Potash - 'Wildcards'

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Quiet moments ... takes a look over the hedge : Is India the new China?  Outside the Potash Cartel ...  http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-belarus-wildcard-is-shaking-up-the-global-...

"SOLIGORSK, BELARUS—In the massive Soligorsk mine, workers 2,000 feet below ground are drilling at seams of pinkish rock and rattling a $20 billion commodity market. That pink rock is potash. The mine’s operator is a state-owned producer that has been outcompeting rival suppliers of the crucial fertilizer in a business that many who follow it say was long shaped by cartels.

JSC Belaruskali’s output was once constrained by its membership in one of those groupings. But when it broke up two years ago, Belaruskali ramped up production and pushed into new markets. It now fills almost 17% of global potash demand and has become a major wild card for analysts and rivals alike.

“Nobody believed that [Belaruskali] would be able to find new clients,” said Aliaksandr Autushka-Sikorski, an analyst at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, a think tank funded by the European Union. “They are unpredictable, and that is what makes them important.”

Potash is a compound of potassium, which, along with nitrogen and phosphorous, is essential for plant life. It strengthens plants and makes them more resistant to disease. It is also important to Belarus’s contracting economy, accounting for 6.1% of exports last year and bringing in much-needed foreign currency.

In a familiar boom-bust cycle, the industry is struggling with a glut after producers built up capacity, thinking growth in emerging markets would lead to a permanent rise in demand. That threatens a worse glut and could trigger a fight for market share, in a scenario that echoes that of the crude-oil market. The reaction of Belaruskali, which is controlled by a government often dubbed Europe’s last dictatorship, will be key.

The price of potash sold out of the Port of Vancouver has fallen about 64% to $312.50 a metric ton since its peak in 2009. The price is mainly fixed in long-term contracts, with Vancouver used as an international benchmark. Belaruskali is responsible for some of that decline. The company shocked the market by agreeing this spring to sell potash to China at $315 per metric ton, well below what other mining companies had been asking for the product.

That deal forced rivals, including North American producers that still coordinate their international sales, to lower their prices. Before 2013, a pair of what people familiar with the potash business describe as cartels accounted for as much as 70% of global capacity—Belarusian Potash Co., which included Belaruskali and Russian mining firm Uralkali  JSC, and a North American counterpart called Canpotex Ltd.

Uralkali pulled out of the partnership with Belaruskali in July 2013, leaving the Belarusian company free to produce whatever it wants. Canpotex still handles overseas sales for Potash Corp. and two other North American producers, Mosaic Co. , Plymouth, Minn., and Agrium Inc., Calgary, Alberta.

The members of Canpotex, Belaruskali and Uralkali deny they acted as a cartel. Analysts and buyers say their market dominance helped them dictate supply and, therefore price, and that with one part of the group gone, the production discipline that had kept prices lower has frayed.

In India, Belaruskali has been “marketing aggressively,” said P.S. Gahlaut, managing director of Indian Potash Ltd., a large government-owned importer. Belaruskali now offers the fastest delivery of the product. “When the split happened, everyone believed the Belarus side would suffer the most,” Mr. Gahlaut said of the disintegration. “But the company came riding into emerging markets.” Belaruskali is also pushing into North America. Since December 2014, Belaruskali has sold four cargos, or 172,000 metric tons, in the U.S.

In parts of the U.S. where Belaruskali’s potash was delivered, prices declined for the product supplied by miners such as Potash and Mosaic, according to analysts.  “They are not going to let the Belarussians take their market share,” said Gene Gauss, vice president of fertilizer and nutrition at San Francisco-based agricultural-products retailer Wilbur-Ellis.   Potash and Agrium declined to comment. Mosaic didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The competition is good news for farmers. A 25% drop in potash prices could save the average U.S. corn farmer about $10 an acre in production costs, which would cut total costs by 3% from around $330 an acre for many producers, said Glen Buckley, chief economist at St. Louis-based NPK Fertilizer Advisory Service. Fertilizers make up a bigger percentage of farmers’ input costs in developing markets.

In India’s northern state of Haryana, Om Prakash grows wheat and sugar cane on his two-acre farm. Since 2013, the price of a 50 kilogram bag of potash has fallen by around 50 rupees, about 75 cents, on a 300 rupee bag,or around 17%, he said.

Belaruskali executives say it isn’t in their interest to flood the market, which would drive down prices. “You can’t chop down a branch that you are sitting on,” said Elena Kudryavets, director general of Belarusian Potash Co., which is the sales and marketing arm of Belaruskali. The company is likely to produce slightly less potash this year, Ms. Kudryavets said recently, because the dollar-denominated product has become more expensive in emerging markets, hurting demand.

But Belaruskali’s production capacity continues to expand. This December, engineers will start drilling the shaft of its Petrikov mine. It will begin operating by 2019 and have a capacity of 3 million tons by 2024.

In all, the industry will boost global capacity by 25.4 million tons to 99 million tons by 2020, a 35% increase on 2015, according to Ben Isaacson, an analyst at Scotiabank. During the same period, demand for potash is set to rise by only 12% to an estimated 64.8 million metric tons, he said.

Low prices and the lack of production discipline have often fueled speculation that a return to the old system is inevitable, but officials from Minsk, Belaruskali and Uralkali say that this isn’t on the cards." Nickleodes

Source:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-belarus-wildcard-is-shaking-up-the-global-...

“Nowadays, Belaruskali operates as a successful company,” said Ivan Golovaty, the mining company’s top executive."   Yep, they is brics it, India & China ... however India's economy has been aligning itself with the Ruskies for some time, being fairly new to 'capitalism' why not take heed from the oldest capitalist system in the world that is 'India' and all the chaos that it may be bring, sure go forth and multiply but are the farmers, end users, reaping the benefits: "on Wednesday approved fixation of nutrient-based subsidy ... The official said that the subsidy on DAP has come down to Rs 8,945 per ... per kg, respectively, while subsidy on potash and sulphur have been cut to ... Under this policy, the subsidy on P&K fertilisers is announced annually ..."  (google)   So good luck with that.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved fixation of nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates for P&K fertilisers for 2016-17, which may reduce the overall fertiliser subsidy by up to Rs 6,000 crore.

"At the same level of consumption of P&K fertilisers (about 310.44 lakh tonne) during 2016-17 as in 2015-16, the total subsidy implication on P&K fertilisers for 2016-17 at proposed rates works out to be about Rs 21,274 ..

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved fixation of nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rates for P&K fertilisers for 2016-17, which may reduce the overall fertiliser subsidy by up to Rs 6,000 crore.

"At the same level of consumption of P&K fertilisers (about 310.44 lakh tonne) during 2016-17 as in 2015-16, the total subsidy implication on P&K fertilisers for 2016-17 at proposed rates works out to be about Rs 21,274 ..

Back in Europe K+S continue to resolve their issues, with a 40% drop in shares last year, disposal continues to tips the balance :  http://news.yahoo.com/german-court-widens-k-waste-water-investigation-wi...

Anyhoos, with K+S' Norbert Steiner about to put out to grass,  "The embattled chief executive of German fertiliser mining group K+S expects to retire in May 2017 when his contract runs out, he said on Thursday. "I assume that I will move into retirement," CEO Norbert Steiner told a press conference after the release of full-year results, when asked about the end of his current contract next year.  K+S has seen its share price drop almost 40 percent to 20.5 euros over the last six months and 8 percent over the last three months, hurt by lower global potash prices. Last year, CEO Steiner fended off a 41-euro-per share takeover approach from larger Canadian rival Potash Corp , which withdrew its proposal in October. German prosecutors are pressing charges against CEO Steiner and 13 other K+S employees over suspected illegal waste water disposal but the court has yet to decide whether the case will go to trial."  Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/ks-results-retirement-idUSF9N164012

It seems the Potty world of Pot Ash doeth not stand still, tis dynamic, shuffles the deck. 

Some gripping stuff from Compass Minerals:  http://www.compassminerals.com/ ... ? Oh OK, their Wolf department is big on Zinc ...  http://wolftrax.com/  ... stakes have been raised by Comerica Bank in Compass ... along with a few others ... showing investment in the Potash market ... prevails. 

'tis not all over for a Polovodova ... http://www.uralkali.com/press_center/project_news/Polovodovo/item2111201... "The project will lead to an increase in the Company’s potash production capacity of 0.8 million tonnes by the end of 2016" don't sound a lot but Uralkali consider it to be strategic ... expansion and new development are the key words : http://www.uralkali.com/expansion_programme/ ... must be a big hole somewhere. Spoonfuls of sugar ...

Mebbe it's stretching it to suggest potash is 'flexible'  but far from staying put, putty, from the pretty pink stuff 'sylvnite' chips ... to the production of 20mta ... 13mta of polyhalite it would appear anything is possible. 

