PLANT

PotashCorp hastens closure of NB mine

Plans production hiatis in Saskatchwan with weak fertilizer market.


SASKATOON — PotashCorp will permanently close the older of its two potash mining operations in New Brunswick in November.

The decision was announced by the mine’s owner, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, when it issued its latest financial report.

PotashCorp says the fertilizer market has been weaker than expected in the second half of this year and it’s taking measures to reduce inventory levels.

Besides speeding up the permanent closure of its Penobsquis mine in New Brunswick to the end of next month, the company says it plans three-week temporary shutdowns at three of its mines in Saskatchewan during the month of December.

PotashCorp says it doesn’t expect layoffs as a result of its efforts to reduce production by 500,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter.

In New Brunswick, the company says its newer Picadilly mine is still ramping up to full capacity.

“Despite challenges over recent months, we are seeing signs of a shift in focus by distributors and farmers to 2016,” PotashCorp chief executive Jochen Tilk said in a statement.

“We believe the need for increased global agricultural production – coupled with supportive crop prices – provides a compelling opportunity for farmers.”

Revenue from sales of potash, nitrogen and phosphates and related fertilizer products or services fell to US$1.53 billion from US$1.64 billion.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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