PotashCorp cuts will not affect Aurora mine

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2016

PotashCorp’s production and jobs cuts at three of its mines led some to question if the same would happen at the Aurora location.

Last week, PotashCorp announced its decision to reduce production and eliminate about 140 jobs at its Cory potash plant in Canada. The company will also halt production temporarily at two more mines early next year.

“This is a difficult day for our employees and their families, and we are committed to helping those affected through this transition,” said Mark Fracchia, president of the potash division. “We are making this decision to optimize production to our lowest cost operations.”

Randy Burton, director of public relations at PotashCorp, said the company doesn’t “expect any further workforce adjustments in the foreseeable future.”

As of now, there are no expected changes at the Aurora phosphate mine.

PotashCorp’s cuts are said to follow low crop prices and are an attempt to offset losses because of those low prices.

The largest crop nutrient company in the world, PotashCorp officially announced a merger with agricultural product company Agrium Inc. in September. Both companies are headquartered in Canada.

The company’s stock prices fell to $17.59 last Wednesday and have remained relatively stagnant since, closing out at $17.55 Tuesday.

Burton said corporate offices does not comment on changes in the stock market.

In its quarterly update released Tuesday, PotashCorp reported its third-quarter production was down by 8 percent since the second quarter, and down by 12 percent in comparison to last year’s totals. Exports, however, were unchanged since the second quarter and were up by 11 percent compared to last year.

PotashCorp-Aurora is the largest employer in Beaufort County and has more than 800 employees.