Category Archives: potash

Gensource Potash reports strategy for third party project funding

Fri Apr 21, 2017 | 7:13pm EDT


BRIEF-Gensource reports strategy for third party project funding


Gensource Potash Corp:

* Gensource announces strategy for third party project funding & termination of Yancoal off take agreement

* Vanguard one project feasibility study is over 75 pct complete and remains on track to be finished in q2 2017



Western Potash announces plans to move ahead on Milestone Project?

Western Potash announces plans to move ahead on Milestone Project


Published on: April 16, 2017 | Last Updated: April 16, 2017 12:48 PM CST

 Western potash 1

The proposed design for the 146,000 tonne per year Western Potash pilot plant at Milestone. MILESTONE POTASH CORP. 


The Rural Municipality of Lajord isn’t holding its breath when it comes to the Western Potash project at Milestone.

“(Western Potash) told us eight years ago they’re going to be (building it) so thats the bottom- line. I can’t get excited anymore, when we see things move ahead then we’ll start getting excited,” said Erwin Beitel, reeve of RM of Lajord.

The long-delayed potash mine is once again slated to move forward. On Tuesday, Western Potash held an open house in Kronau — one of many held over the years.

The project was first proposed in 2009, with an original plan to produce 2.8 million tonnes of potash per year. At the time potash prices were US$400 per tonne, but then the economy dipped and potash prices fell, causing the project to be delayed.

“Rather than shove all our plans, we went back to the drawing board and came up with an innovative solution mine which uses a different technique. The advantages are it uses half the water and a lot less energy,” said Matthew Wood, senior vice president of projects for Western Potash – Milestone Project.

Western potash 2

The proposed design for the 146,000 tonne per year Western Potash pilot plant at Milestone. MILESTONE POTASH CORP. 

Western Potash is easing into the new design by first building a pilot plant that will be about five per cent of the size of the original plant and produce 146,000 tonnes of potash per year. The new technology also doesn’t include an above ground tailings pond which Beitel is pleased with.

“As far as the RM is concerned, its good for us because I don’t like to see salt on top of the ground,” he said.

The technology has been used before in Europe and the United States, but this is the first time it will be used in Canada.

“Saskatchewan rocks are very unique, so there’s a little bit of a risk trying this technology in a new environment and thats really what the pilot plan is about, discovering how this technology works in Saskatchewan,” Wood said.

Western Potash plans to collect data from the plant during the first year it is running and from there start planning to build a larger plant within the next decade.

The plan is to break ground on the pilot project, located about five miles south of Kronau, by the end of the year or start of next. Construction will take 12 to 18 months, with production expected to start in 2019.

The plant is expected to create up 150 construction jobs and 20 to 30 permanent jobs once it opens. It is believed it will bring $300 million of direct and indirect benefits to the economy.

Potash prices are beginning to rebound and are now sitting at US$215 per tonne.



Potash producer Belaruskali to make new kind of fertilizer — report

Potash producer Belaruskali to make new kind of fertilizer — report

Cecilia Jamasmie

April 14, 2017


While potash prices have been fairly stable this year, they remain weak and could stay this way for years due to a current oversupply likely to get worse with the planned opening of new mines.(Image courtesy of Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), the trading division of Belaruskali )


Belarus’ state-owned fertilizer group Belaruskali plans to make a new kind of crops nutrient in partnership with Chinese companies in an effort to diversify its portfolio.

According to Belaruskali’s director general, Ivan Golovaty, the company is also mulling a number of investment options involving a Chinese chemical company, the country’s news agency Belta reported.

Those projects include the formation of a new firm focused on the making of fertilizers by using Chinese technologies, the article said.

Potash prices, while relatively stable so far this year, remain weak due to oversupply, declining farm incomes and weak demand from India and China.

More competition, either in terms of new fertilizers or more mines, is not exactly what the potash market needs these days. Global prices, while relatively stable so far this year, remain weak due to oversupply, declining farm incomes and weak demand from India and China.

Those factors haven’t stopped companies for moving ahead with plans to open new mines. German K+S AG (FRA:SDF) is expected to open its Legacy project in Saskatchewan, Canada, before the end of the second quarter this year, while the Garlyk mining and processing factory in Turkmenistan began operations last month.

Russia’s EuroChem, in turn, is building two mines in Russia, and Sirius Minerals (LON:SXX) is moving ahead with construction of its vast mine beneath a U.K. national park. The York project is set to start producing in 2018, initially generating 10 million tonnes per year of polyhalite – a form of potash that is used in plant fertilizers –, before it enters a second phase that will double that production to 20 million tonnes a year.




Potash seller Canpotex aims for ‘material’ price bump from China

Mon Apr 10, 2017

6:10pm EDT




Potash seller Canpotex aims for ‘material’ price bump from China


FILE PHOTO: A Canpotex rail car waits to be loaded with potash at the Rocanville Potash Corp mine in Saskatchewan September 30, 2010. REUTERS/David Stobbe

Canadian potash exporter Canpotex Ltd is pressing Chinese buyers to pay a “material” price increase for the fertilizer in their annual supply contract, as spot values in other markets rise off multi-year lows, Canpotex’s chief executive said on Monday.

