PotashCorp’s Allan mine in expansion mode
The increase in the demand for potash, along with higher prices, is fuelling an expansion of PotashCorp’s Allan mine in Saskatchewan, The Star Phoenix reports. The $550 million expansion began in 2009 and is expected to push production at the site from two million to three million tonnes per year by 2012:
“Over the last two decades the potash industry has been fairly stable, it had plateaued,” said Larry Long, general manager of the Allan mine. “Now with all the influx of orders for potash, the market has expanded quite a bit, countries all over the world are using our product at a higher rate, so we are in a position where we have to expand to meet the demand.
“So for people who have worked here for 20, 30, 35 years this is the first major expansion that they’ve seen . . . it’s something new, there’s lots of new people coming in, there’s lots of new equipment, it’s very exciting for everyone.”
Since 2009, work has been underway at the site to increase production capacity. The expansion is part of PotashCorp’s multi billion-dollar plan to increase its total annual production capacity to 17.1 million tonnes by 2014. The program, which began in 2003, includes $5.6 billion in capital spending in Saskatchewan.