Mosaic to idle potash mine in Colonsay, Canada

13 July 2016 (Last Updated July 13th, 2016 18:30)

US-based fertiliser producer Mosaic has announced plans to idle its potash mine in Colonsay, Saskatchewan, Canada, and suspend existing turnaround activities.

US-based fertiliser producer Mosaic has announced plans to idle its potash mine in Colonsay, Saskatchewan, Canada, and suspend existing turnaround activities.

The latest move has resulted in the layoff of around 330 employees at the mine.

By suspending activities, the company will be able to meet customer demand while adapting to challenging potash market conditions.

The company said that the annual production capacity of the Colonsay mine is 2.6 million tonnes.

"Lower global potash demand and market prices require that we curtail production."

Meanwhile, Mosaic said that its lower-cost Esterhazy and Belle Plaine mines in Saskatchewan, in combination with current inventory, will continue production and allow it to meet its short-term potash supply needs.

Mosaic president and CEO Joc O'Rourke said: "We continue to execute the difficult but necessary actions to ensure Mosaic will be as competitive as possible across the business cycle.

"Lower global potash demand and market prices require that we curtail production. Idling Colonsay will enable us to meet our customers' needs while reducing our production costs."

The mining facility produces Muriate of potash in two granular and standard grades.

In September last year, Mosaic reduced production in its potash business by extending maintenance downtime at its Colonsay mine, and slower production in its phosphates business in response to crop nutrient market conditions.

During that time, the company said that currency volatility, lower grain and oilseed prices, political and economic uncertainty, as well as global equity market declines adversely impacted market sentiment.