Russia-based Uralchem OAO
produced 4.4m tonnes fertilisers in the first nine months of
2015, up 6.2% year-on-year (y-o-y).
The company’s complex
fertilisers unit, which produces nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium
(NPK) fertilisers, among others, saw 31% y-o-y production
growth for January to the end of September. Output in the
period stood at 495,000 tonnes.
Production of diammonium phosphate (DAP)
and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) rose by 22% y-o-y, to 31,000
Dmitry Konyaev, Uralchem’s
CEO, said that production increases were caused by shorter
repair time and reduced unscheduled downtime. "Even in the
least favourable market conditions, we do not suspend the
investment programmes. We continue developing our
plants’ capabilities," he said.
Also based in Russia, Acron
OAO saw its nine month revenues increase 37% y-o-y to
Russian rouble (R) 36.6bn ($577.7m*).
Net profit climbed back from a 2014 loss
of R 2.6bn ($41m) to yield R 14bn ($221m) in income.
EBITDA** was up sharply, by 75% y-o-y, to
R 16.6bn ($262m).
US-based Compass Minerals
Inc. reported net earnings of $27m for Q3 2015, down
slightly on the $27.3m adjusted net income booked for Q3 2014.
On a non-adjusted basis, profits declined by 69% on 2014
figures, owing to a one-off special item insurance pay-out
relating to tornado damage at the company’s
Fran Malecha, Compass’ CEO,
said that despite weakness in the broader agricultural market,
the business remained resilient owing to strong salt and plant
"Despite near-term challenges in plant
nutrition demand, premium speciality fertilisers remain a very
attractive segment of the agricultural market and
we’re well positioned to serve a condensed fall
season," Malecha said.
In the UK, the Campaign for
National Parks has confirmed that it will not launch a
legal challenge against the North York Moors National Park
Authority (NYMNPA)’s decision to approve
Sirius Minerals Plc’s York Potash
project, located in the northeast of England.
"We remain hugely disappointed that this
development was given approval and are convinced that
development of this type and scale is not appropriate in a
National Park," Fiona Howie, the chief executive of the
"However, the only option available to us
was judicial review. This would have been focused on
challenging the process that has been undertaken, rather than
the decision itself. The legal advice we received makes it
clear that the NYMNPA followed the process effectively."
Sirius received approval from the NYMNPA
for its planned polyhalite potash mine in the summer in a
close-run vote. The company is now seeking funding for
Standard & Poor's Financial
Services LLC has updated its outlook on Israel
Chemicals Ltd (ICL) to negative on potentially weak
credit metrics. ICL is rated at BBB by the institution.
"We see the risk of potash prices
declining by about 10% in 2016 due to the ongoing supply-demand
imbalance," Standard & Poor’s said.
"ICL’s earnings and key financial metrics may
therefore remain below our expectations for the rating in 2016
unless the company implements countermeasures."
The ratings agency added that it expected
the company’s debts to increase owing to its
Chinese joint venture.
"We believe ICL has some scope to reduce
its operating costs and capital expenditure to conserve cash,
since it is committed to maintaining credit measures
commensurate with the current rating. However, ICL's policy of
distributing approximately 70% of net profits as dividends
reduces its financial flexibility," it said.
Belaruskali and the
Belarusian Potash Co. (BPC) have announced the
collapse of a gallery conveyor at its Production Unit Four in
In a statement, the BPC said that the
reasons for the accident are still being ascertained, but that
there were no resultant injuries.
The production unit, which has a capacity
of around 280,000 tpm white potash will now be closed for
The BPC said that most shipments of its
white muriate of potash (MOP) product will continue to be
delivered as planned, with outstanding volumes being delivered
shortly after the resumption of operations at Production Unit
In India, Coromandel International
Ltd booked net profits of Indian rupee (INR) 1.74bn
($26.3m) for Q3 2015, up slightly on last year’s
figure of INR 1.7bn ($25.7m).
"Erratic and deficit monsoon [rains] in
key addressable markets have impacted overall agri-inputs
businesses," Sammer Goel, Coromandel’s managing
"In spite of these challenges the company
has increased its sales volumes for unique grades of complexes
and also sustained its market share in phosphatics complex
segment," Goel added.
Goel predicted that new policy initiatives
in India introduced by the government will address "issues"
related to domestic fertiliser production and subsidies.
The Madhya Pradesh
government has ordered a probe into an alleged scam of farmers
being forced to pay more for fertilisers from state government
agencies, according to the Times of India.
