred path.

The company announced earlier this month that it had secured adequate commitments from crude oil shippers on the proposed line. TransCanada must now assess it will proceed with construction given the approval of the mainline route.

Keystone XL will deliver up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., where it will connect with an existing pipeline network to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Alberta oil producers are hopeful that added pipeline capacity will accommodate expanding supply and bring them better prices and cheaper transportation costs.

TransCanada has been attempting to win approval for Keystone XL for nearly 10 years; it was turned down by then-president Barack Obama in 2015, only to be revived by President Donald Trump last March.

The Keystone XL project has faced a barrage of criticism from environmental activists and some landowners for nearly a decade. Activists – including some Indigenous leaders – are threatening to mount mass protests against the pipeline.

At the hearing before the commission, TransCanada argued its preferred route was far superior to the one that the commission approved on Monday. It said its preferred path had fewer ecological sensitive areas, fewer stream crossings and crosses the range of fewer threatened or endangered species.

The company will now have to obtain easements from landowners, after securing rights from 90 per cent of landowners along its preferred route. The mainline alternative is also longer which, in additional to other factors, will add to the costs. As well, it is unclear whether the federal approval for the KXL project covers the route approved by the state commission.

“If the Keystone XL pipeline were to follow the mainline in its entirety, it would require considerably greater length in the overall pipeline route than the preferred route currently uses,” the company argued in its submission to the commission. “This additional length would cause greater environmental impact and render the route inferior to the preferred route.”

Despite the hurdles, some analysts hailed the decision as a qualified victory for TransCanada.

“Nebraska’s decision today greatly diminishes the political risk for the project, likely clearing the way for increased volumes of Western Canadian heavy crude to reach the Gulf Coast,” Zachary Rogers, analyst at Wood Mackenzie consultancy, said in a note. “The pipeline’s commercial viability is strengthened as declining heavy oil production in Mexico and ongoing Venezuelan risk has recently tightened the heavy-crude market in the Gulf Coast.”

BHP Jansen – timeline clarification

BHP says Jansen will be ‘the first mine in Canada that’s truly attractive to women’


Published on: November 9, 2017 | Last Updated: November 9, 2017 6:00 AM CST

BHP VP potash Giles Hellyer

BHP vice president of potash operations Giles Hellyer speaks in Saskatoon on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. MICHELLE BERG /SASKATOON STARPHOENIX

Amid efforts to achieve a gender-balanced workforce, BHP says its massive Jansen potash mine under construction east of Saskatoon will be the first in Canada that is “truly attractive to women.”

Technology used to make the mine more efficient and cost-effective is also expected to better serve a future workforce that is 50 per cent female, said Giles Hellyer, BHP’s vice-president of potash operations.

“The traditional way we think and view mines does not have to be that way,” the 33-year BHP veteran said after addressing a North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) lunch event.

“The nature of the work will change, and I think it will become much, much more interesting to all people of all demographics,” Hellyer said, alluding to the low number of women working in the province’s mining industry.

That means the facility — which is expected to have a final price tag of US$14 billion — will have everything from an equal number of men’s and women’s washrooms to automated mining machines that can be controlled remotely, he said.

BHP has so far committed around US$3.8 billion to Jansen, of which US$2.6 billion is being spent to sink two kilometre-deep mine shafts and build surface infrastructure — work that is now 73 per cent complete.

Located 100 kilometres from Saskatoon, the Jansen project has been plagued with uncertainty. BHP said in August that its board won’t give the project final approval this year, and that the company could wait until markets improve, bring on a partner, or simply sell it.

In his speech to the NSBA, Hellyer emphasized that it is “not uncommon for (BHP) to take a long time to develop large projects like this one.” He said afterward that the company is committed to making the best case possible for Jansen.

Asked when it could go to the board for approval, Hellyer said: “When the timing is right — and that will be a function of when we believe the market dynamics are right and also when … we have spent the time and effort to get the project itself right for their consideration.”

BHP made its commitment to achieve gender balance by 2025 last year. Hellyer said Wednesday that women now make up 33 per cent of its Canadian workforce. By comparison, the Saskatchewan mining industry average is a little over 14 per cent.

While improving that figure won’t be without its challenges, Hellyer said making the company more inclusive is “morally and ethically the right thing to do, and it also has huge business value.”

Agrium sells U.S. plants to ease Potash merger concerns


Agrium Corporate Office in Calgary, Alta.

Canadian fertilizer producer and farm supplier Agrium Inc said on Tuesday it will sell its Idaho phosphate production facility for $100-million to fertilizer company Itafos, to address concerns of U.S. regulators about its merger with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan.

Separately, Agrium will sell its North Bend, Ohio, nitric acid plant to a subsidiary of Trammo Inc for an undisclosed price.

The combination of Agrium and Potash Corp is expected to close by year-end, and requires U.S. approval. Agrium did not specify what concerns U.S. regulators have, but Potash is already one of the biggest U.S. phosphate producers.

Earlier on Tuesday, China’s commerce ministry said it has approved the merger on the condition that Potash divest certain stakes in other companies.

Agrium’s U.S. listed shares fell 1.7 per cent to $106.01.

Under the deal, Itafos gets Agrium’s Conda, Idaho, phosphate production plant and adjacent mineral rights. The deal includes an agreement for Agrium to supply ammonia to the Conda facility and buy the monoammonium phosphate it produces.

Agrium said it will take a $178-million impairment charge on the Conda sale and retain its historic environmental obligations.

Agrium’s sales to both Itafos and Trammo are subject to approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the company said.

The merger combines Potash Corp’s fertilizer production capacity, the world’s largest, with Agrium’s network of farm supply stores, the biggest in the United States.

China commerce ministry conditionally approves Potash-Agrium merge

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 / 9:19 PM

China commerce ministry conditionally approves Potash-Agrium merger

Reuters Staff

 Nutrien logo - merger of PotashCorp and Agrium

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s commerce ministry said on Tuesday it has granted conditional regulatory approval to the proposed $25 billion merger between fertilizer companies Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc PTO.TO.

The ministry, in a statement, said the merged entity should divest some assets including those in Israel and Chile. The merged entity also cannot acquire stakes in industry competitors for five years without regulatory approval, it added.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell


Mosaic’s earnings beat on higher potash, phosphate prices

OCTOBER 31, 2017 / 5:20 AM

Mosaic’s earnings beat on higher potash, phosphate prices

Reuters Staff

k3 mosaic 3

(Reuters) – U.S. fertilizer company Mosaic Co (MOS.N) on Tuesday posted better-than-expected profit on higher prices and forecast strong sales of potash and phosphates for the current quarter.

Shares of Mosaic, the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products, rose 2 percent to $21.25 in premarket trade.

Mosaic’s fourth-quarter sales for phosphates is expected to be 2.3 million to 2.6 million tonnes, compared to 2.5 million tonnes last year.

Potash sales will be 1.9 million to 2.2 million tonnes for the fourth quarter, compared to 2 million tonnes last year.

Operating earnings in the third quarter rose $70 million, despite a $26 million hit in its phosphates business from Hurricane Irma.

Mosaic sold diammonium phosphate at an average price of $329 per tonne, up from $326 a year earlier. Its average potash selling price was $182, up nearly 14 percent from last year.

Net earnings rose to $227 million, or 65 cents per share, in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, from $39.2 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 43 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 18 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose to $2 billion from $1.95 billion.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr



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