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Progress Continues on Potash Expansions

PotashCorp Rocanville Facility - September 2010 500K Tonne Product Storage

Valuable new capacity needed to meet growing demand

With rising potash demand expected to challenge the industry’s capability over the coming years, PotashCorp’s ongoing capacity expansions become increasingly valuable.

Already the world’s largest potash producer, PotashCorp is developing more than 50 percent of the world’s incremental capacity by 2015, positioning the company to capture a significant share of future demand growth. Capital expansions between 2005 and 2015 are expected to significantly increase operational capability to 17.1 million tonnes at a total cost of more than CDN $7 billion.

“We’re well on our way to achieving our expansion goals,” says Garth Moore, President of PCS Potash, noting that all projects are due to be up and running by  2015. “The first of our Cory facility’s two-phase expansion is nearly complete, and work at three other sites is proceeding as scheduled.”

The Cory expansions are expected to raise operational capability of the site to 2.7 million tonnes — an increase of 1.9 million tonnes per year.
“We completed the installation of the new headframe and hoist over the production mineshaft in the third quarter,” said Clark Bailey, PotashCorp’s Senior Vice President of Projects and Technical Services.  “We also prepared three of the five new underground potash mining machines and conveyances to increase production.”

Other work in progress at Cory includes the upgrade and automation of the existing white potash mill and construction of the new red potash mill. Cory will also feature new rail loading facilities and product storage, along with a new electrical substation, raw water systems, surface raw ore storage, and offices.

At Allan, operational capability is expected to increase by 900,000 tonnes to approximately 2.7 million tonnes once the project is completed and ramped up in 2014. Modifications to Allan’s new mill, which include the installation of improved process equipment, along with construction of a new 138 kva substation and power supply system, began in the third quarter of this year. Modifications to the production headframe are also in progress.

Projects at New Brunswick, which will add a new mine as well as an expansion of the existing mill, include construction of a new brine pipeline and electrical substation, offices, a dry building, a water intake structure and brine ponds.  Upon completion and ramp up, the new Brunswick facility is expected to have 1.8 million tonnes of operational capability.

Equipment foundations and building floor slabs have also been installed, along with steel structures for new mill buildings, warehousing areas, shops, and tailings tanks.  Salt storage and truck loading areas are also nearly complete.

Rocanville’s expansion projects are expected to add 2.9 million tonnes of operational capability, increasing the facility’s annual operational capability to 5.7 million tonnes. The three-part  expansion includes the installation of a new mill and a 500,000 tonne product storage building at the current Rocanville site – along with the development of the Scissors Creek facility 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the current mill site.

Construction of the storage facility and main building is well underway at the Rocanville site, while at Scissors Creek, the new headframe is in place and the ground is being frozen to proceed with shaft sinking.

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