X'cept putting eggs in baskets.  Polova ... E'ton Mess. 

Sssshchweppppes. (only once apparently ... dyow)

Grrrr ... 'abbits


They must av hidden the Kryptonite ...

Moments .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo

Oh, Ok:-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiBX8MkFkd4




Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Sinkholes - Uralkali, Soc Gen & India



"Uralkali, the world’s biggest potash producer by volume, trades at 8.7 times estimated earnings, compared with 17.4 for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the second-biggest supplier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Uralkali will probably raise prices when it signs new deals with India and China this year, SocGen and BCS say. That may be enough to offset the likelihood that a mine representing almost 18 percent of total capacity will be lost, forcing a writedown of as much as $1 billion.

Global depositary receipts of the fertilizer producer, which plunged 56 percent in 2014, have jumped 15 percent this year in London, while short interest on the GDR dropped to 1.8 percent of shares outstanding as of Feb. 20, from 2.7 percent on Feb. 9. The GDRs are still down 28 percent since Nov. 18, when the company closed its Solikamsk-2 mine after a sinkhole opened nearby and water flooded the site. Uralkali fell 4 percent to $13.60 on Monday, while the Bloomberg index of the most-traded Russian stocks in the U.S. dropped 3.7 percent, the most in a month.

“Demand for potash is quite robust and prices are going to be higher when the company signs contracts with China and India by end-March,” Rajesh Singla, an analyst at SocGen in Bangalore, India, said by phone Monday. He’s had a buy rating on the stock since the beginning of 2014. “The need for potash is there, it’s just a matter of time for Uralkali to sign the contracts...”

no further updates



Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Potash Growth


"It is already the end of March, and we heard nothing about the price that China will pay for potash imports....

"Potash Corp.'s CEO Jochen Tilk has recently shared his views on the industry during the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. He expects that potash demand will continue to grow at 2.5% annually. He also expects that demand will grow to 70 million tons in 2020..."


Greek stuff : http://www.k-plus-s.com/en/anleihe/profil.html

Capt. 'Bob''s picture


"RIO DE JANEIRO, April 15 (Reuters) - Brazil's Vale SA reiterated on Friday it is looking for a partner in the fertilizer sector, responding to a Reuters report that the miner is preparing a joint bid with U.S. private equity firm Apollo for Anglo American's niobium and phosphates business in Brazil.

The world's largest producer of iron ore said in a securities filing it "continues to work to form a strategic partnership in fertilizers, with the aim of divesting and raising cash." It did not give further details.

Vale has previously said it is seeking partners for its fertilizer business, but has not stated this could involve purchasing new assets as part of that strategy.

The company has said it is seeking to sell about $10 billion of assets to help insulate against further falls in iron ore and nickel prices, after it announced its biggest loss in decades in February.

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Andrew Hay)"

Nah... that would be 'too'  awesome 

Shrieks.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgKsxlCNnbA




Captain Qahn's picture

POT the Hootle


"We are on the precipice of a food fight among 7 billion people, and potash will be right at the center of it.

If you can add 200,000 people every day to the global population and account for a significant loss of farmland at the same time, you can begin to understand the dire food situation facing the planet. This is why potash is so important: It’s the fundamental element that everyone takes for granted, despite the fact that a projected 7.7 billion lives will depend upon it by 2020.

No commodity is more fundamental than potash—and there is a lot of pressure riding on an element that many people aren’t even familiar with. Of the key commodities taken for granted, potash is on the top of the list.

The challenge for farmers—and for the world—is to increase crop yields on less land, which is being lost to climate change and increasing urbanization. This means not only steady demand for the three main elements of fertilizer—potash, phosphate and nitrogen—but significantly higher demand.

“A growing population needing to be fed from a limited amount of arable land makes fertilizer and particularly potash a robust commodity,” Potash RidgePresident and CEO Guy Bentinck told Oilprice.com. “Additionally, as the middle class grows, the demand for higher-end food increases, and with that the demand for potash and related fertilizers increases.”

For such a critical element, it’s hard to believe that potash remains so elusive. It took a high-profile US$40-billion hostile takeover attempt of Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp., which failed, by major miner BHP Billiton in 2010 for even the Wall Street Journal to decide to figure out what all the fuss was about.

Potash, and various potassium-containing compounds are used to fertilize crops as a necessary resource for the growth of plants. In many regions of the world, there are large potash-bearing deposits from ancient sea beds that dried up millions of years ago. Most potash comes from these sources and is separated from the salt and other minerals and then graded into a form that can be used to make fertilizer.

So even if you haven’t heard of it, Potash is so big that it eludes radar—until the giant miners start aggressively positioning themselves for bigger pieces of this pie.

If you’re still not sold on potash, consider this: As far as commodities go, though it’s been a tough couple of years, Potash outperformed gold, silver, copper and oil and gas in 2015, and this year, as its cycle comes full circle, it’s back by popular demand.

The Potash Playing Field

This is a huge playing field with some of the biggest miners in the world—all vying for market share.

Russia, Belarus, China, Germany, the U.S., Israel, Jordan and China are all major potash miners, with Canada currently holding the top position for the commodity–producing 11 million tons last year and the year before, compared to Number 2 producer Russia’s 7.4 million tons.

Canada is also home to the world’s largest fertilizer company by capacity—Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, or Potash Corp.—the target of BHP Billiton’s long-running covetousness.

The U.S. came in at 770,000 tons of potash production in 2015, mostly from New Mexico and Utah, which have a total of seven potash mines. Most of the U.S. potash goes to the fertilizer industry, while small amounts are diverted to the chemical industry. The four mines in New Mexico are controlled by two companies—Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI) and Mosaic (NYSE:MOS). In Utah, it’s Intrepid again, Compass Minerals (NYSE:CMP), and Canadian explorer Potash Ridge (TSX:PRK) with its Blawn Mountain project. Potash Ridge’s Valleyfield project in Quebec is projected to produce 40,000 tons of SOP (sulfate of potash) annually, with construction slated to begin later this summer.

The movements among the big potash players make huge market ripples. In 2015, a US$500-million loan deal from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank with Russian potash major Uralkali, effectively gave China greater control over global potash production. Uralkali accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s potash production.

China—a major demand center for potash—now has immense influence in the potash market, and is both a major producer and a major importer because demand is far greater than domestic supply. The Chinese potash contracts that are typically made in February every year—but delayed this year—are a critical annual point for producers.

Not all Potash is Equal: Some Potash is Posh

As Mr Bentinck has noted above, the middle class is growing, and they want higher-quality, healthier food, which means cash crops. This demographic change is leading to a health food revolution for which potash is the primary element. But not all fertilizers are equal in this game.

The two most common forms of fertilizer are MOP (muriate of potash) and SOP (sulfate of potash). Right now, MOP is the most common; but while it’s good for some crops, it’s not good for others, and it can create environments that are detrimental to some crops, primarily due to high levels of chloride.

SOP, on the other hand, is the premium end of potash. It’s the posh potash. It improves both the quality and yield of a crop, while at the same time making them more drought, frost, insect and disease-resistant. It’s been said that SOP also improves the taste of the food by improving its ability to absorb nutrients.

The other problem with MOP today is that the market is temporarily over-supplied and prices have dropped, which has prompted some more junior miners—such as Potash Ridge in Quebec and Utah–to swoop in to take advantage of the opportunity for the less common SOP. Potash Ridge, which is one of the fastest-growing juniors on the posh potash scene, says SOP “continues to be one of the best performing commodities across all sectors, which realized prices in North America exceeding US$880 per ton in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

Riding the Cycles: The Potash Catalysts Are Already Visible

Fertilizer demand is set to increase over the long-term. While globally we consumed 35.5 million tons of potash in 2015, the next four years should see this rise to 39.5 million tons.

The catalysts for potash are already clear and present. The grain cycles that affect fertilizer are coming back around now; the long overdue, but now occurring monsoon season in India should relieve several quarters of slumping demand in this major demand venue; a health food boom is increasing demand for the SOP form of potash; long-term global population figures stand starkly against plummeting farmland figures; and major potash production is coming offline in the near-term, making even more room for the juniors to break in.

Remember—grain crops are cyclical, so buying when they are down is when the big investors make all their money. Just because corn and other key crops that rely on potash have been down, adversely affecting fertilizer revenues—doesn’t mean they’re out. Corn has many booms and busts; buy on the bust, right before the next cycle boom.

One of the biggest immediate-term catalysts will be the planned moves by giant Potash Corp., it’s Canadian competitor Agrium (NYSE:AGU) and Mosaic to take potash production offline in order to rebalance the supply side of the market—something everyone’s been trying to get OPEC to do with oil to no avail. This means that in the next few months we should see potash prices recover, so the window to get in on the downside here is only open a crack."

Ah, so ... 'precipice' Eh?



