Mosaic issues 395 layoff notices in Colonsay shutdown
Published Tuesday, August 6, 2019 1:24PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, August 6, 2019 6:46PM CST
Mosaic is temporarily shutting down the Colonsay potash mine.
The company has issued 395 temporary layoff notices to its hourly unionized workforce, spokesperson Sarah Fedorchuk said in an email to CTV News.
The company expects 52 of those employees to stay on, keeping the site on standby should market conditions improve. Mosaic will also have 133 salaried employees remain on site, she said.
"We believe that idling Colonsay will allow us to reduce our current inventory levels, lower our cash costs of production and provide a buffer to any delay in new potash contract shipments. Our timeline for these employees returning to work completely depends on market conditions."
The shutdown is possible due to the accelerated ramp up of the low-cost Esterhazy K3 potash project, the company said in a news release.
The company also said unprecedented wet weather in the Midwest United States has hurt its North American spring fertilizer sales volumes and phosphates margins. Mosaic reported a net loss of $233 million for the second quarter of 2019, including a $284 million noncash after-tax charge for the permanent closure of the company’s Plant City phosphate facility in Florida.
"Moving forward, strong price increases in grains together with depleted soil nutrients in North America are expected to drive fertilizer applications significantly higher this fall," President and CEO Joc O’Rourke said in the release.