K+S considers reopening German potash mine

10 December 2010 18:15  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany-based fertilizer major K+S is considering a feasibility study on reopening a German potash mine that was closed in 1987 because of low international potash prices, it said on Friday.

K+S spokesman Michael Wudonig told ICIS that the company was looking at whether reopening the mine in the state of Lower Saxony could make commercial sense, as potash prices had moved up significantly since it was closed.

K+S still owned the Siegfried-Giesen mine, holding it as a "reserve mine”.

The mine’s underground infrastructure was intact, but an above-ground plant had been demolished, Wudonig added.

He said it was too early to talk about potential investment sums or capacities at Siegfried-Giesen.

In a separate presentation on its website, K+S said that reactivating closed potash sites such as Siegfried-Giesen would help to replace production from its Sigmundshall site in Lower Saxony, which is expected to be depleted by 2018.

In the presentation, K+S also said that reactivating another mine, Rossleben in Germany’s central Thuringia state, was also an option. 

Rossleben is owned by GVV, a German government agency charged with administering and selling off idled mines in eastern Germany.

Wudonig added that K+S kept looking for ways to expand its capacities, both in Germany and abroad, and pointed to the company’s plan to acquire Canada’s Potash One for Canadian dollar (C$) 434m ($430m, €324m).

($1 = C$1.01, €1 = C$1.34)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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