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IC Potash starts environmental study at US project

By: Matthew Hill TSX V-listed IC Potash said on Monday it had started environmental permitting work at its Ochoa sulphate of potash (SOP) project in New Mexico. The mine is expected to cost $662-million and produce 660 000 t/y of SOP, also called potassium sulphate, which is used to make crop fertilisers. 

Mesa acquires Utah potash permits

By: Matthew Hill Hot on the heels of changing its name from Mesa Uranium to Mesa Exploration, the TSX V-listed company said on Thursday it had bought a western Utah potash project. The White Mountain deposit consists of 1 700 acres of Federal potash permit applications, the company said in a statement. 

Silver Lakes buys Alberta potash property

By: Matthew Hill TSX V-listed Silver Lake Resources has agreed to buy Pacific Canada Potash, which owns prospects in Alberta, for four-million shares and $525 000 in cash, it announced on Thursday. On closing the deal, Silver Lake will change its name to Pacific Potash Corporation, it said. 

Commodity prices to climb for another 5-10 years, says Bharti

By: Matthew Hill The gold price will reach $2 000/oz by the end of next year, Toronto-based Forbes & Manhattan CEO Stan Bharti predicted on Monday. He said the broader commodities bull cycle would last another five to ten years before seeing a major correction, as investors discarded financial assets for hard... 

Much higher prices needed for profitable new potash mines - Mosaic CEO

By: Matthew Hill Potash prices will need to nearly double from current levels to justify building brand new mines, Mosaic CEO James Prokopanko said on Thursday. “On the greenfield side, I just don’t see projects being justified as yet,” he said on the company’s third-quarter results call. 

Spur jumps on JV rejigging

By: Matthew Hill Spur Ventures’ shares leapt 45% in Toronto after the phosphate miner said its Chinese joint-venture would restructure and accelerate phosphate production in the Asian country. Under the restructuring, Spur will end up owning a minimum 20% stake in Yichang Maple Leaf Chemicals, depending on a... 

Ethiopian Potash adopts poison pill, shares rise

By: Matthew Hill TSX V-listed Ethiopian Potash Corp has implemented a shareholder rights plan, it said on Tuesday. The company’s shares rose 13% in Toronto, despite Ethiopian Potash’s assurances that its board is not aware of any company planning to buy it out. 

MagIndustries gets interest from 'several' potential backers

By: Matthew Hill Potash junior MagIndustries has received “several” approaches from companies interested in funding its Mengo project in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), and continues “to actively pursue discussions with a significant industrial group”, it said on Friday. The Toronto-based company added it... 

Allana Potash raises C$10m from IFC

By: Matthew Hill Allana Potash, which owns prospects in Ethiopia, said on Thursday it had raised C$10-million from selling shares and warrants to the International Finance Corp (IFC), sending its shares up 5%. The TSX V-listed junior said it will use the money to fund drilling and a feasibility study at its... 

Potash Corp says tighter grain markets to boost fertiliser prices

By: Matthew Hill Global grain production needs to climb by over 5% this year to meet projected demand, boosting fertiliser demand and prices, Potash Corp said. “Historically, production has increased by approximately 2%/year; therefore, we see potential for further tightening in global grain markets,” the... 

BHP Billiton contracts SNC-Lavalin for potash projects 

By: Matthew Hill BHP Billiton has appointed SNC-Lavalin to develop its Saskatchewan projects in a multi-year contract, the engineering firm said on Tuesday. The company will build a project hub where it will manage the feasibility studies and construction of the world’s biggest mining company’s potash developments. 

Encanto announces potash resources at Saskatchewan project

By: Matthew Hill Encanto Potash Corp, exploring for the crop nutrient in Saskatchewan, said on Friday it had about 2-billion tons of indicated and inferred resources at its Muskowekwan project that it could mine in solution. If mined conventionally, the resources would be 800-million tons grading at 36%... 

Potash junior successfully raises $20m

By: Matthew Hill TSX V-listed IC Potash, which has projects in New Mexico, said on Thursday it had successfully raised $20-million in a bought deal offering. The company will use the money to develop its Ochoa project where it aims to produce sulfate of potash, used as a crop fertiliser. 

Ethiopian Potash lists in Toronto 

By: Matthew Hill Ethiopian Potash Corp started trading on TSX-V on Friday, after the reverse takeover of Panorama Resources got approval from the exchange. The company, headed by CEO David Wahl, owns the G&B property in Afar State, Ethiopia. 

Potash Corp CFO hits back at tax critics

By: Matthew Hill Potash Corp of Saskatchewan CFO Wayne Brownlee said on Thursday that its tax rate was “extremely high” compared with competitors in other countries, and that critics were “cherry picking their information for political expediency purposes”. Speaking on a webcast, he said that the firm paid lower... 

