Rocanville spared, Nutrien temporarily shuts down three other mines

Up to 750 layoffs are possible

September 12, 2019 9:02 am

Nutrien is temporarily laying off workers at three of its Saskatchewan potash mines, but not at Nutrien Rocanville.

The company said Wednesday that it expects to take production downtime at its Allan, Lanigan and Vanscoy sites during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Between 160 and 250 employees at each mine are expected to be laid off for roughly eight weeks.

The production downtime is in response to a short-term slowdown in global potash markets, according to a Nutrien press release.

Despite the current market conditions, the Saskatoon-based fertilizer company says it remains positive on potash demand for 2020.

“We remain focused on a gradual ramp-up of production to meet demand and to ensure we operate the safest, most reliable and efficient potash business in the world,” read the statement.

Nutrien said if all three facilities were idle for eight weeks, production could be reduced by roughly 700,000 tonnes and annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) could be reduced by US$100-$150 million.