The paper reported that 96,000 tonnes of
single super phosphate (SSP) fertiliser was sold for between
INR 300 ($4.56) and INR 333 ($5) per 50kg bag while the open
market rate was set at INR 270 ($4.10) to INR 280 ($4.26) per
"Taking cognisance of the Times of
India report, we will probe irregularities and recover the
extra money from fertiliser companies," co-operatives and
farmer welfare minister Gopal Bhargav said. "The money
recovered will be merged with funds to subsidise farmers. We
will plough this money into other welfare activities as it's
not possible to identify every farmer and return money."
A recent UN report on the
small Pacific island of Nauru, which was once
a large-scale supplier of phosphate-rich guano fertiliser,
included strong criticism of past mining activities, according
to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The document stated that the majority of
the island has been rendered uninhabitable after phosphate
mining owing to a lack of rehabilitative action.
Mining has resulted in substantial cadmium
residues and problems with phosphate dust, causing air and
water pollution with "negative impacts on health", the report
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al
Sisi has approved the establishment of a phosphate and
fertiliser factory cluster, according to the Daily News
Presidential spokesperson Alaa Yousef said
that the El-Nasr Co. for Intermediate
Chemicals would lead the 1m tpa fertilisers project,
which would see phosphate and compound fertilisers produced
including DAP. Phosphoric acid, a precursor of several
fertiliser materials, will also be produced.
"The president stressed the importance of
moving forward in the implementation of the project at the
lowest possible cost in the shortest possible time and with the
highest standards of quality," said Yousef.
"The project will contribute to meeting
the fertiliser needs of farmers with an appropriate cost and
increase Egyptian exports, as well as to achieve the desired
increase in agricultural production and to make social and
economic benefits by creating employment."
In New Zealand, Chatham Rock
Phosphate Ltd (CRP) has announced another round of
capital raising with the aim of yielding 12 months working
The raising will be required to maintain
the company’s listing on the Toronto Venture
Exchange (TSX-V), which it intends to join via a reverse
takeover of Antipodes Gold Ltd.
CRP intends to raise New Zealand dollar
(NZ$) 1m ($660,000). "We believe [joining the TSX-V] will
facilitate fundraising in Canada, the largest mineral
resources-focussed marketplace," said Chris Castle,
CRP’s managing director.
Minemakers Ltd has signed a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) with Mimran Natural
Resources, a member of West African agri-food
industrial group, Groupe Mimran.
Under the agreement, Minemakers will issue
20% of the capital of its subsidiary, Baobab Mining and
Chemicals Corp., for the consideration of $11.25m and
the transfer of a phosphate exploration permit in Senegal held
by Mimran to Baobab mining.
In addition, 103m ordinary shares in
Minemakers will be given to Mimran at a price of Australian
dollar (A$) 0.117/share ($0.084/share).
"The new funding, in addition to
Minemakers’ existing cash, not only provides for
the total development and working capital requirements of the
Baobab phosphate project as a small mine, it also provides
substantial surplus funds which will be directed towards the
exploration and development of the Baobab Project beyond the
small mine permit," Minemakers’; CEO, Cliff
ASX-listed Danakali Ltd
has published product specification sheets for its proposed
sulphate of potash (SOP) granular, standard and soluble
products, complementing the company’s 300kg SOP
product samples distributed earlier in 2015.
"While discussions with potential off-take
parties to secure product sales agreements continue, completion
of the production specification sheets represents an important
milestone and requirement for securing product sales
agreements, an important facet of our project funding process,"
Paul Donaldson, Danakali’s managing director,
Around 4 tonnes drill core material from
the Colluli project in Eritrea has been processed at the
Saskatchewan Research Council’s
labs in Canada for bench testwork and pilot plant trials.
The specification sheets detail chemical
assays for heavy metals; particle size distributions of the
granular, standard and soluble products; angles of repose; and
density and solubility tests, all in compliance with JORC
In Vancouver, Canada, Passport
Potash Inc. has announced its suspension from the
TSX-V. The exchange suspended trading in the
company’s securities as a result of a cease trade
order issued by the British Columbia Securities Commission,
according to David Salisbury, the company’s
The company has thus decided to transfer
to the NEX. "The board has considered carefully the company's
being listed on the NEX and believes this transfer listing
holds some short-term advantages as the company works through
the steps necessary to overcome very challenging market
conditions," Salisbury said.
"We are hopeful that, even in the current
environment, we will be able to find savvy investors to provide
funding for this excellent project," Salisbury added.
*Conversions made November
**Earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortisation