London, UK (3rd January 2013) – CRU, independent commodity industry analysts and management consultants in the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries, has released a new Potash Cost Report.

The report gives an assessment of operating costs in the potassium chloride industry, including site profiles and cost sheets for over 90% of global capacity, including plants operated by PotashCorp, Uralkali, Mosaic and Belaruskali. It includes cost estimates from 2003-2012 for underground mines, solution mines and brine processing operations across the world, including the impact of brownfield capacity extension. Cost estimates are also provided for a selection of greenfield projects under development outside established areas of production, such as Ethiopia & Eritrea, Thailand & Laos, and Argentina.

It aims to improve understanding of the key factors driving production costs, as the report identifies plant-by-plant costs for royalties & production taxes, labour & energy, materials & services, and transportation. The report is split into several sections covering methodology, site costs, delivered costs, costs of greenfield capacity, outlook for costs to 2022, and appendices with site profiles and cost sheets.

Paul Burnside, Senior Consultant on potash, said: “After decades of stagnation, the last few years have seen an enormous amount of activity in building – or planning to build – new potassium chloride capacity. Production costs have also been exceptionally volatile over this period thanks to capacity additions, highly valuable operating rates and erratic energy prices.

“It remains a big question to what degree all this new capacity will impact prices – we could well see operating costs have a much bigger impact on profits and play a greater role in determining prices than we have seen in recent years. CRU’s Potash Cost Report not only provides bottom-up, site-by-site cost estimates for the potash industry, but also considers the costs of prospective entrants and how our economic forecasts indicate costs will escalate over the coming decade.”

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About CRU:

CRU Group was established in 1969, and has since become the leading business for independent market analysis and management consultancy across three areas of the global commodity industry: metals, mining and fertilizers. With more than 220 expert staff, CRU employs engineers, economists, geologists, metallurgists and chemists. CRU is based in London, Pittsburgh, Beijing, Santiago and Mumbai, with representative offices in Sydney and Sao Paulo.


Julie Cunningham

CRU, 31 Mount Pleasant
London, UK
Zip: WC1X 0AD
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7903 2000