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Mosaic secures its future resources

Summary

As a world-ranking player in the phosphate and potash sectors, Mosaic Company is investing in its long-term future by extending its resource base and developing new mining and processing capacity. It is also taking a lead in the development of fertilizers that provide a premium performance, as outlined here.

Abstract

Basic Industries Crop. (SABIC), paving the way for the creation of a $7 billion joint venture to mine phosphate rock and produce downstream fertilizers. Subject to final agreement, Mosaic will own 25% in the joint venture while Ma’aden and SABIC will have 60% and 15% respectively. The partners seek to develop the greenfield Wa’ad Al Shammal Phosphate Project in northern Saudi Arabia at Wa’ad Al Shammal Minerals Industrial City, together with further expansion of the recently opened downstream phosphate complex at Ras Al Khair in eastern Saudi Arabia. When the project is completed in late 2016, it will offer an additional production capacity of 3.5 million t/a of phosphate fertilizers and other products. Mosaic would provide up to $1 billion of cash investment and would be entitled to market 25% of the production of the joint venture. The joint venture is widely viewed as a coup by Mosaic, giving it access to a high-grade source of phosphate rock at a time when its existing mining operations in Central Florida face depletion, as well as providing significant logistical benefits, enabling the company to ship phosphates at competitive prices to the fastest-growing markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Keywords: Phosphates, DAP, Phosphate rock, Potash, Mining, Joint venture, Investment, Project, Saudi Arabia, SABIC, Saskatchewan, Micronutrients, Langebinite

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PotashCorp sets out its vision

Summary

In a recent presentation to PotashCorp stakeholders, David Delaney, Chief Operating Officer, outlined his vision for the group over the next five years. We report on his key assessments.

Abstract

PotashCorp is making a quick rebound from the slack year of 2012, when offshore net sales of potash fell by 17% compared with 2011. PotashCorp is a member of the Canpotex export consortium, whose shipments to India declined significantly in the wake of changes to the country’s fertilizer subsidy system and a weaker rupee. This led to higher retail prices in the Indian market and reduced demand. Volumes to China also declined in 2012, as Canpotex had a second-half contract in 2011 but not in 2012. Demand from major offshore spot markets was meanwhile down due to destocking by distributors. In North America, net sales fell by 18%, largely because of buyer destocking during the first six months of 2012. PotashCorp’s hopes of a market rebound in potash appear to being realised in the first quarter of 2013, David Delaney noted. If sustained for the full year, this would translate into global consumption of 55 to 57 million tonnes. North American sales ended 2012 on a buoyant note and began to firm up in February, against a background of low inventories. “We have enough orders right now to get us though the first quarter and well into the second quarter,” he said. “We have an excellent ag economy, terrific grower economics, we have had record or near record farm earnings for the last three years.” Keywords: Potash, Canpotex, China, India, Expansion, Mining, Ammonia, Natural gas, UAN, DAP, Phosphates, CAPEX

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The surge in US nitrogen capacity

Summary

The emergence of shale gas supply together with lower natural gas prices has revived the economics of ammonia and urea production in the United States and Canada, generating new interest in nitrogen capacity. However, the demanding regulatory process and stringent environmental legislations are major challenges for the development of new capacity. We assess the outlook for US indigenous production and the prospects for reducing ammonia and urea imports.

Abstract

Shale gas has emerged as a significant source of natural gas in the United States and Canada, transforming the North American energy scenario. By 2010, shale gas production accounted for 23% of total US gas production and is forecast to comprise 49% by 2015. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated in 2012 technically-recoverable shale gas reserves of 482 trillion ft3 (tcf). The largest shale gas fields are the Antrim gas field in Michigan; Barnett (Newark East), Texas (producing more than 6% of US natural gas production); Caney Shale, Arkoma Basin, Oklahoma; New Albany, Illinois Basin; Devonian Shales, Appalachan Basin, embracing Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York states, and other reserves located in Louisiana and Colorado. Keywords: Capacity, Investment, Capital expenditure, Expansion, Shale gas, Ammonia, Feedstock, Revamp, Urea, UAN, Debottlenecking, Revamp, Pipeline, Barges

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Committed to innovative technologies & partnerships

Summary

Innovation is a fundamental part of the Yara International DNA, as are partnerships with fertilizer companies around the world. Both factors drove the infant company's growth when it was created more than one century ago and are keystones in the modern Yara vision.

