German company K+S has produced the first tonnes of marketable potash in its new Bethune potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Bethune mine was opened last month after completing a five-year construction phase, involved an investment volume of around €3.1bn.
K+S Aktiengesellschaft board of executive directors chairman Dr Burkhard Lohr said: "With Bethune, the most modern potash facility in the world, we are pushing into a new dimension. We are now producing potash on two continents.”
This year, the company intends to produce 600,000t to 700,000t of potash in the Bethune mine, while the annual production capacity of two million tonnes is scheduled to be reached by the end of the year.
In August, potash from Bethune will be transported to the new harbour terminal at Vancouver and will then be shipped to clients around the world.
The mine is expected to create more than 400 permanent jobs in Canada.
K+S Aktiengesellschaft supervisory board chairman Dr Ralf Bethke said earlier: "Bethune is the most modern potash facility in the world and will sustainably strengthen the raw material and production base of the K+S Group, thereby opening up a long-term perspective over the time span of our German potash deposits."
K+S is an international resources company and has production sites in Europe, North America and South America along with a global distribution network.
Image: Official opening of Bethune mine. Photo: © K+S Potash Canada GP.