November 29, 2011 / 3:12 PM / in 6 years

K+S says EU law keeps it from joining Canpotex

FRANKFURT, Nov 29 (Reuters) - German potash miner K+S , which is breaking ground on a new mine in Canada, said it would like to become a member of Canadian potash export cartel Canpotex in the long term, but that such a move was currently ruled out by European antitrust rules.

“This is something we are looking into but at the moment European antitrust law is making it difficult,” the group’s Chief Executive Norbert Steiner said in an analyst call on Tuesday.

Canpotex is the export cartel for potash extracted in Canada of K+S rivals Potash Corp, Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc.

K+S earlier said it expects to mine 2.86 million tonnes of potash per year from its so-called Legacy project in Canada from 2023, on top of the roughly 7 million tonnes it currently extracts from German soil.

It agreed about a year ago to buy the company that owned the rights to the Legacy deposit for C$434 million ($420.8 million), to gradually replace domestic deposits it expects will be depleted in about four decades.

$1 = 1.0313 Canadian dollars Reporting by Ludwig Burger

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