“We’re not interested in some kind of ratcheting down. That is for sure,” CEO Ken Seitz told Reuters in a telephone interview from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Canpotex, owned by miners Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc, is based.

Global potash prices remain weak due to excessive capacity and sagging farm incomes but a modest price rebound since late last year and lower year-over-year Chinese potash inventories suggest buyers there should pay more, Seitz said.

Canpotex sells potash produced by the companies in the province of Saskatchewan to offshore markets.

“If you look at the global market compared to a year ago, it’s much improved,” said Seitz, a former uranium mining executive. The price gains and supply cuts by some producers “allow us to have an expectation for a material price increase in China,” he said.

He declined to clarify what price increase Canpotex is seeking.

In an April 4 note, BMO analyst Joel Jackson factored in $5 per tonne price increases from Chinese and Indian buyers, to $224 and $232 per tonne respectively.

Those prices would fall “well below” Canpotex’s expectations, Seitz said, but he added that ultimately the price is set by rivals who agree to terms first with Chinese purchasers Sinofert Holdings Ltd and CNAMPGC.

Contracts with China by global suppliers Canpotex, Belaruskali and Uralkali usually set a global price floor.

Canpotex, whose owners account for about one-third of global potash sales, is not prepared to cede market share to rivals starting new mines, Seitz said.

German’s K+S AG will open a Saskatchewan mine this year, while EuroChem is building two Russian mines. Turkmenistan opened a potash plant last month.

Canpotex companies Potash and Mosaic meanwhile have made production cuts even as they expand their biggest mines.

“We believe we can maintain our market share and not have to sacrifice a bunch of price,” Seitz said, noting that some competitors have higher costs.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by James Dalgleish)




Gensource Potash teams up with Indian conglomerate to build new mine in Saskatchewan

Potash junior teams up with Indian conglomerate to build new mine in Saskatchewan

Plan is to circumvent supply chains dominated by the likes of PotashCorp

Andrew Topf

April 10, 2017


Potash in India

Image: Sarath Kuchi

It’s no secret that building a potash mine to compete with the big companies is no small feat in Saskatchewan, where nine potash mines have been operating in the western Canadian province for the last 40 years. But success could come via some outside-the-box thinking from Gensource Potash Corp., (TSXV:GSP) which last week inked a joint venture with Essel Group ME Ltd., (EGME), an Indian conglomerate.

In a deal announced April 5, Gensource, whose most advanced project is the Vanguard property in central Saskatchewan, has formed a new company with EGME called Vanguard Potash Corp, which is the corporate entity they plan to use to develop a small 250,000 tonnes per annum potash mine.

The agreement builds on a memorandum of understanding published by the two companies last November.

“This is the most significant milestone for Gensource to date,” Gensource president and CEO Mike Ferguson said in a statement. Ferguson helped develop the K+S Potash Canada’s Legacy project, which K+S Potash Canada and partner Amec Foster Wheeler — in charge of the project design and management — hope to start production by end of June, with an expected output of 2 million tonnes per year once at full capacity.

Under terms of the joint venture, Gensource will give Vanguard a 49% stake in the mineral lease, while EGME agreed to spend up to US$205 million in order to earn a 70% stake in the operation, which is expected to cost $200 million. The first $5 million will be put towards a feasibility study, which Gensource says it started in October 2016. The plan is to build out the mine in phases, eventually reaching a million tonnes per year.

It would be mined using the solution method, where wells are sunk into the deposit, and a heated brine solution is injected to dissolve the potash salts. The dissolved salts are then pumped to the surface, where the water is evaporated, leaving potash and salts behind.

According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Gensource’s business model is to sell its potash product directly to farmers and farmer groups, thus avoiding competing with large companies like PotashCorp (NYSE:POT) “which have better supply chains and the ability to soak up costs in a weak market.”

Canadian potash is currently marketed and sold through Canpotex, which is the world’s largest exporter of potash.

Gensource plans to commission the mine in 2018, with first production by the end of that year, or the first quarter of 2019.




2017 Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum a Huge Success!

The 2017 Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum was a huge success.  In a time where other resource shows are shrinking dramatically, ours grew!

See also HERE

2017 MSCF share

Top 50 biggest mining companies

Top 50 biggest mining companies


Frik Els

April 3, 2017 and sister company IntelligenceMine‘s ranking of the world’s 50 largest mining companies based on market value continues to show an industry in recovery.

At the end of the first quarter this year the top 50 companies had a combined worth of $842 billion. In total these companies’ added $258 billion in market capitalization over the past 12 months and a good fifth of those gains occurred in 2017.

Another indication of how the rising tide of commodity prices lifted all boats is the fact that the cut-off today to make the ranking is $5 billion (number 51 Kumba Iron Ore has a market worth of $4.96 billion). A year ago it was less than $4 billion.

