Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Agrium Inc., North America’s largest fertilizer company by revenue, approved an expansion in Canada’s Saskatchewan province that will increase its potash production capacity by about 50 percent to 3 million metric tons a year.
Agrium will enlarge its Vanscoy mine by 1 million tons, the Calgary-based company said in a statement today. The capital cost is estimated at about $1,500 a ton and the project will be completed by the second half of 2014, the company said. Agrium produced 1.8 million tons of potash in 2010.
“Our brownfield potash expansion will ultimately be much quicker to bring on, and significantly less expensive to develop, than any greenfield project that is under consideration,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson said in the statement.
Brownfield typically describes projects that are built on existing industrial sites, while greenfield projects are those constructed in new locations. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, is considering whether to build the first phase of its proposed Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, which is a greenfield project.
Germany’s K+S AG said last month it will invest C$3.25 billion ($3.12 billion) to develop the Legacy mine in the province to add 2.86 million tons of potash production by 2023.
Agrium raised its semi-annual dividend to 22.5 cents a share from 5.5 cents, it said in a separate statement.
--Editors: Simon Casey, Jasmina Kelemen
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