Abstract

The story of Yara International ASA began over a century ago, when Norwegian industrialists founded Norsk Hydro in 1905 to harness the country’s large resources of hydroelectric energy to produce mineral fertilizers. The company employed a pioneering form of direct nitrogen fixation, known as the Birkeland-Eyde process. During the subsequent years, Norsk Hydro was dedicated to advanced research. This work was driven by a need to diversify and develop new industries, leading Norsk Hydro to extend its activities into the energy and metals sectors. From its earliest days, Norsk Hydro also looked to develop business connections beyond Norway, sending its first shipment of fertilizers to China in 1913. In 1969, Norsk Hydro entered into its first joint venture, as the Qatari authorities sought to monetise the country’s reserves of natural gas. This led to the formation of Qatar Fertilizer Company (QAFCO), in which Yara International holds a 25% shareholding. QAFCO pioneered the production of ammonia and urea in the Arab Gulf region, inaugurating its first plant in 1973 with a capacity of 900 t/d ammonia and 1,000 t/d urea. The QAFCO complex has been expanded to comprise six integrated fertilizer trains, employing state-of-the-art technology, making QAFCO the world’s largest single-site producer of urea. Keywords: Yara, Norsk Hydro, Norway, Qatar, QAFCO, Ammonia, Flotation, Urea, AdBlue, Project, Corporate responsibility, Database, Co-operation, Pilot plant, Sahara Forest, R&D, Recommendations, Apps

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Meeting the needs of African farmers

Summary

Abstract

The occasion of the IFA Annual Meeting in Chicago between 20-23 May will also include the next meeting of the IFA Africa Forum, which will be convened on 23 May. The agenda will cover the implementation of IFA’s Africa strategy for the next five years, including: l Setting priorities for action in each of the five strategic components l Identifying and selecting opportunities for events l Addressing resource constraints. The IFA Africa Forum was established in November 2007, following a meeting of the IFA Executive Committee. The Forum is composed of IFA members with a long-term interest in developing fertilizer use to improve soil fertility, agricultural production and human nutrition and alleviate poverty in Africa. Keywords: IFA, IFDC, IPNI, Sub-Saharan Africa, Poverty, BMPs, Food security, Nutrient balances, ISFM, Development, Programme, ECOWAS

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Reducing plant emissions

Summary

We review the technologies, design strategies and engineering solutions to improve the environmental energy efficiencies of sulphuric acid and SO2 plants.

Abstract

Environmental regulations are becoming ever more restrictive, prompting the leading suppliers of sulphuric acid technology to find enhanced ways of reducing SO2 and NOx emissions from sulphuric acid plants. Various methods are available for SO2 emission control. Wet scrubbing with a chemical absorbent in water is generally the basis for these processes. In many older plants, an alkali such as lime is used, but this carries the problem of generating large amounts of solid waste that have to be disposed, incurring the cost of disposal. (Cleaning of Residual SO2 Gas Emissions with Hydrogen Peroxide, Luis A. Teixeira [2002].) The main SO2 absorption systems are Ca(OH)2, NaOH, CaCO3, NH3, MgCO3, ZnO3 and H2O2. The scrubber is usually installed in the tail gas section. The choice of scrubbing agent can be between a straight alkali (lime, ammonia, soda ash), an absorbent that can be regenerated (amine or phosphoric acid-based), or hydrogen peroxide. Keywords: Sulphuric acid, Emissions, Absorption, SO2, Scrubbing, Tail gas, Amine, Recycle, Stripper, Catalyst, Temperature, NOx, Hydrogen peroxide, Oxidiser

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EuroChem's VolgaKaliy mine takes shape

Summary

Fertilizer International was a guest of EuroChem and saw first-hand the impressive progress being made at the new VolgaKaliy potash mine in the Russian hinterland.

Abstract

In just over one decade since it was founded in 2001, EuroChem has advanced to become Russia’s largest mineral fertilizer producer, ranking among the top three in Europe and is within the top ten globally in terms of profitability. The company enjoys competitive advantages in the nitrogen sector and is now pursuing an ambitious strategy that will expand its presence and extend itself into the potash sector. EuroChem seeks to become an elite top five global player within the next five years, enjoying competitive strengths across the N, P and K spectrum through better efficiency, vertical integration and a strong resource base. The driving force behind EuroChem is Andrey Melnichenko, the chairman of the board of directors who, as co-founder of EuroChem, holds a 92% shareholding. He has a proven track record of building successful corporations within Russia, notably TMK – Russia’s largest manufacturer and exporter of steel pipes. Keywords: EuroChem, Potash, Mining, CAPEX, Investment, Capacity, Russia, Azot, Ammonia, Verkhnekamskoe, Perm, Shaft, Sylvinite, Resources, Greenfield, Capacity, Infrastructure, Wastewater, Tailings

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A steady outlook

Summary

CRU Events' Phosphates Conference and Exhibition is now held annually, and this year's meeting convened in Monte Carlo between 25-27 March, attracting around 300 delegates. The meeting provided a forum to assess the drivers and prospects for the market for fertilizers, feed and industrial phosphates.

