Mosaic to reopen Colonsay potash mine

COLONSAY — The Mosaic Colonsay potash mine will be reopening after being closed temporarily in August 2019 and indefinitely in January 2020.

“The company is planning to resume production at the Colonsay potash mine and recalling workers as soon as practical,” said a June 4 media release from the company.

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In an email, Sarah Fedorchuk, Mosaic’s vice-president of government and public affairs in North America, said it was too early to give an exact timeframe when the mine would reopen, adding it plans to do so in a safe manner.

“We are in conversations with the Colonsay union on what that process could and will look like,” she said.

Mosaic also announced that it would be immediately closing the K1 and K2 shafts at Esterhazy nine months earlier than originally planned due to a recent acceleration of brine inflows. Closing the two shafts is also part of Mosaic’s plan to transition to the new K3 shafts.

“This restart [at Colonsay] will offset a portion of the production lost by the early closure of the K1 and K2 shafts at Esterhazy, and position the company to take advantage of the expected strong potash markets in 2022 and beyond,” the company said.

“By March of 2022, the company's annualized potash production could increase by 2 million tonnes from 2020 levels, as Esterhazy K3 ramps up to full capacity and Colonsay returns to service.”

Back in August 2019, 395 layoff notices were issued to hourly workers, according to reporting by the Canadian Press. In January 2020, 80 salaried workers were laid off.

Mosaic said it currently has around 40 employees on the site. The exact number of employees returning to the mine has yet to be determined.

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