Captain Qahn's picture

China Bangs Belaruski

Big Bucks

"June 2016 became a breakthrough month for the potash industry in Belarus. The state-owned company “Belaruskali” managed to sign two long-awaited contracts with two major potash consumers – India and Bangladesh.

However, the main news came from China: on June 17 Belarus received a $1,4bn loan from the China Development Bank for construction of a new mining and processing factory.

The parties reached this agreement after negotiations lasting more than one year. Although Belarus and China provided no information about a new potash contract, the very fact of this loan's existence provides grounds to suggest that such deal has been concluded.

A strange and long-awaited loan

Numerous news agencies have spoken about the deal between “Belarusbank” and China Development Bank. Unfortunately, all reports are relatively repetitive and provide very scarce information about the agreements....

"According to press-releases, “the agreement, signed on Friday, stipulates the procedure for financing the project of building the mining and processing factory Slavkaliy, using raw materials of the Niežynskaje section of the Starobinskaje potash salt deposit in Minsk region of Belarus”. Neither report provided any further details.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Slavkaliy’s owner Mikhail Gutseriev announced an ambitious construction project at the Starobinskaje potash salt deposit. Later, different sources reported that Gutseriev does not intend to invest his own assets but rely only on allocated Chinese loans.

A representative of the “Belarusbank” described the negotiations as difficult. In, they started at least in May 2015 during Xi Jinping’s visit to Belarus. Chinese mass-media reported that in exchange for China’s loan, Belarus would supply four million tonnes of potash fertilisers for a total amount of $1,3bn, i.e. around $325 per tonne..."


"Belarus and China prevent distribution of reliable information about their cooperation in the field of potash fertilisers. Due to conflicting interests, the negotiations between the parties lasted more than one year.

However, the fact that the loan was agreed upon on 17 June proves that the parties managed to conclude an agreement. The successive contracts with India and Bangladesh support this theory."


"The government expects to spend 2.9 trillion rubles ($38.2 billion) in the next 15 years with private investors providing another 3.1 trillion rubles ($40.8 billion).

Russian agriculture could become the country's second biggest export after energy, according to Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev. Last year, Russia's top exports were: oil at $90 billion; gas $40 billion; arms $15 billion; and agriculture $15 billion.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday the country is gaining momentum as one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural products.

"Russia is successfully regaining the status of a major supplier on the global food market,” Medvedev said, adding the government provides unprecedented state support for the agricultural sector."


Yo tis in the Common Wealth ...





Captain Qahn's picture

K+S : A Sprained Thumb ...

"An equipment collapse on Sunday at a new Canadian potash mine owned by K+S SDFGn.DE resulted in "consequential damage," the German mining company said Monday, fueling speculation the opening of the project could be delayed.

A process vessel at the Legacy mine site near Bethune, Saskatchewan fell during routine testing, resulting in no significant injuries to workers, K+S said. It was aiming to complete construction late this year.

The C$4.1 billion ($3.17 billion) project is the first new potash mine in four decades in the western Canadian province and is expected to start significant production in 2017. By 2018, it has been expected to have capacity for 2 million tonnes annually.

Asked how the accident may affect the start of production, K+S spokeswoman Maeghan Dubois said on Monday that the company would take steps to "maximize progress and move the project further along, while emphasizing worker safety."

She added that the company did not have details about how it would adjust work at the mine.

K+S shares eased 0.1 percent in Frankfurt to 20.13 euros.

The accident, which happened less than a month after K+S toured journalists through the site, comes as the potash industry grapples with its lowest prices in a decade.

It's "a fascinating development considering the impact the Legacy greenfield may have on the already oversupplied potash industry," said BMO analyst Joel Jackson, in a note.

The accident to a key piece of equipment at the solution mine could result in, at best, a six to eight-week delay or, at worst, a one-year delay, Jackson said,

Legacy will use solution mining, a less expensive alternative to conventional mining that treats underground minerals with hot water and brings them to the surface for processing.

Legacy will provide competition for Canada's three existing producers, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, Mosaic Co MOS.N and Agrium Inc AGU.TO.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)"

"German potash miner K+S will ship potash to India at the same decade-low price that other sellers to the country have agreed to, three industry sources said on Monday, at a time when global supply of the crop nutrient is exceeding demand.

K+S's decision could pressure other key producers such as Russia's Uralkali and North American trading group Canpotex Ltd, owned by Potash Corp of Saskatchewan , Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc, to consider offering potash at similar prices.

Indian Potash Ltd (IPL), one of the country's biggest fertiliser importers, will buy 125,000 tonnes of potash at $227 per tonne on a cost and freight (CFR) basis with a credit period of 180 days, said the officials, who declined to be named as the contract has not been officially announced.

The price is a third lower than last year. Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) and Israel Chemicals (ICL) have agreed to supply potash at the same rate to India, one of the world's top buyers of the material.

Uralkali, the world's biggest potash producer, has said the price agreed by BPC was too low and it was not yet ready to sign a potash supply contract with India.

But Indian officials said they could not accept a price above $227 a tonne since the country has already bought around 1.5 million tonnes at the price. Prices were as high as $490 three years ago.

"There is no question of raising prices. If other suppliers don't agree, then we can buy more from Belarus, ICL and K+S," said a senior official with a state-run Indian fertiliser company.

IPL declined to comment on any potash contract, while K+S was not immediately available for the comment.

Last week, BPC signed an overdue deal with a consortium of Chinese firms to sell potash at $219 per tonne for 2016, a 30 percent drop from last year.

Due to weak global demand, fertilizer miner Mosaic Co has idled production at its Colonsay, Saskatchewan potash mine in western Canada for the rest of 2016. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Additional reporting by Patricia Weiss in FRANKFURT; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)"

Brandon Sun

"BETHUNE, Canada - An investigation is underway after a large piece of equipment collapsed during routine testing at the site of a potash mine under construction in Saskatchewan.

Officials with K+S Potash Canada say in a release that there were no serious injuries when equipment used for processing fell early Sunday morning at their Legacy Mine, about 60 kilometres northwest of Regina.

One media report says a worker suffered a sprained thumb.

The statement says the accident resulted in "consequential damage," but no other details have been released.

Social media postings by construction workers indicate that as of Sunday evening, the site was on a temporary stand-down.

About 3,000 workers have been involved in construction of the mine, which is expected to begin production this summer with about 100 permanent staff.

K+S Potash Canada is part of the K+S Group, an international resources company that has been mining and processing mineral raw materials for 125 years. (CKRM, CTV Regina)"




Captain Qahn's picture

Potash Commodotties On the Rise

"It was as if the potash industry breathed a collective sigh of relief.... long-awaited annual potash contract with a consortium of Chinese buyers. “Better late than never,” ... Scotiabank.

After BPC’s $219 a tonne agreement — a 30 per cent fall from 2015 — Israel Chemicals (ICL) on Tuesday said that it had signed a contract with its Chinese customers, and other large potash producers in Russia and North America are understood to be negotiating their own contracts.

The annual agreement with China, the world’s biggest potash user, provides a benchmark for the whole world...

"Potash, which regulates a plant’s water content and improves root strength, is mined from deposits in countries including Canada, Russia and Belarus. It is one of the key crop nutrients alongside nitrogen, made from natural gas or coal, and phosphates, which is also mined.

...Potash Corp... Uralkali ... Belaruskali are among the world’s leading suppliers. BHP Bilton ... largest miner by market value, is also developing Jansen, a potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Emiko Terazono of Finanical Times states the outlook is uncertain:

"Here are five factors that will shape the outlook:

"1. Increasing competition

The leading producers have all blamed rising competition in recent years for sluggish prices. In the past, the large suppliers have not pursued market share by offering lower prices. But a fight to sell increased volumes has broken out amid oversupply of potash as well as tumbling crop prices.

Macquarie points to Chinese customs data which show that Uralkali has gained share this year at the expense of ICL and Canpotex, the legal North American export cartel comprising of PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium. The bank expects the fight for market share to continue. “We see no alternative but for a growing market share battle between major potash producers,” it says.

2. Shipments in 2016 and 2017

A late Chinese contract settlement historically has led to lower international shipments for the year, but the pent-up demand usually means higher shipments the following year.

“We expect the situation will be no different with a delayed contract impacting shipments in the first half of 2016, setting up the potential for a strong demand recovery in the coming year,” says PotashCorp.

3. Bottoming demand

On top of the delayed demand over the Chinese contract, industry executives and analysts have noted a recovery in key markets including Brazil and the US.

Much will depend on currency movements. Uralkali says demand in the Brazilian and Indian market “is getting better,” while analysts also expect US farmers to increase fertiliser applications.

Crop prices also have a big impact. Grain and oilseed prices have fallen back after a rally in the first part of the year, but the fertiliser price declines relative to crop prices provides farmers with an incentive to apply more crop nutrients, according to analysis from PotashCorp. “We believe this increased affordability will support strong fertiliser demand and provide the opportunity for a fertiliser price recovery,” the company argues.