Abstract

Delegates were officially welcomed by Nick Edwards, General Manager, Fertilizers, CRU, who chaired the opening session, which addressed the theme of New Supply and Challenges of Unleashing New Rock Resources. Yayha Al-Yami, Phosphate and IM SBU Vice President of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) made the opening presentation, Ma’aden Phosphate: Growing to Support a Balanced Market. He outlined the Ma’aden vision of being a world-class minerals enterprise. From the outset when it was established in 1997, Ma’aden had the strategic goal of building a third pillar of Saudi industry, broadening the Kingdom’s economic base from dependency on oil and petrochemicals. Keywords: Phosphates, Phosphoric acid, Phosphate rock, Uranium, SABIC, Saudi Arabia, Ma’aden, EPC, EPCM, Projects, Greenfield, Finance, CAPEX, Recycling, Recovery, Magnesium, BMPs, Fluorine, Recovery, Rare earths, Phosphogypsum, India, Brazil, Outlook, SSP, MENA, Russia, China, Beneficiation, India, Subsidy, DAP, MAP, NI 43-101, JORC, Mining, Feasibility study

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Tessenderlo Group outlines the vision for its fertilizer business

Summary

Tessenderlo Group, the leading supplier of speciality potash fertilizers, has declared that 2013 will be a pivotal year for the group's fertilizer activities. We examine how the group's strategy will focus on adding value to this core business.

Abstract

Based in Belgium, Tessenderlo Group has a worldwide reach as a supplier of speciality chemicals, including specialty fertilizers, with a focus on food, agriculture, water management and on valorising bio-residuals. It is a global leader in the supply of potassium sulphate (SOP). Sophie Haan, Director of the Inorganics Business Unit, told FI how Tessenderlo is investing to enhance its SOP operations. “The Group’s number one priority is to bring sustainability to the core of its business, focusing on areas where it can make a real difference: agriculture, water management and the efficient use, and re-use, of natural resources. For our fertilizer business, this means that we will continue our ongoing programme of optimising our product portfolio, while increasing our presence in faster-growing economies and reinforcing our orientation towards better customer service.” Keywords: Belgium, SOP, Potassium sulphate, Inorganics, Potash, Fertigation, Water-soluble, Speciality, Thiosulphate

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Harnessing Africa's P and K resources

Summary

Sub-Saharan Africa enjoys vast mineral wealth, very little of which has been harnessed to date. Today, western and Chinese companies are paying closer attention to developing greenfield phosphate and potash resources, which could go far in meeting the continent's nutrient needs. We assess the progress being made with the keynote projects.

Abstract

Angola Minbos Resources of Australia is promoting phosphate projects in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In Angola, Minbos holds a 50% interest in the Cabinda phosphate project in partnership with Petril Projects, incorporating a 2,000 km2 exploration permit. The project contains one development project, Cacata, and four advanced exploration projects: Mongo Tando, Chibuete, Ueca and Chivovo. All these projects lie within 50 km of the coast and within 5 km of the established road infrastructure. Minbos has completed a scoping study on Cacata, which showed positive results in establishing a high-grade operation to produce 800,000 t/a over phosphate rock concentrate over a 10-year mine life. Other highlights of the scoping study: l Operating cost of $57.27/t f.o.b. of phosphate rock l An estimated capital cost of $157 million l A strong opportunity to further reduce CAPEX and OPEX during the bankable feasibility study (BFS) phase l A pre-tax IRR of 40.2% l Pre-tax net present value of $311 million at 10% discount rate. Keywords: Africa, Angola, Congo, DRC, ROC, Potash, Phosphate, JORC, NI 43-101, CAPEX, Ore, Greenfield, Mineralisation, Feasibility study, Sylvinite, Resources, Deposit, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Namibia, South Africa, Exploration, Dredging

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A centre of potash excellence

Summary

We profile the operations of Mosaic, Intrepid Potash and the proposed IC Potash mine.

Abstract

The Permian Basin is a sedimentary basin largely contained in western Texas and the south eastern part of New Mexico and contains some of the world’s thickets deposits of rocks from the Permian geologic period. It extends beneath an area approximately 259 miles (400 km) wide and 300 miles (480 km) long. The Permian Basin sustains a large oil and natural gas producing area, part of the Mid-Continent Oil Producing Area. Oil and gas production is centred near the towns of Midland and Odessa, in Texas. The area is home to nearly 800 federal oil and gas leases. The Permian Basin is also a major source of potassium salts, which are mined from bedded deposits of sylvite and langbeinite (potassium magnesium sulphate) in the Salado Formation. Sylvite was discovered in drill cores in 1925 and production began in 1931. The deposit comprises an area of shallow, high-grade ores lying within a larger 58,000 sq. mile area underlain by lower-grade potash minerals. The designated Potash Area is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management and is protected from most oil and gas development. Keywords: Mosaic, Intrepid Potash, IC Potash, Project, New Mexico, Permian Basin, Sylivite, Langbeinite, Potash, Mining, Carlsbad, Brine, Solar evaporation, Magnesium

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