K+S Potash Canada, a subsidiary of Germany’s K+S Group, held an official ground-breaking ceremony at the site of its Legacy solution mining potash project about 50 km north of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, June 19, 2012. K+S has approved C$3.25 billion in capital spending to develop the project. Initial production is planned for 2015, building to 2 million mt/y of potassium chloride in 2017, followed by a gradual expansion to 2.86 million mt/y by 2023. In a further expansion phase, production is planned to increase to a total of about 4 million mt/y of potassium chloride about 10 years later.
The initial exploration area at the Legacy project, which makes up only a fraction of the total permitted area of K+S Potash Canada, has proven reserves of 160 million mt of final potash product. Mine life is estimated at more than 55 years, including ramp-up. At about 18%, the K2O content of the reserves is significantly higher than that of K+S’s German sites. The remainder of the lease area contains additional resources of almost 1 billion mt of potassium chloride.
Participants in the ground-breaking ceremony included K+S Group CEO Norbert Steiner; Saskatchewan Minister of Energy and Resources, Trade, and Tourism, Tim McMillan; current K+S Potash Canada President and CEO Richard Wilson; and incoming K+S Potash Canada CEO Ulrich Lamp. Also in attendance were the mayors of Bethune, Findlater and Moose Jaw, local Bethune neighbors to the Legacy site, and delegates from various suppliers to the project.
Richard Wilson said, “We’re in the process of finishing initial work on the project. This work is primarily comprised of infrastructure development and the first stage of the mining process—the road work, earthwork for the plant, drilling of the first wells, and the establishment of the supporting water system.”
Tim McMillan said, “This is certainly a great day for the people of Saskatchewan. For the first time in over 40 years, a brand new potash mine will be built in our province. The jobs and economic development from this project will help us to continue to grow our economy and keep the Saskatchewan Advantage.”