"4. Mixed supply outlook

While the China contract provides a floor for the market, questions about supply remain. “Any price increase depends on further discipline by the producers,” says Oliver Hatfield at consultants Integer.

This seems to be happening. Mosaic, for example, recently announced it would idle a mine with capacity of about 2.6m tonnes until the end of the year. Nearly 7m tonnes of production capacity could be closed between 2016 and 2020, says PotashCorp.

In the medium term, however, the market is braced for new production. K+S’s Legacy Mine in Saskatchewan, is due to be commissioned this year, reaching 2m tonne capacity in 2017. EuroChem is planning to commission two projects in Russia with targeted capacity of over 8m tonnes, with production aimed at 2017-18.

"5. Possible Belaruskali and Uralkali reunion

One leading factor behind tougher competition in the potash sector has been the break up in 2013 of the original BPC, formed between Uralkali and Belaruskali. Uralkali quit the trading arm after it accused Belaruskali of going behind its back in trading with China.

Over the past year, Uralkali’s large shareholders have reportedly approached Belaruskali about reviving their export distribution operations. If it happens, it could be bullish for potash prices. But Ben Isaacson, head of commodity research at Scotiabank, says there is little upside for Belaruskali, which has now built up relationships in key potash markets. The only real benefit “could be psychological tactics against buyers such as China and India,” he says."

source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/56f782b8-5345-11e6-9664-e0bdc13c3bef.html#axzz...


"Spanish potash developer Highfield Resources has withdrawn from its nonbinding memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for potash offtake it signed with European fertiliser companies in May.... on Tuesday said that the first MOUs, signed with large European fertiliser companies for up to 320 000 t/y of K60 Muriate of potash (MoP) from its Muga potash mine, near Pamplona, had been replaced with nonbinding MoUs with fertiliser traders Keytrade, Ameropa and Trammo, which covered up to 600 000 t/y of K60 MoP, covering more than 100% of expected phase-one production from its flagship mine."

Old Battleships & Flagship mines ;-)


Anchorage ....

Oh, OK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtWdFj6XHos

Obviously been watching too much  Portillo ... Hudson Bay. Nine links ...  

join the dots.

Ah, so ...  most annoying


Yawn ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

AU: 'Bikini' & Bennu

"SHATTERED battleships. Blasted aircraft carriers. It was a startling outcome that terrified the United States Navy. Now footage of the final death throes of the battle fleet assembled at Bikini Atoll atomic bomb test of 1946 has been released.

The US National Security Archives has declassified and released the entire stock of footage shot by surveillance aircraft that over flew the nuclear test site just minutes after the bomb went off.

It shows a churning cauldron at the bottom of the coral bay where the device was detonated, and a slew of major warships battered into hulks — and many of them sinking.

The test had been named Operation Crossroads.

It proved to be just that...

The US Navy had wanted to find out what atomic blasts could do to its heavily protected warships. So it positioned 95 war surplus ships in a neat array around the lagoon.

It expected to be able to knock out a few dents, give them a wash and to tow the ships away for further experimentation.

What it got was a horrifying demonstration of the brutal power of the bomb — and the lingering poison of nuclear fallout.

The first bomb — code name ‘Able’ — was similar to the one used on Nagasaki in Japan. The 23 kiloton device exploded 160m above the surface and only sank a handful of relatively minor ships. The radiation (which had spiked to lethal levels within the ships) quickly dissipated in days.

Bomb 'Baker': US Army Footage


"But the second bomb — code name ‘Baker’ — proved to be a real shock. Set off some 30m beneath the surface on July 25, 1946, it hurled an enormous dome of water vapour across the surface and a shock wave through the water that simply hammered the fleet to destruction.

Two heavily armoured battleships and an enormous aircraft carrier soon sank, much to the US Navys’ surprise. Five other big ships also went down.

But the true shock was the radiation.

Mountains of radioactive water, dirt and debris had been hurled into the sky and dumped back in the lagoon, inundating the ships.

It proved impossible to decontaminate the vessels of this fallout. In fact, the navy soon found itself in crisis as the crews sent to assess and reactivate the ships quickly became exposed.

Some 200 pigs had been placed at different positions within the ships as part of the test. They were all dead within a month.

The lingering nature of the fallout had simply not been expected.

The hulks of the ships had to be deliberately sunk because they remained too dangerous to be used in any way again."


Oh well ....  alternative undies :


"In 2135, Bennu will fly between the moon and Earth — a hair’s breadth in space ...

That’s so close that gravity from the Earth could effect Bennu’s orbit, “potentially putting it on course for the Earth later that century,” said Dante Lauretta, a professor of planetary science at Arizona University.

"Bennu is about 487 metres in diameter and travels around the sun at an average of 101,000 km per hour."

The chance of an impact is small but significant, and if it happens, would be equivalent to triggering three billion tonnes of high explosive, 200 times the strength of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“Bennu falls on the boundary, in terms of size, for an object capable of causing a global catastrophe,” Professor Mark Bailey of Northern Ireland’s Armagh Observatory told the Sunday Times."

"NASA will launch the Osiris-Rex probe mission to Bennu in September...

"The probe’s journey will involve a year of orbiting the sun to build up speed before it slingshots back around Earth, using the planet’s gravity to align its orbit with the asteroid’s, the Sunday Times reports. They will rendezvous in August 2018.

Osiris-Rex will then spend a year mapping the asteroid and then hover above its surface to pick up some rubble, before flying back to Earth.

For scientists, the chance of obtaining chunks of a carbonaceous asteroid is exciting. “Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid, an ancient relic from the early solar system that is filled with organic molecules,” Lauretta said. “Asteroids like Bennu may have seeded the early Earth with this material, contributing to the primordial soup from which life emerged.”

Tickety Tick.


Dig:-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XJ07onCqAs


Benefitz Betty's picture

African Potash

Captain Qahn's picture

Potash PourQuoi? - Why


"Over the last three years, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., Canada’s giant fertilizer producer, has scrapped two blockbuster deals proposed by two different leaders. Now Jochen Tilk is circling a third with Agrium Inc.

The question analysts are asking is: Why?

“You can come up with a rationale if you try hard enough, but it’s still kind of puzzling,” said Neil Fleishman, head of research at Green Markets, a unit of Bloomberg BNA. “It seems like a move just to make a move.”

Potash Corp. and Agrium, based in Calgary, said last month they’re in talks to merge one of the world’s largest producers of potash, a commonly used fertilizer for hundreds of years, with a farm supply retailer. If they agree, the deal would be substantial: Potash Corp. was valued at $14.8-billion (U.S.) as of the end of trading Tuesday, while Agrium sat at $13.3-billion.

Such an agreement would allow Potash Corp. to diversify its mining business with Agrium’s 1,400 retail outlets across seven countries. Yet it may do little to reverse a 34-per-cent decline in potash prices over the past year, sparked by oversupply, the crumbling of a global export system that had supported prices for decades, and tepid demand from places such as China.

“This isn’t a blockbuster deal that would make potash prices soar overnight,” Mr. Fleishman said by telephone.

The 52-year-old, German-born Mr. Tilk took the chief executive officer’s job in July, 2014, a year after his predecessor, industry icon Bill Doyle, also failed to pull off a deal, at that point with Israel Chemicals Ltd. Mr. Doyle left after overseeing a 12-year, $8.2-billion expansion, leaving a dilemma for Mr. Tilk as prices for his eponymous product slid, pulling his company’s stock down as well.

Since the day Mr. Tilk became CEO, the shares dove 44 per cent as of the close of trading on Tuesday. And this year, for the first time in 26 years, the company was forced to cut its dividend in response.

Potash Corp. declined to comment beyond its statement last month. Agrium didn’t immediately respond to questions.

Bank of Nova Scotia analyst Ben Isaacson, in looking at one potential gain from a Potash-Agrium deal, calculates potential savings of $300-million, but called that number “a bit of a stretch.” Steve Hansen, an analyst with Raymond James, estimated savings at $250-million to $500-million though he admits he’s still “a little perplexed” by the proposal.

While the companies say they’re exploring a “merger of equals,” Potash Corp. will probably have to pay a premium to close the deal, according to Scotiabank’s Mr. Isaacson.

The most likely reason for a merger may have little to do with current prices or even savings, according to Andrew Wong, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. It might be simply to boost Potash Corp.’s market share and sales through Agrium’s retail operation at a time when Russia-based Uralkali PJSC, Potash Corp’s leading rival, is benefiting from cheaper currencies and is bringing lower-cost mines into production.

Potash Corp. doesn’t sell directly to farmers. It delivers mainly to wholesalers buying on the spot market, according to its website. Agrium’s profile is a mirror image, with 77 per cent of its sales coming from its retail operation.

