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Potash Corp of Saskatchewan to shutter New Brunswick mine at cost of 430 jobs

Potash prices have fallen sharply over the past year, under pressure from bloated capacity, soft grain prices and weak currencies in major consumers such as Brazil and India.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.’s decision to shut its New Brunswick operations reflects the fact that potash demand hasn’t met the fertilizer industry’s hopes for the better part of a decade.

The move effectively nullifies a $2 billion investment that was first approved in 2007, and will result in up to 430 job cuts.

 The New Brunswick operations are higher-cost than Potash Corp.’s Saskatchewan mines, and the company decided it has to suspend them to become more competitive amid very low potash prices.

“Our hearts go out to the people (losing their jobs) and we wish we would be able to deliver different news,” chief executive Jochen Tilk said in a phone interview from New Brunswick on Tuesday.

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