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Potash Corp Plans $1.6B Expansion

World's largest fertilizer company planning new two-million-ton potash mine and expanded milling operations in New Brunswick.

SASKATOON (CP) - Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world's largest fertilizer company, is planning a new two-million-ton potash mine and expanded milling operations in New Brunswick, with an estimated cost of US$1.6 billion.

The four-year construction project, which needs regulatory approval, would raise the company's projected total annual potash capacity to 14.9 million tons by 2011.

The Potash Corp. site is close to the company's terminal at the port of Saint John, with the shortest shipping times to key Latin American markets such as Brazil, where substantial long-term growth in demand for upgraded potash products is expected.

''This major expansion prepares us for the next step in the growth of our company,'' president and CEO Bill Doyle said in a statement.

''By continuing to invest in our 'potash first' strategy, we will be well positioned to meet the expected growth in potash demand around the world.''

Using conventional underground mining methods, the new mine will draw on the company's large, high-quality Picadilly deposit, which contains potash ore grades similar to those found in Saskatchewan deposits.

More production in Eastern Canada will diversify Potash's sources of potash, the company said.

It says the resources at the New Brunswick mine have ore grades similar to those at its Saskatchewan deposits.

Construction is expected to generate 2,500 person-years of employment and 140 new full-time positions will be created on completion.

The project will be financed out of free cash flow and existing credit facilities.

Shares in the company were untraded at $88.28 Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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