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Nutrien temporarily laying off hundreds at 3 Sask. potash mines

Nutrien says production downtime is in response to a short-term slowdown in global potash markets.
Nutrien says production downtime is in response to a short-term slowdown in global potash markets. Ryan Kessler / Global News

Nutrien is temporarily laying off workers at three of its Saskatchewan potash mines.

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

READ MORE: Potash mine proposal in southern Saskatchewan receives conditional approval

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.

READ MORE: Producers not happy with changes to Saskatchewan’s potash production tax

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.

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WATCH (Sept. 5, 2019): Hundreds of Mosaic potash mine workers prepare for layoffs

Hundreds of Sask. potash mine workers prepare for layoffs
Hundreds of Sask. potash mine workers prepare for layoffs

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.

-With files from Doug Lett

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