K+S names Wilson new Potash One CEO

By: Matthew Hill German fertiliser giant K+S announced on Tuesday it had appointed Richard Wilson as CEO of Potash One, which it bought for C$434-million last year.Wilson will on March 1 replace Alexa Hergenröther, who had been interim CEO at the potash subsidiary. 

BHP boosts buyback plan to $10bn, profit soars 72%

BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, increased first half earnings by 71,5%, helped by surging prices for the raw materials it produces. The group reported attributable profit for the six months ended December 31 of $10,52-billion, compared with $6,14-billion a year earlier.  

Agrium expects 'tuck-in' acquisitions this year

By: Matthew Hill TSX- and NYSE-listed Agrium will announce “tuck-in” acquisitions for its retail in Argentina, Canada and the US this year, to add to the deals it did over the past few months in those regions, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. “I expect that we will announce acquisitions this year in all those... 

Agrium profit jumps

By: Matthew Hill Calgary-based Agrium on Tuesday reported net earnings had climbed to $158-million in the last quarter of 2010, more than five times the level in the same period the previous year. The fertiliser-maker said it was benefiting from high crop prices, and expected these to remain “well above historic... 

Jansen potash project advances to feasibility stage – BHP

By: Petronel Smit The world’s biggest diversified miner BHP Billiton has progressed its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan to the feasibility study phase, it announced on Wednesday. The project was designed to produce about eight-million tons a year of agricultural grade potash over an estimated 70-year life,... 

Potash Corp says prices will rise further in 'supply constrained' market

By: Liezel Hill Potash prices will continue to rise in 2011 as the gap between supply capacity and demand for the crop nutrient narrows, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan CEO Bill Doyle said on Thursday. Potash Corp shares rose 3% on Thursday, to C$172,26 apiece by 16:36 in Toronto. The stock rose as high as C$177,84... 

Potash Corp profit jumps, hikes dividend as prices rise

By: Liezel Hill Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the biggest producer of the crop nutrient, more than doubled its profit in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, helped by rising demand and strong price growth for all three of its product groups. Shares in the company rose 2,36% on Thursday morning, to... 

Sirius buys Yorkshire potash company in £25m deal

By: Petronel Smit Aim-listed Sirius Minerals on Monday announced that it had bought private UK company York Potash for £25-million in shares, expanding its portfolio of potash projects. York Potash is studying the development of a potash project in England, which has the potential to be one of the world's largest... 

BHP submits environmental impact statement for Jansen project

By: Liezel Hill BHP Billiton has submitted an environmental-impact statement for its Jansen potash project, in Saskatchewan, to provincial authorities for review. The project, about 140 km east of Saskatoon, is expected to produce about eight-million tons a year of potash at full capacity, the company said in a... 

Quadra's DMC unit will build potash shafts for BHP

By: Liezel Hill DMC Mining Services, the mining services subsidiary of base-metals producer Quadra FNX Mining, has signed a contract to build two new mine shafts for BHP Billiton at its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan. The entire contract is valued at about $400-million, and DMC will receive a combination... 

Canadian potash still making headlines

By: Matthew Hill BHP Billiton abandoning its $40-billion bid for Potash Corp has by no means kept the sector out of the news, with Europe’s biggest producer of the fertiliser, K + S, this week agreeing to buy another Canadian company. Potash One was far more receptive of the $434-million approach, recommending... 

Western Potash hires advisers, in talks to fund project

By: Liezel Hill Canadian junior Western Potash Corp is reviewing a number of options to finance the development of its flagship Milestone project, in Saskatchewan, and is in discussions with groups that have expressed interest in the asset, the company said on Thursday. Western Potash said it has formally... 

K+S agrees to buy Potash One for C$434m, rivals not seen likely

By: Liezel Hill German potash producer K+S has agreed to buy Vancouver-based junior Potash One for C$434-million in cash, the two firms announced on Monday. Potash One owns the Legacy potash project in Canada's Saskatchewan province, and received approval earlier this month for the environmental-impact... 

Potash Corp announces $2bn share buy-back plan after scrapped BHP offer

By: Liezel Hill Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has approved a share repurchase programme under which it can buy back up to $2-billion of its common shares over a one-year period, the firm announced on Tuesday. Purchases under the program can begin on November 18 and will end no later than November 17, 2011. 

Saskatchewan approves EIS for Potash One project

By: Liezel Hill The Ministry of Environment in Saskatchewan has approved the environmental-impact assessment for Potash One's Legacy project, the TSX-listed company announced on Wednesday. The approval is the first for a greenfields potash mine under the current environmental assessment legislation, Potash One... 

Commentary: Kloppers likely to fight for Potash 

By: Matthew Hill I would have given a lot to witness the reaction from BHP Billiton's CEO on hearing that Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement was blocking his bid for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan. South African Marius Kloppers is invariably as cool as a cucumber, and has remained so - in public at least -... 

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