Chinese coal mining firm makes Sask. potash play

A potash exploration company bringing major miner Rio Tinto in on some of its holdings in southeastern Saskatchewan now plans to sell some of its other potash permits to a Chinese coal miner.

North Atlantic Potash, owned by Russian fertilizer producer JSC Acron, on Friday said it will sell its rights on eight potash permitted areas north of Regina to a Canadian subsidiary of Chinese mining firm Yancoal for $110 million.

NAP said the added funds will allow it to “focus its activity on key areas of interest within its remaining potash permits in Saskatchewan,” including “advanced exploration” and drilling work.

“The proceeds of this sale allow us to substantially increase our exploration program in the province,” NAP CEO David Waugh said in the company’s release Friday.

Along with the properties covered by its joint venture deal with Rio Tinto, NAP’s area of interest “remains our Foam Lake property, where we have completed an extensive seismic survey and are currently preparing drilling sites to begin a drilling campaign in November,” Waugh said.

Yancoal, or Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., runs eight mines in China, where it’s operated since 1997, and expanded into Australian coal mining in 2004.

Related story:

Rio Tinto buys into Sask. potash play, Sept. 27, 2011

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