K+S says will go it alone on Canadian mining project

Wed Nov 6, 2013 8:26am EST
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FRANKFURT Nov 6 (Reuters) - German potash miner K+S said it would develop its new potash mine in Canada on its own after rival Mosaic, North America's second-biggest potash producer, signalled interest in investing in the project.

"As we have stressed before, we are fully committed to this project and will be able to shoulder it on our own. We are not considering a sale or a partnership," a K+S spokesman said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Mosaic Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko, said he was seeking growth opportunities, when asked about any interest in the Canadian potash mine under construction by K+S or in peer Intrepid Potash Inc.

"Those kind of combinations might prove of interest," he said.

Credit rating agency Moody's on Tuesday cut its debt ratings on K+S by two notches to a non-investment grade, citing uncertainty in the global potash market and the financial burden of investing in the new mine.

Russia's Uralkali, the world's largest potash producer, in July sent shockwaves through the industry by predicting a decline in global potash prices because of its decision to leave its export alliance with Belaruskali.

K+S has remained committed to the C$4.1 billion ($3.92 billion) expansion plan in Canada, planning to bring the new mine called Legacy on stream in 2016.

It has said it was aiming for the site to have annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes of potash by 2017, adding to the capacity of 7-7.5 million tonnes at its German mines.