potashcorp-nb-facility

Potash Corp. already has a facility in New Brunswick. ((Potash Corp.))

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. unveiled a $1.67-billionplan Friday for a two-million-tonne mine andexpanded operations in New Brunswick.

The four-year construction project is expected to generate the equivalent of 2,500 person-years of work and create 140 full-time jobs when it is completed by 2011.

Potash said expansion in New Brunswick is important because the company already has operations in the province — including a mine about eight kilometres east of Sussex.

The company said the new mine will be close to its terminal at the port of Saint John, which will help reduce shipping times to markets in Latin America, such as Brazil.

"Our goal is to be the lowest-cost supplier on a delivered basis to all key world markets," said Potash president and CEO Bill Doyle.

Potash also said that because the new mine will be built adjacent to its existing N.B. property and use some of its facility, construction will be completed at a cheaper cost and in less than the five to seven yearsthatare usually required for new "greenfield" potash mines.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham said the company will get a three-year royalty holiday, meaning itwon't have to pay the province anything for the potash it mines and it will get a one-point reduction in the royalty rate for the next five years.

Graham saidthe government will lose $30 million, but added that the province will end up collecting $330 millionin royalties over the life of the mine.

Sussex Mayor Ralph Carr saidhis communityhas been under "a dark cloud"since the closure of another potash mine.He saidthe opening of a new one is certainly welcome news.

The project still requires regulatory approval, the firm said.

Shares of Potash eased one per cent, dropping 88 cents to finish at $87.40 on the TSX.