Adding to analyst confusion is uncertainty over which company initiated the talks and what Agrium may stand to gain.

While Agrium does some mining, most of its revenue last year came from global retail sales of fertilizers and seeds, a steadier source of cash flow that has pleased investors. Merging with Potash Corp. would subject it to the more cyclical turns of a mining company."

Market Share....



tis transformational ... 

Benefitz Betty's picture

Potash Is 'Colossal'

Live at the Colleseum ... coliseam or wotever...

"Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Agrium Inc. of Calgary have agreed to merge in a deal that would create a global agricultural giant with an enterprise value of $36 billion US.

The deal would bring together Saskatoon-based PotashCorp's huge fertilizer mines with Agrium's extensive global direct-to-farmer retail network to create an agricultural colossus."


yes but tis not Green is it ... tis grey n brown n somehow turns white.

Giant. Ant stamping.  Beans.


"Two large Canadian fertilizer giants have agreed to merge.

Agrium and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan signed an all-stock merger, creating the largest crop-nutrient company in the world ...

"The two companies produce nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers, which farmers use to grow their crops.

The deal follows others that touch the farming industry, including the merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont, with plans to eventually break into three parts, one of which to focus on agricultural chemicals. China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina, has also agreed to acquire seed and farm chemicals producer Syngenta. And the German industrial giant Bayer has been in back-and-forth negotiations with Monsanto, the American company known for its gentically modified crop seeds.  (allegedly grown at that Capita York science place)

Some farm groups have raised concerns about the effect of an merger of Agrium and Potash Corp. on fertilizer prices. Yet there has been little public outcry since the two companies said on Aug. 30 that they were in talks.

The deal will require regulatory and competition reviews. In Canada, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not raised any concerns about the merger, at least publicly.

Mr. Trudeau’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday morning."

"Six years ago, when demand from China was pushing up the price of potash, the Australian mining giant BHP Billiton tried to acquire Potash Corp. The takeover bid immediately prompted a political backlash among critics, including some traditional advocates of open investment policies.

Following a request by the province of Saskatchewan, which founded Potash Corp. in 1975 and sold it to the private sector it in 1989, the Conservative federal government of the time effectively killed the deal using foreign investment review laws.

China’s Sinochem also prepared to make a bid but withdrew it, apparently because of Canadian government opposition.

Reflecting the decline in fortune of the potash industry, the $36 billion value of the merged companies is well below the $39 billion BHP proposed to pay for Potash Corp. alone.

Potash Corp. said the average price for its commodity during the second quarter of this year was $154 a metric tonne. At the height of the battle with BHP, prices reached as high as $900.

Potash Corp. has mothballed a recently opened mine in the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick and temporarily closed some operations in Saskatchewan, the center of the industry in Canada. Mosaic, another Potash Corp. producer based in Plymouth, Minn., has also closed a mine in Saskatchewan, citing low prices.

The name of the combined Agrium and Potash, which will have about 20,000 employees, will be determined before the deal closes. The companies expect the merger will generate as much as $500 million in savings from combining their distribution and retail operations, production and back-office capabilities. They are expecting half of those so-called synergies to be achieved at the end of the first year after closing.

“This is a transformational merger that creates benefits and growth opportunities that neither company could achieve alone,” Charles V. Magro, Agrium’s president and chief executive, said in Monday’s statement.

Mr. Magro will become the chief executive of the combined company, while Jochen Tilk, the president and chief executive of Potash, will become the executive chairman after the merger. The new company’s board will have an equal amount of directors from each company.

Potash had a $14.3 billion market valuation as of Friday’s close, while Agrium’s was $13.2 billion. Under the terms of the deal, Potash shareholders will receive 0.400 common shares of the new company for each of their shares, while Agrium shareholders will receive 2.230 common shares of the new company.

After the close of the deal, the company will seek a dividend similar to Agrium’s, adjusted for the new amount of shares. The dividend would be subject to market conditions and board approval. It will count Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Potash is based, as the legally registered head office with corporate offices in Calgary as well. Prices of fertilizer have come under pressure recently, as demand has softened.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close during the middle of next year, dependent on approvals by regulators, Canadian court and shareholders.

Agrium’s financial advisers in the deal included Barclays and CIBC Capital Markets, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets advised Potash Corp. Agrium’s legal advisers were Blake, Cassels & Graydon; Norton Rose Fulbright Canada; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and Latham & Watkins. Stikeman Elliott and Jones Day provided legal counsel to Potash Corp. Morgan Stanley advised both Agrium and Potash Corp."


Thats a lot of advice .... mind beans don't pay for subscriptions ... but they are ruminating :-))


Boo to the baddies.... erm,  reap wot you sow. sew or somin.

tis good for bean sprouts ... allegedly.


Must be in demand...

Ah, so ....  Yggdrasil

Captain Qahn's picture

Stuck in a 'Moment'

Spare a thought:


"Dozens of miners were stuck underground in southeast Saskatchewan when a magnitude 3.8 earthquake hit early Monday morning.

Earthquakes Canada said it happened around 4:40 a.m. CST, and was centred about 32 kilometres east-southeast of Yorkton.

The Potash Corp. mine near Rocanville, Sask., had to switch to backup power when a power outage occurred.

However, that wasn't enough to run the hoists, so about 40 people were stuck underground for a while.

Randy Burton of Potash Corp. said the people underground went to refuge stations with power, air, and water until the power came back on.

The workers were then slowly brought back up to the surface — the last person coming up at about 11:30 a.m.

The company hasn't sent crews back down since, but it's not because of the outage.

"We're just starting our annual maintenance shut down, so this happened just by coincidence at the same time," said Burton.

Everyone was all right after the incident, and Burton said there was no damage to the mine.

Earthquake-related power outage

SaskPower reported a widespread outage in the area that impacted Moosomin, Rocanville, Whitewood, Esterhazy, Stockholm and Wapella. The company said the quake caused problems at a switching station, taking out power to about 2,000 residential customers.

This isn't the first time an earthquake has been felt in the area. According to Natural Resources Canada, there have been 12 earthquakes in the region at magnitude 3.0 or higher since 1981."


"A "technical hitch" has been blamed for leaving 180 passengers stuck on British Airways's i360 attraction in Brighton.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it was called at 18:39 BST and two fire engines were sent to the scene to assist.

The i360 pod was carrying a private party, including a heavily pregnant woman, who boarded the pod at about 17:00.

It was lowered to the ground about two hours later.

The BAi360 Twitter account said: "Our engineers are resolving the problem & expect it to be working normally soon."


"Dozens of people including at least one child were trapped overnight in cable cars at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres on Mont Blanc after the cars got stuck on Thursday afternoon.

Helicopters were used to rescue 48 people and about 30 in cars closest to the ground were able to climb down. But as night fell in the French Alps, the aerial operation had to be suspended, leaving more than 30 people dangling above the slopes.

Georges-Francois Leclerc, an official of the Haute-Savoie region, said conditions became very difficult as cloud cover increased. Twelve people were later evacuated by Italian rescuers, he said.

“We were forced to stop rescue operations at 8:45pm” for safety reasons, the dark and the weather making it too dangerous, he said, adding that they were not able to “guarantee the safety of the pilots, rescuers and the people stuck in the cars”.

Oh, well.   One day .... 



Benefitz Betty's picture

ICL : Soap on a Rope

Potash ... the Opera?


"The outgoing Israel Chemicals CEO has been replaced by COO Asher Grinbaum who becomes acting CEO.

Israel Chemicals CEO Stefan Borgas has been replaced by acting CEO Asher Grinbaum, the company’s former executive vice president and COO (who was to complete his term office by the end of 2016).

A brief and laconic announcement to the stock exchange on Thursday evening marked the end of Borgas’s challenging tenure as the head of Israel’s fertilizer giant, during which it faced a global drop in potash prices, a prolonged employee strike, arduous government regulation forcing ICL to invest billions of shekels in salt harvesting, and an extensive streamlining spearheaded by Borgas in the past two years.

However, his resignation seems to be motivated by an entirely different reason: a complaint regarding alleged sexual harassment, filed against Borgas several months ago by a senior ICL executive who had been axed. This alleged harassment had taken place after ICL executives had dined in one of Tel Aviv’s restaurants.

As far as we know, after the dinner, Borgas accompanied the employee to her home, which was only a few dozen meters from his own.

He then asked the employee to go up to her apartment, in order to get an impression of the place. When they parted, Borgas hugged and kissed the employee, according to her version against her will, and causing her to feel emotional distress. Borgas, on the other hand, claimed that this was an innocent and friendly kiss, not exceeding the acceptable norms.

“This was an innocent parting kiss which occurs many times daily in companies, if the employee felt that she was harassed, I am sorry and apologize. This has nothing to do with my resignation from the position of ICL’s CEO,” Borgas said.

