K+S Legacy mine in Saskatchewan nearing finish line
The mine will produce its first tonne of potash by the end of 2016.
The finish line is in sight for a $4.1 billion legacy potash site in southern Saskatchewan.
This week, the K+S Potash Legacy site in Bethune, Sask., held a tour of the facility as it nears completion.
Dr. Ulrich Lamp said the facility is on track to produce its first tonne of potash by the end of this year, and one million tonnes in 2017.
Lamp said they will achieve a capacity of two million tonnes by the end of 2017.
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With more than 3,000 employees on site during construction and about 100 others moving into the facility working full time, Ulrich said the state-of-the-art facility is on budget and on time.
He added the state of the potash market may not be where it was four years ago when they starting on the new facility, but K+S is hopeful for a rebound in the near future.
"I believe we see the down time in this market and we have to ramp-up this mine," he said, adding it will take one year to reach the two million tonnes.
"Then we'll see what the market looks like at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018."
K+S already has a logistics arm in Vancouver, and Ulrich said once they mine the potash, they plan to ship internationally.
"This project is for 100 years, it's not for 10. Therefore you have to believe in the long-term and we see there's an importance to invest in potash and we're hopeful for better (commodity) prices," Ulrich said.
The K+S potash mine is the first new mine being built in Saskatchewan in 40 years.
- Due to incorrect information provided to the CBC, a previous version of this story said the K+S Legacy project in Bethune, Sask., was going to reach its capacity limit of two million tonnes by the end of 2018. However, the mine is expected to reach capacity of two million tonnes by the end of 2017.Jun 23, 2016 2:01 PM CT