Changing fortunes in subsectors saw the ranking change noticeably lower down the field. A year ago when gold was still enjoying one of its best starts in decades, gold miners were riding high, but well-known names like AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross no longer make the grade. That said, world number one gold company Barrick managed to improve its ranking.

In contrast, coal and iron ore players bunched up near the bottom at the beginning of the second quarter 2016 when most steelmaking raw materials prices were hitting multi-year lows significantly improved their rankings. Australia’s Fortescue has shot up 20 places while Canada’s Teck managed to climb 26 spots.

As with any ranking, criteria for inclusion is a contentious issue. We decided to exclude unlisted and state-owned enterprises at the outset due to a lack of information. That of course excludes giants like Chile’s Codelco, Uzbekistan’s Navoi Mining which owns the world’s largest gold mine, Eurochem, a major potash firm, trader Trafigura, top uranium producer Kazatomprom and numerous entities in China and developing countries around the world.

Another central criterion was the depth of involvement in the industry before an enterprise can rightfully be called a mining company.

For instance, should smelter companies or commodity traders that own minority stakes in mining assets be included, especially if these investments have no operational component or not even warrant a seat on the board?

This is a common structure in Asia and excluding these types of companies removed well-known names like Japan’s Marubeni and Mitsui, Korea Zinc and Chile’s Copec.

Levels of operational involvement and size of shareholding was another central consideration. Do streaming and royalty companies that receive metals from mining operations without shareholding qualify or is are they just specialized financing vehicles? We included Franco Nevada and Silver Wheaton.

What about diversified companies such as BHP Billiton or Teck with substantial oil and gas assets? Or oil sands companies that use conventional mining methods to extract bitumen for that matter?

Or vertically integrated concerns like Alcoa and number three on the list Shenhua Energy which is a power and shipping company more than a coal miner.

Chemical companies are also problematic – should FMC Corp not be ranked because its potash and lithium operations are such a small part of its overall revenues and what about Albermarle? While the merger of Potash Corp and Agrium is still to close we included only Potash Corp on this listing.

Many steelmakers own and often operate iron ore and other metal mines, but in the interest of balance and diversity we excluded the steel industry, and with that many companies that have substantial mining assets including giants like ArcelorMittal, Magnitogorsk, Ternium, Baosteel and many others.

Let us know of any omissions, deletions or additions to the ranking or suggest a different methodology.

Top 50 mining 1Top 50 mining 2Top 50 mining 3Top 50 mining 4Top 50 mining 5



Federal government passes landmark First Nations mining regulations

Federal government passes landmark First Nations mining regulations


Published on: March 30, 2017 | Last Updated: March 30, 2017 5:29 PM CST



Encanto Potash Corp. President and CEO Stavros Daskos, left, and Muskowekwan First Nation Chief Reginald Bellerose inspect the site of a proposed $3 billion potash mine on the reserve northeast of Regina. 

A landmark law passed this week by the federal government helps pave the way for a Saskatchewan First Nation and a Toronto-based potash development company to build the country’s first on-reserve mine northeast of Regina.

The “unprecedented” legislation under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) will apply provincial regulations to the $3-billion mine proposed by Enancto Potash Corp. and Muskowekwan First Nation.

“This represents a critical piece … to ensure a favourable investment climate for the development of the first potash mine on First Nations land,” Encanto president and CEO Stavros Daskos said in a statement.

Encanto has been working toward building a mine in Saskatchewan for years. It signed a partnership with Muskowekwan First Nation in 2010, and has since brokered a pair of 20-year potash sales agreements with Indian companies.

Saskatchewan’s multi-billion-dollar potash industry has been struggling amid an oversupplied market, which has led producers like Mosaic Co. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to scale back operations in the province.

Encanto still needs to raise the billions of dollars it needs to build the mine, but its director of corporate development said in an email Thursday that it is “working very hard on initiatives to make this a huge success.”

The FNCIDA regulations guarantee a level playing field for on- and off-reserve projects, and will protect Muskowekwan’s people and lands while increasing certainty for investors, Encanto said in a news release.

“There were many hands at all levels of government demonstrating an unprecedented level of cooperation and support between themselves and our own Nation,” Muskowekwan Chief Reginald Bellerose said in a statement.



Mosaic reports production outage at Esterhazy K2 mine

Fri Mar 31, 2017 | 9:40am EDT


Mosaic reports production outage at Esterhazy K2 mine

Mosaic Co said on Friday an outage at its Esterhazy K2 potash mine in Saskatchewan will likely reduce production by 200,000-300,000 tonnes.

The disruption will impact second-quarter potash sales volumes, the world’s largest producer of finished phosphate products said.

The outage was caused by a skip, a device that transports potash to the surface.

Operations in the mine are expected to resume over the next few days, the company said.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)




Gensource Potash’s Vanguard One Project feasibility study is over 75 pct complete and remains on track

Fri Mar 31, 2017 | 7:08am EDT


BRIEF-Gensource provides corporate update

Gensource Potash Corp

* Gensource provides corporate update

* Ongoing Vanguard One Project feasibility study is over 75 pct complete and remains on track to be finished in Q2 2017 Source text for Eikon

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