Two months after the employee was fired, and during talks regarding the terms of her retirement, the ICL board found out about this incident. The board of directors, then headed by Nir Gilad, decided to transfer this issue for the examination of Judge (ret.) Ornit Agassi.

Last Tuesday, Agassi submitted her conclusions, which determined that this was sexual harassment, even if only in the milder sense of the term.

On the next day, the board announced that it will convene on Thursday evening, among other things to discuss the implications of this report.

For Borgas, the report was the ‘smoking gun’ ICL has put on his table, and although he disagreed with its conclusions, he immediately understood that he had no choice but to resign. He preferred be proactive and announced his intention to resign on Wednesday.

Sources in ICL claim that following legal consultation, the stock exchange announcement regarding the resignation did not include information on this incident, but only that Borgas attributed his resignation to personal considerations. This laconic statement concealed the crux of this matter, and did not initially reveal to the public the real reasons for Borgas’ decision to resign.

Today, ICL commented, “Due to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law, the company is prevented from providing any detail or document regarding the complaint or its very existence.”

Hmmm ...   "obiter dicta"   ... 

Top Totty eying up the Boors n Borgs

Slipper time :-)



Captain Qahn's picture

K+S Portal

something to look forward to .... in the land of Potty Ash:

“Legacy will make an important contribution to the future viability of K+S,” Ralf Bethke, chairman of the supervisory board of K+S AG, K+S Potash Canada’s parent company, said in a statement...

“The new plant will ensure that the company has access to high-grade resources for generations and will strengthen the position of K+S on the international potash market sustainably.”

Bethke, K+S AG Chairman Norbert Steiner and K+S Potash Canada president and CEO Ulrich Lamp “pressed the start button” this week during a visit to the site near Bethune, the company said in a news release...

" The Legacy project’s commissioning comes about four weeks after the structure supporting a 28-metre-tall crystallizer collapsed, causing the massive pressure vessel to plummet to the floor of the mine’s main production facility.

“It could have been a lot worse,” a pipefitter who worked on the project before being fired for posting about the incident on social media told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix at the time, adding that everyone working in the area was fortunate to escape unscathed.

K+S AG said two weeks ago that the accident delayed the mine's first production by about six months, to the second quarter of 2017. However, the company maintains it will reach its target production capacity of two million tonnes by the end of next year.

In a news release, the company said about 4,000 construction workers are completing the mine’s surface facilities while 54 caverns, each as large as a football stadium, are being mined in all of the project’s six well fields."


Ah, so .... subject matter experts : http://www.ks-potashcanada.com/

nice trains ...

Eh, Oh.

"A German court said on Tuesday it would not open proceedings against executives of German potash and salt miner K+S on charges of water pollution.

Prosecutors had in March pressed charges against the chief executive, chairman and 12 other employees of K+S over suspected illegal waste water disposal.

The state court in Meiningen said that the charges referred to actions so far in the past that the statute of limitations had passed. It also said it did not believe that sufficient evidence could be gathered to make a case against the defendants.

The charges were directed at 14 employees of K+S, including the former and current chief executive, as well as further executive board members, a number of K+S staff, and also two employees and one former employee of the state of Thuringia mining authority, the prosecutors' office said."

'actions so far in the past that the statue of limitations had passed.'


Ah, so .... Mosaic ... make it up as you go along:



Captain Qahn's picture

Mosaic Sink Hole

"About 980 million litres of radioactive water have leaked into Florida's main underground source of drinking water, officials in the US state say.

The leak occurred after a huge sinkhole opened up under a phosphate fertiliser plant near Tampa, damaging the stack where waste water was stored.

The water contained phosphogypsum, a slightly radioactive by-product from the production of fertiliser.

The phosphate company Mosaic said the leak posed no risk to the public.

It added the contaminated water had not reached private supplies and the firm was recovering it using pumps.

"Groundwater moves very slowly," senior Mosaic official David Jellerson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

However, Jacki Lopez, Florida director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told Reuters news agency: "It's hard to trust them when they say 'Don't worry,' when they've been keeping it secret for three weeks."

The sinkhole - about 45ft (14m) in diameter - at Mosaic's New Wales facility in the town of Mulberry was discovered by a company worker on 27 August.

The sinkhole later caused the waste pond to drain, and the contaminated water has now seeped into the aquifer.

Aquifers are massive underground systems of porous rocks that hold water."





The incident hasn't affected the plant's daily operations. It produces roughly 4 million tons a year of fertilizer and animal feed.

But the spill has angered environmentalists, who question Mosaic's ability to prevent the leak from contaminating the aquifer beyond Mosaic's property line.

"We don't know how deep the monitoring wells are," said Andy Mele, conservation chairman for the Sierra Club's Manatee-Sarasota group. "I trust nothing that Mosaic says."

Mosaic has run afoul of environmental regulators before.

Last October, it agreed to pay nearly $2 billion to settle a federal lawsuit over hazardous waste and to clean up operations at six Florida sites and two in Louisiana.

The EPA said it had discovered Mosaic employees were mixing highly corrosive substances from its fertilizer operations with the solid waste and wastewater from mineral processing, in violation of federal and state hazardous waste laws.

The sinkhole is the second to open at the New Wales plant, following a 120-foot-wide one in 1994 at a different section of the facility.

At that time, the plant was owned by IMC, which became Mosaic after merging with Cargill. It cost IMC about $7 million to remediate the site, according to a Sarasota Herald-Tribune report.

The same approach of pumping water out of the aquifer was used then and was successful, Jellerson said.

Still, a second potential contamination of the aquifer shows that phosphate production puts water supplies at risk, said Tania Galloni, managing attorney for the Florida Office of Earthjustice, an environmental nonprofit group.

"These phosphate companies are playing roulette with our public waters," Galloni said. "They cause devastation so severe that the scars can be seen clearly from space."

It should be noted that York Potash will not be processing and that polyhalite is not phosperous and is a base material.

P4: http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/planning/york-potash/Review-of-ADAS-rep...

'every tonne of product mined is a tonne of saleable material'



Eat your hearts out Agirum, Mosaic et al :-)))



Captain Qahn's picture

Mosaic Tampered

"A massive sinkhole that opened underneath a gypsum stack at a Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Mulberry may have dumped at least 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the Floridan Aquifer over the past three weeks, company officials say.

And it could be months before the hole is plugged, the officials acknowledge.

The 45-foot-wide sinkhole opened at the New Wales plant, where phosphate rock mined elsewhere is converted into fertilizer.

It drained millions of gallons of acidic water laced with sulfate and sodium from a pool atop a 120-foot gypsum stack. An unknown amount of gypsum, a fertilizer byproduct with low levels of radiation, also fell into the sinkhole, which is believed be at least 300 feet deep.

The pond is now drained, but aerial video taken Friday shows polluted water is still seeping from the gypsum stack and plunging like a waterfall into the sinkhole. More contaminated water will leak with every new rainfall until the sinkhole is filled. The acidic level of the water is roughly equivalent to vinegar or lemon juice.

Mosaic workers became aware of the leak when water levels in the pond dropped 2 feet between readings on Aug. 27. They began diverting water from the pond, which can hold up to about 250 million gallons.

Wells were used to monitor groundwater around the sinkhole. No off-site contamination has been detected, Mosaic officials said.

The company notified the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Polk County about the leak.

But neither Mosaic nor DEP officials notified the public about the spill.

David Jellerson, senior director of environment and phosphate projects, said Mosaic decided there was no need to alert neighbors — many of whom use well water — because testing has shown that the contamination has not spread from the 1,600-acre site.

The DEP was notified Aug. 28, spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller said. Staffers were on site the next day and are making frequent visits to monitor cleanup efforts.

"The department's focus at this time is on the oversight of Mosaic's first-response efforts in order to safeguard public health and the environment," Miller said in an email.

Mosaic has agreed to pay for the testing of well water at surrounding properties and has received 14 requests so far. Testing will be conducted by a contractor hired by Mosaic and is expected to start next week.

To tackle the contamination in the aquifer, Mosaic is using a recovery well that pumps 3,500 gallons of water per minute from the aquifer back to the surface, where it will be reused for phosphate processing.

"We're confident the recovery well is effectively collecting the contaminants," Jellerson said.

Water in the aquifer is laden with sand and sediment and flows slowly. Nonetheless, extracting all of the contaminated water and sediment before it spreads will be extremely difficult, said Robert Brinkmann, a professor of geology and environmental sustainability at Hof­stra University and author of Florida Sinkholes: Science and Policy.

"That's the bad thing about this: The aquifer is like Swiss cheese and it's interconnected," Brinkmann said. "Contamination can be very rapid. They must be working very hard to figure out where this is going."

Longer term, Mosaic will likely fill the sinkhole with a concrete-like grout and repair the heavy-duty plastic liner beneath the gypsum stack.

