ARCHIVED - Canada’s Potash Industry

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Backgrounder

Potash is a generic term used to describe a variety of minerals and manufactured chemicals containing potassium, a basic nutrient for plants. Potash is a limited resource that is found in only a few places around the world.

Canada has 46 percent of global potash reserves. A significant portion of these reserves are found in the Prairie Evaporite Deposit, which lies beneath the southern plains of Saskatchewan. Canada also produces 32 percent of the mineral’s total global production, making it the world’s largest potash producer and exporter.

In 2011, Canada exported $6.7 billion worth of potash to countries with either agriculture-based economies or large agricultural sectors such as the United States, China, Brazil and India.

The potash industry employs 5,041 Canadians. There are 10 potash mining and processing operations in Canada; nine are located in Saskatchewan. The projected provincial royalty revenues from potash are expected to reach $705 million in the current fiscal year, an increase of $254 million from the previous year.

Growing Demands

Global demand for potash is expected to grow in the medium term due to an increasing demand for food and biofuels. In order to capitalize on this trend, potash producers are expanding their production capacity. These significant investments will not only create future economic opportunities and benefits for both Saskatchewan and Canada, but will also generate an immediate boost to the local economy by creating jobs in areas such as construction and service industries.

One new potash mine is currently under construction in Saskatchewan, and several other projects have received regulatory approval or are undergoing environmental assessment. The Government of Canada’s Responsible Resource Development (RRD) plan will streamline the environmental process review of future potash projects, thereby enabling Canada to capitalize on the ever-growing demands for the mineral.

Cory Potash Mine

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) is the world’s largest fertilizer company, accounting for about 20 percent of global production capacity.

PotashCorp is one of three companies operating in Canada. Based in Saskatoon, it is the world’s largest publicly owned potash producer with six Canadian operations. PotashCorp’s potash operations employ 2,520 people, including 499 at the Cory potash mine.

Cory is a conventional underground mine operating at 1,021 metres below the surface. Once the raw potash ore is brought above ground, it is processed and turned into red granular and standard potash for use in fertilizer.

Media may contact: 

Carly Wolff
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447