By James Wellstead — Exclusive to Potash Investing News
Vancouver-based junior potash miner Western Potash Corp. (TSX:WPX,OTC Pin k:W PSHF) announced that it is looking for a partner to develop its Milestone, Saskatchewan property before its feasi bility study is completed in November of this year.
The company's proposed potash mine will require significant funding to support the CA $2.458 billion initial CAPEX costs required to achieve its 2.8 MT/year production target for the proposed mine life of over 40 years. John Costigan, Vice President of corporate development, said the company's ideal partner would have financial resources, demand for the product, and the desire to own production. Contact has been initiated with a number of potential partners, but Costigan confirmed that talks with Chinese fertilizer producer Sinofert Holdings Ltd. (HKG: 0297), which is 22 percent owned by Saskatoon-based PotashCorp (TSX: POT), have ended without a viable option being reached between the two groups. In a recent Reuters interview, China and India were highlighted by Western Potash as interested candidates. The two countries represented approximately 28.5 percent of global potash shipments in 2011 and have yet to gain a significant presence within the Saskatchewan potash space. Sinofert's senior Vice President, Harry Yang, announced in February that the company is looking to acquire potash assets both inside and outside of China. China also surprised many last month when it began signing Q2 2012 potash contracts earlier than last year and near quantities and costs close to those of 2011. India, however, is expecting lower overseas purchasing this year as the country adjusts to the removal of a state subsidy on potash- and phosphate-based fertilizers.