First, though, it will have to drop sonarlike equipment into the hole to map its dimensions.

It isn't yet known whether the DEP will insist that Mosaic remove phosphogypsum from the sinkhole before filling it or whether Mosaic will face fines for the spill.

"Once the initial response phase is complete, we will have a more complete understanding of all circumstances surrounding the event," Miller said. "At that time, we will turn our attention to determining the best next steps in DEP's enforcement process."

The incident hasn't affected the plant's daily operations. It produces roughly 4 million tons a year of fertilizer and animal feed.

But the spill has angered environmentalists, who question Mosaic's ability to prevent the leak from contaminating the aquifer beyond Mosaic's property line.

"We don't know how deep the monitoring wells are," said Andy Mele, conservation chairman for the Sierra Club's Manatee-Sarasota group. "I trust nothing that Mosaic says."

Mosaic has run afoul of environmental regulators before.

Last October, it agreed to pay nearly $2 billion to settle a federal lawsuit over hazardous waste and to clean up operations at six Florida sites and two in Louisiana.

The EPA said it had discovered Mosaic employees were mixing highly corrosive substances from its fertilizer operations with the solid waste and wastewater from mineral processing, in violation of federal and state hazardous waste laws.

The sinkhole is the second to open at the New Wales plant, following a 120-foot-wide one in 1994 at a different section of the facility.

At that time, the plant was owned by IMC, which became Mosaic after merging with Cargill. It cost IMC about $7 million to remediate the site, according to a Sarasota Herald-Tribune report.

The same approach of pumping water out of the aquifer was used then and was successful, Jellerson said.

Still, a second potential contamination of the aquifer shows that phosphate production puts water supplies at risk, said Tania Galloni, managing attorney for the Florida Office of Earthjustice, an environmental nonprofit group.

"These phosphate companies are playing roulette with our public waters," Galloni said. "They cause devastation so severe that the scars can be seen clearly from space."


ps ... fracking:


Yep, I may be banging on about this and tis no doubt complicated  ... however given the local 'fracking' fraternity getting their knickers in a twist with plans to pour waste water down't nearest big hole (KM8 6000 ft below the aquifer btw) this is the most recent and current case of Aquifers, waste water ra ra to work with.   

And any environmentalist worth a pinch of salt would be mucking in with that great big 'responsible'  Corp across the pond to monitor, trace, analyse and review .... instead of sitting on the sidelines whining and moaning like the pond life....

Humbly Bumbly.... yep sh*t happens but what a great opportunity for evidential exploration.

don't move improve! oh, ok no pain no gain .... :-)


White rabbits .... yep I'd have been down that hole faster than a white rabbit :-)


looking the other way is no longer an option.... mind they may have to make the hole wider for my bfg :-)


they thought that through too:


Captain Qahn's picture


Captain Qahn's picture

Tailor Made Potash

One for the Muppets?


".... Formed in 2012 by members of PotashOne — which developed Legacy before selling it to K+S for $434 million — and Nexxt Potash Inc., Gensource is planning to disrupt the global potash industry with a new business plan. 

The plan is based on Ferguson’s belief that the dominance of a few major companies, and the subsequent rise of international marketing groups like Canpotex Ltd., has priced potential potash purchasers out of the market.

“You have essentially zero choice about where you get that (potash) from. You have one channel, and one channel only,” Ferguson said, adding that “cartel”-like marketing structures have actually curbed demand for Saskatchewan potash....

"Gensource’s strategy involves swapping massive underground mines and sprawling distribution structures for small-scale extraction operations funded by agreements to sell potash directly to the people and groups that use it. 

“Our model of vertical integration is all about landing potash as close to the farmers’ fields as we possibly can,” Ferguson said in an interview at Gensource’s downtown Saskatoon headquarters. 

“For us, potash is not about mining,” the company’s president and CEO added in an email. “The mining is a part of it for sure, but the business part is about being a supplier to agriculture.”

Gensource plans to raise $250 million by pre-selling potash to build a 250,000-tonne-per-year “selective dissolution” mine in the province, likely on its Lazlo property near Craik or Vanguard site not far from Moose Jaw.

Ferguson said the company’s technology — imagine a vertical shaft pumping solution through a lattice of horizontal tunnels — is economical and, because it eliminates the need for surface tailings deposits, environmentally friendly. 

“The way to reduce the risk is to have this stuff pre-sold,” he said. “This is the beginning of a change as we see it, that the old way of doing things is starting to change. And we see ourselves as the leading edge of that change.”"

Is he for real?

"“I think if I were running a junior exploration and development-type company … I would be preparing and making myself as attractive as possible to sell when the market turns.”

Ferguson is undaunted. While he knows that raising capital is the single biggest challenge Gensource will face, he believes the answer to the question of whether his company can change the industry is “emphatically yes,” he said.

“The bad market kind of puts the whole industry in flux. Nobody really knows which way to go, or what to do — and it’s such an opportune time to introduce a new way to approach the market. It’s almost tailor-made for us.”"

pmsl : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFrFhwMQMXg&list=RDoc_x2-rCFWI&index=9

Ya don't spose he's Trump's warm up guy.... theatrically speaking.  

Ah, so ...  another booked.

ffs: http://www.gensourcepotash.ca/

Seriously,  smells like a 'Cartel' dummy?   

Yeps, they is taking an elaborate pish.

is howling : -))) 


quick someone take a screen shot ....

Oh Dear ...

Ah, so ... must not overdose on't Methane aftershave:  Sniff.


Captain Black's picture

Ini Mini Minu Mo


"It is thought the Brazil-based miner is ready to offload two thirds of its fertiliser segment to US-based Mosaic for around US$3 billion.

The business includes mines in Brazil and Peru that produced 463,000 tonnes of potash and 7.97 million tonnes of phosphate products in 2015. Vale already has a joint venture with Mosaic in the form of the Bayóvar operation in Peru.

Back as early as June, newswires reported Vale was in discussions over the sale of the entirety of its business as it looked to achieve its ambitious target of cutting $5-7 billion of net debt this year. So far, the company has only achieved 18% of this through the sale of three shipping vessels and a gold streaming deal at its Salobo copper mine, according to investment bank Jefferies.

There are also reports Vale’s remaining stake in the fertiliser business could be sold to another party for $1 billion, although a bidder is yet to be named."


Captain Qahn's picture

VALE, Silent


"A global oversupply of potash has caused prices to tumble in the past year, leading to layoffs and mine closures across the sector.

Prices for the fertilizer ingredient began their decline four years ago, as weak crop prices and currencies weakness pinched demand. Potash has also suffered from increased competition following the breakup in 2013 of a Russian-Belarusian marketing cartel that previously helped limit supply.

The industry's woes have seen a pick-up in M&A and two weeks ago Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) (NYSE: POT), the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer by capacity, and smaller rival Agrium (TSX:AGU) (NYSE: AGU) agreed to an all-share merger, creating the world’s largest crop-nutrient supplier worth about $36 billion.

North American US-based Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS), the world’s largest producer of phosphate fertilizer, has also long been rumoured to be in talks with Vale (NYSE:VALE) to acquire the Brazilian company's fertilizer unit, in a deal worth about $3 billion, but on Friday Vale seemed to indicate that a sale may not be close.

In a terse statement on its website, Vale simply announced that at Thursday's meeting of "the Board of Directors did not deliberate on the sale of its fertilizer business."

The company may be reviving its Rio Colorado potash project in Argentina, mothballed in 2013, but on a smaller scale. It now aims to produce 1.3 million tonnes of potash a year, down from the 4 million tonnes originally planned. Vale has already lavished $2.2 billion on the project in the Mendoza province."


Captain Black's picture



"As of October 1, 2016 China Molybdenum Co will own Anglo American’s niobium and phosphates businesses in the Brazilian states of Goiás and São Paulo.

Specifically, CMOC bought Fosfatos Brasil Limitada and Nióbio Brasil Limitada, as well as the associated niobium sales and marketing function.  

“The niobium business is an important strategic addition to CMOC’s existing molybdenum and tungsten business as it is a critical value-added input for specialised alloys and steel production. The phosphates business provides strategically important diversification benefits to the Company’s metals portfolio. The phosphates sector has attractive long-term fundamentals and positive outlook due to robust demand and supply dynamics in Brazil,” the Asian firm said in a statement.

CMOC paid approximately US$1.7 billion, constituting the agreed consideration of US$1.5 billion and approximately US$187 million of working capital and other adjustments, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

Anglo American said that, after taxes payable and transaction costs, net proceeds of $1.5 billion from the sale will be used to reduce debt.

AAL is the world's number five diversified mining company, but it announced a " radical portfolio  restructuring" at the end of last year with the idea of holding just to the assets where it sees long-term potential. "

AA ... Chomping at the bit? They said it would ne'er 'appen.


