K+S has opened its new potash mine in Canada following completion of five-year construction phase, with production expected to begin in June.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said: “We’re delighted to welcome a very good corporate citizen, K+S, back to Saskatchewan as it begins operations at a mine that will create more than 400 permanent jobs and generate taxes and royalties for years to come.
“The Legacy project strengthens Saskatchewan’s position as the world’s leading potash producer and is another indicator the province’s diversified and resilient economy is weathering economic uncertainty.
“We’re thankful for an investment that creates jobs and opportunity in Saskatchewan.”
The new potash mine ran under the project name Legacy, but has since been renamed Bethune.
K+S Aktiengesellschaft chairman of the board of management Norbert Steiner said: “With our new location, we are making a huge step forward in the internationalisation of our potash business.
“Bethune enables us to participate in future market growth, reduce our average production costs and strengthen our international competitiveness, which will benefit the entire K+S Group.”
K+S expects the mine to produce its first tonne of potash at the end of June.
The first potash will be transported by freight train to the new K+S port facility in Vancouver, from where the potash will be transported to South America and Asia.
K+S expects to achieve the production capacity of two million tonnes by the end of this year.
With an investment volume of around €3bn, the Bethune mine is K+S’s largest single project and creates more than 400 permanent jobs in Canada.
Image: The new potash mine has been renamed as Bethune. Photo: courtesy of K+S Potash Canada.