PotashCorp to keep N.B. mine running, for now

(Dave Bedard photo)

“Ongoing tightness” in the granular potash market will keep a New Brunswick mine staffed and operating past its scheduled closing date.

Fertilizer giant PotashCorp announced Monday it has “rescinded” the layoff notices for about 50 employees at its Penobsquis mine at Sussex, N.B.

The layoffs had been issued in the wake of cost-cutting measures the Saskatoon company announced in December, including reductions of about 570 positions across the company’s Canadian potash workforce. [Related story]

Citing potash market conditions, PotashCorp on Monday described its move as a “temporary extension in operations” for Penobsquis, which until now had been expected to cease production by the end of the company’s first fiscal quarter.

In December, shutting down Penobsquis had been expected to allow PotashCorp to “accelerate development activities” on its new Picadilly mine and wet mill nearby.

However, ramp-up activities at the Picadilly site are “continuing on schedule,” PotashCorp said Monday, expecting initial production from the mine during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

Following the ramp-up of the $2.2 billion Picadilly project, PotashCorp’s nameplate capacity at its New Brunswick operation is expected to sit at two million tonnes. — AGCanada.com Network

 

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