K+S on track to begin producing potash from Legacy mine next year

K&S Potash

K+S Potash Canada, the subsidiary of German giant K+S Group said Tuesday it is on track and on budget to start production at its $4.1 billion Legacy solution mine in south Saskatchewan.

The project was originally initiated by Potash One, which was acquired in 2010 by K+S, Europe’s No.1 producer of the fertilizer. Legacy is expected to start production by the end of 2016, ramping up to two million tonnes per year in 2017 and reaching full capacity of 2.86 million tonnes by 2023.

Sam Farris, vice-president and general manager of operations for K+S's Legacy project told The Leader Post that much of the work done so far has been underground, such as the development of caverns to supply the potash-rich brine to the plant for processing. In March, K+S started injecting water into the production wells for the first time.

“This early cavern development (ECD) will result in the creation of about 55 caverns by the end of next year, which will enable K+S to ramp up production to two million tonnes per year by 2017,” Farris told the paper.

Legacy, located approximately 50km north of the city of Moose Jaw, will be the first new potash mine built in the last 40 years in Saskatchewan, which contains 50% of the world's potash reserves.