Mosaic idles Saskatchewan potash mine

(Dave Bedard photo)

Reuters — Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co. has idled production at its Colonsay, Sask. potash mine for the rest of 2016, and temporarily laid off 330 workers, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Potash prices are hovering around the lowest levels seen in a decade, amid excessive output capacity and delays in setting annual supply contracts with Chinese buyers, weakening miners’ profits.

“Lower global potash demand and market prices require that we curtail production,” said CEO Joc O’Rourke.

The mine at Colonsay, about 50 km east of Saskatoon, has annual production capacity of 2.6 million tonnes.

Mosaic said its other lower-cost Saskatchewan mines, at Esterhazy and Belle Plaine, would continue production.

Mosaic had previously trimmed its Colonsay workforce by 46 people and reduced output at the mine last year.

Reporting for Reuters by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg.

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