PCS Phosphate adding 75 new contract workers|Bucket excavator temporarily idled to resume its wor

Published 9:42 am Thursday, July 30, 2009

Contributing Editor

Obtaining the permits needed to expand its mining operation near Aurora, PCS Phosphate is returning 12 employees to their usual jobs after they were reassigned to other duties at the facility for approximately three months.
The employees’ return to their usual jobs was announced by PCS Phosphate in a new release issued Wednesday. Also, 18 contractor positions that were temporarily eliminated earlier this year will be reinstated and 75 new contractor positions will be filled.
“Some of these contact positions are to help us catch up after the permitting process,” Smith said Wednesday in a brief interview.
That process took more than eight years, including the past year or so when there were questions whether the permits would be issued. The state and federal permits authorize the company to extend its mining operations near Aurora until 2045.
Six of the contract positions were reinstated in the middle of this month, Smith said.
“On July 13, we resumed land clearing operations,” Smith said.
A week later, eight new contractor positions related to the relocating of N.C. Highway 306, required as part of the expansion project, were put in place, Smith noted.
On Monday, a bucket excavator used to mine phosphorus will resume operation, Smith said. When that excavator was idled April 20, 12 employees were reassigned.
“On Aug. 3, we will bring in 60 contractors to assist us with prestripping, which is the first stage of our mining operation,” Smith added.
“We are particularly pleased to make this announcement,” said Steve Beckel, general manager of the PCS Phosphate-Aurora facility, in the release. “With our permits in-hand, we can now add to what is already a tremendous work force here at Aurora.”
“PCS Phosphate has been a good neighbor and particularly vital cog in the region’s economy,” Congressman G. K. Butterfield said in the release. “It is encouraging to see them continue to thrive and move forward.”
The Aurora facility resides in Butterfield’s congressional district.
PCS Phosphate is a subsidiary of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., (together with its subsidiary, PotashCorp), the world’s largest fertilizer enterprise and a leading supplier to agriculture, animal nutrition, and industrial chemical markets. The Aurora facility employs approximately 1,100 employees with approximately 90 percent of them native to the area.