"The U.S. Federal Reserve has ordered the New York branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) to improve its anti-money-laundering system"




Captain Black's picture

Old Rope

"Shareholders of Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc overwhelmingly approved an all-stock merger of the fertilizer producers on Thursday, shifting the focus to U.S. and Canadian regulators.
More than 99 per cent of Potash investors and 98 per cent of Agrium shareholders voted in favor of the deal, the companies said at separate meetings in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Calgary, Alberta, respectively. Reuters reported last month that shareholders were likely to give overwhelming backing for the deal.
The deal required two-thirds’ support of votes cast by each company’s investors to proceed.
Crop nutrient producers are struggling with falling prices and profits, as supplies are ample and farm incomes are strained by weaker crop values.
Potash sought to diversify with Agrium’s farm retail network, while Agrium management worked to address investor concerns that the deal exposed them further to low potash prices.
“The expectation (is) the combined entity will have greater leverage and upside participation in a potash price recovery,” said Brad Allen, director of Branav Shareholder Advisory Services, which advises companies on corporate governance issues. “It will take time to validate that optimism, and cost synergy rationales extolled in press releases are often not fully achieved.”
The companies agreed in September to merge into a new company, of which Potash investors would own 52 per cent.
In North America, the merged company would control two-thirds of potash capacity and nearly one-third of phosphate and nitrogen capacity. The tie-up is expected to close in mid-2017, if it clears regulatory scrutiny.
The Canadian Competition Bureau is likely to rule that the companies’ operations do not meaningfully overlap, or will allow the merger based on an argument that efficiencies are greater than anti-competitive harm, said Mark Warner, principal at MAAW Law, which advises clients on antitrust issues.
U.S. regulators may be more rigorous, reflecting the next president’s likely tougher approach to competition concerns and with several other agricultural mergers proposed among seed and chemical companies, Warner said. The combination of Agrium’s farm retail business, North America’s largest, with Potash’s fertilizer capacity, may draw particular attention, he added.
“I think in the U.S. this will get a rougher ride.”
The deal carries a $485-million termination fee for either company, but it does not apply if a regulator requires a remedy, such as selling a potash mine.
Agrium shares dropped 1.2 per cent and Potash stock eased 0.4 per cent in New York."
Boring .... innit.

Captain Black's picture

Shooting Stars

"Luxembourg is stepping up efforts to become Europe’s centre for space mining by buying a major stake in US-based asteroid miner Planetary Resources in a deal worth $28 million (€25 million) in investments.
The funding, which includes a direct investment of €12 million and grants for €13 million from the country’s government and bank Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI), aims to help Planetary Resources launch its first commercial asteroid prospecting mission by 2020, the Redmond, Washington firm said in a statement.
The agreement falls within the framework of Luxembourg’s SpaceResources.lu initiative, which goal is to boost exploration and the commercial utilization of resources from near earth objects, such as asteroids, the government said in a separate statement.
As part of the deal, Planetary Resources is setting up a European headquarters in the country, which will conduct key research and development activities in support of its commercial asteroid prospecting capabilities, as well as support international business activities, the asteroid miner said.
The tiny European nation is one of the euro zone's wealthiest countries and already has a long-standing space industry, playing a significant role in the development of satellite communications.
In June, it announced the opening of a €200 million (US$221 million) line of credit for entrepreneurial space companies to set up their European headquarters within its borders.
Prior to date, Luxembourg reached an agreement with another US-based company, Deep Space Industries, which will be conducting missions to prospect for water and minerals in outer space. Both parties are currently developing Prospector-X, a small and experimental spacecraft that test technologies for prospecting and mining near Earth asteroids after 2020.
"Legal frame Luxembourg’s administration is also working on a legal frame for exploiting space resources so that private companies can be entitled to the resources they mine from asteroids, but not to own the celestial bodies themselves.
"The only international legal body available dates back to 1967. The Outer Space Treaty, signed by the US, Russia and a number of other countries, says that nations can’t occupy nor own territory in space.
“Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States,” the treaty says, adding that “outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”
And while a discussion on the matter is bound to happen, countries such as the US, have decided to make their own rules. Last year, President Barack Obama signed a law granting American citizens rights to own resources mined in space.
The ground-breaking rule was touted as a major boost to asteroid mining because it encourages the commercial exploration and utilization of resources from asteroids obtained by US firms.
Such law does include a very important clause, as it clarifies that US citizens are not granted “sovereignty or sovereign or exclusive rights or jurisdiction over, or the ownership of, any celestial body.”
Geologists believe asteroids are packed with iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth, making up a market valued in the trillions of dollars."
The annoying bit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIGv23PvfMo
Ah, so ... Door steps: 
Russell Watson ... a big fan at the Futurist btw. 
"NASA’ OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will take samples of asteroid material and return it to Earth."
Erm,   Have no doubt Sirius Minerals will be contributing to Space Mining Exploration ...  or I'll eat my  *** :-))  
One day ...

Captain Black's picture

Mosaic "Potash Rebound"

"World potash shipments to rebound in 2017, says Mosaic
Mosaic forecast a "rebound" in world potash shipments next year, and a "positive demand outlook" sending phosphate industry sales to a record high, even as the fertilizer giant unveiled better-than-expected results.
The US-based group forecast that world potash volumes would in 2017 rise for the first time in three years, to 61m-63m tonnes, from 59.6m tonnes in 2016, driven by a quest for fresh supplies after a rundown in global stocks.
"Shipment growth is expected to benefit from what we believe will be a sizable pullback in channel inventories by the close of 2016," said Mosaic.
Asia growth
Shipments to Asia are expected to see particular growth – including in China, the top potash importer, where volumes will rise from 13.0m-13.3m tonnes this year to 13.7m-14.2m tonnes in 2017.
While Beijing is implementing measures to cut plantings of corn, a particularly fertilizer-hungry crop, Mosaic said that it did not believe the shake-up would have "material adverse impact on demand" next year.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, better fundamentals - namely, better rainfall, lower potassium prices and a strong rebound in palm oil prices will "begin driving a meaningful increase in 2017," according to the company.
Strong rebound in phosphates
Mosaic also forecast higher global shipments of phosphates, of which it is the top producer, with volumes next year to reach 66m-68m tonnes, up from 65.6m tonnes this year.
The group flagged a "positive demand outlook", notably in Latin America, where Brazil was seeing a "big demand pull" thanks to higher corn prices, while other countries in the region could see volumes hit 3.7m tonnes and take out a record set a decade ago.
"Higher local‐currency ag commodity prices and low fertilizer prices continue to fuel a strong rebound in demand," Mosaic said, also highlighting a switch by Argentine growers to corn.
"It is apparent that Argentina's decision not to lower their soybean export tariff next year is not having a deleterious impact on phosphate demand and has been offset by higher corn area."
Colonsay mine to reopen
Mosiac said that its temporarily halted potash mine at Colonsay, Saskatchewan may restart next year.
The company had stopped production at the mine in 2016 because of low global potash demand and weak prices.
However, as fertilizer demand looked strong for the spring planting season, the company said it would restart operations.
"We're believing it will probably be necessary for us to be starting up Colonsay in the early new year," said Joc O'Rourke, the Mosaic chief executive.
Profit beats estimates
Mosaic's profits easily beat estimates, as the company sold more potash than it had expected.
It attributed the higher sales to "solid on-farm demand, destocking of channel inventories and optimization of operations."
Mosaic sold 2.2m tonnes of potash in the three months ending September 30, compared with its estimates of 1.8m-2.1m tonnes. Last year, the company had sold 1.6m tonnes of potash in the same period.
The higher volumes offset somewhat the impact of a lower potash sales price, at $160 per tonne, compared with $265 per tonnes last year.
Fertilizer prices have been falling steeply on weaker currencies in importing countries such as Brazil and excessive supplies."

Benefitz Betty's picture

US President Clinton First Shovel at Sirius Mine

Oh, OK ...

Stranger things have 'appened :-))


"If Hillary Clinton is elected president when millions of Americans vote next week, a small corner of England will be claiming links to the most powerful woman in the world. BBC News went to the mining region where her grandfather's journey started more than 100 years ago..."

Erm,  Durham is not a small corner of England... thats where steam engines come from you bb-dope

Mind I spose Gina would have somin to say about that ...

Unless of course Trump deports our Hillary .... and half the USA tooo

"The credit ratings agency said US non-financial companies it rates would increase their overall cash holdings to $1.77 trillion by the end of 2016 - up from $1.68tn year on year. 

And most of that money will be held overseas, reaching an estimated $1.3tn, up from $1.2tn."

Hmmm. Good old wikki ...  tis variable from state to state 15% to 39%


Oh well, back to Ozford:

"Plans for a development near a nature reserve that inspired The Chronicles of Narnia have been opposed by residents..."


spose its better than Never Never Land eh,  unlike the Futurist !!!


Captain Black's picture

The Krystal Maze