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Mosaic Idles Saskatchewan Mine, 350 Workers Laid Off

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Due to very wet weather, the phosphate and potash company Mosaic is idling its Colonsay Mine in Saskatchewan, the company announced yesterday in its second quarter results.

CBC News reports that 350 works will be laid off. Fifty-two employees will be kept for maintenance.

Existing fertilizer demand will be made up from the company's Esterhazy K3 potash project.

"We’ve experienced a North American spring season that was wetter and later than any in recorded history,” said Mosaic President and CEO Joc O’Rourke in a news release. "While our Potash and Mosaic Fertilizantes businesses continued to perform well, weakness in the phosphates market negatively impacted second quarter results."

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. The company reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of negative 60 cents.

Mosaic said the mine closure will improve its financials by lowering its cost of production, accelerating inventory depletion and avoiding $40 to $50 million in cash expenditures in 2019.

The company expects low crop yields and high wheat prices to "provide significant opportunities in fall 2019 and beyond."

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