Wondering which potash companies to invest in? This list includes overviews of both small and large potash producers and explorers listed on the TSX and TSXV.
The potash space was dominated by Russia’s Uralkali (MCX:URKA) and Belarusian Potash Company until the pair broke off their alliance in July 2013.
The market has faced difficulties since then, with prices dropping alongside stocks, and potash companies have become resourceful as they attempt to stay afloat. Some have made forays into the cannabis industry, and some have jumped ship to join the booming blockchain space.
Even so, a fair number of potash producers have managed to stay in business, and exploration companies continue to develop projects in preparation for a market upturn. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of potash companies listed on the TSX and TSXV; all had market caps of at least $15 million as of December 18, 2017.
Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed a stock you think should be included. And if you want to learn more about potash companies, you can read this list in conjunction with our recently updated article on ASX-listed potash companies.
TSX-listed potash companies
Market cap: data not yet available
Nutrien was formed on January 1, 2018 after Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Agrium completed a merger of equals. The new company bills itself as the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, with nearly 20,000 employees and operations in 14 countries. It says it is “committed to providing products and services that help growers optimize crop yields and their returns,” and will release its 2018 guidance in February.
Western Potash (TSX:WRX)
Market cap: $84.31 million
Western Potash is a development-stage potash company working to build a solution mine at its Milestone project in Saskatchewan. Last February, the company signed a letter of intent (LOI) with China BlueChemical regarding an offtake agreement for Milestone. Milestone is close to Mosaic’s (NYSE:MOS) Belle Plaine mine, which is one of the largest producing potash solution mines in the world.
Since then, the company has received environmental assessment approval for Phase I development at Milestone. It has also entered into a project agreement for Milestone with the rural municipality of Lajord, and has renegotiated a water supply agreement for the operation with the city of Regina.
Verde AgriTech (TSX:NPK)
Market cap: $30.91 million
Verde AgriTech bills itself as an agri-tech company focused on developing innovative products that promote sustainable agriculture. Its main asset is its Cerrado Verde project, which holds a potassium-rich deposit and is located in the heart of Brazil’s largest agricultural market.
Production began at Cerrado Verde in May 2017, and the company exported its first shipment of Super Greensand™ to US cannabis and organic markets at the same time. Super Greensand™ is a fertilizer and soil conditioner; as a fertilizer it provides potassium, magnesium, silicon, iron and manganese, and as a soil conditioner it increases the capacity of soil to retain water and nutrients. Towards the end of 2017, Verde AgriTech completed a prefeasibiilty study for expanded production of Super Greensand™.
Potash Ridge (TSX:PRK)
Market cap: $26.59 million
Potash Ridge is an exploration and development company with assets in Utah and Quebec. One of its main asset is its Utah-based Blawn Mountain sulfate of potash (SOP) project, for which it released two updated prefeasibility studies in 2017. The second, which the came out in April, includes the project’s alumina resources, while the first, released in January, does not. Potash Ridge secured a mining lease for Blawn Mountain in July.
The company’s other key property is its Valleyfield SOP project in Quebec. In June of last year, it engaged Novopro Projects to advance the project through final engineering and construction; the same month, Potash Ridge announced an offtake agreement that represents about 25 percent of initial annual production from Valleyfield. Since then, Potash Ridge has determined that it is in its best interest to spin out Valleyfield. It signed a non-binding LOI with Canada Coal (TSXV:CCK) in November for a potential joint venture or purchase of the asset.
Karnalyte Resources (TSX:KRN)
Market cap: $20.82 million
Karnalyte Resources is a development company whose main asset is its Wynyard carnallite project in Saskatchewan. It plans to produce 625,000 tonnes per year of high-grade granular potash during Wynyward’s first phase of operation, with two additional phases bringing production up to 2.125 million tonnes annually. The company released its third-quarter results in September.
TSXV-listed potash companies
Crystal Peak Minerals (TSXV:CPM)
Market cap: $90.88 million
Crystal Peak Minerals controls over 124,000 acres in Utah’s Sevier playa, and intends to produce SOP and other beneficial minerals. It completed a preliminary feasibility study for its Sevier Lake project in 2013, but has not released much news lately. In June 2017, it completed a $12-million financing with EMR Capital Investment, commenting that it will use the funds to continue to develop Sevier Lake.
Gensource Potash (TSXV:GSP)
Market cap: $27.31 million
Gensource Potash is approaching the problem of breaking into the potash industry as a new producer differently. Until now, the entry point for becoming a producer was a project that took seven to 10 years to develop, cost in the range of $4 billion to construct, operated at a cash cost of about $70 per tonne and produced 3, expanding to 4, million tonnes of product per year. Because of this enormous barrier to entry and the market risk created by the existing potash producers, there have been no true new producers in the industry in many decades.
The company has now created a new entry point based on up-to-date solution mining and processing methods. The new entry point is small, but easily scalable. It can start as low as 250,000 tonnes a year of production, costs just $279 million to construct and takes less than two years to first production. Further, it is forecast to operate at a cash cost of just $53 per tonne and, importantly, creates no salt tailings on surface, therefore setting a new environmental bar for the industry.
Gensource completed a detailed feasibility study in the summer of 2017 and is currently engaged in negotiations for offtake and financing with large agricultural enterprises in Canada, the US and overseas. For 2018, look for milestones from Gensource like the announcement of an offtake partner, project financing and further geological work on its Saskatchewan leases to define additional projects.
Encanto Potash (TSXV:EPO)
Market cap: $24.24 million
Encanto Potash has worked with First Nations for many years to establish minerals rights throughout Saskatchewan. Its assets include a 100-percent interest in the 61,400-acre Muskowekwan potash project on Muskowekwan First Nation reserve lands.
The company has made numerous advances at Muskowekwan recently. Notably, at the beginning of 2017, it finalized an offtake deal with the National Federation of Farmers’ Procurement, Processing and Retailing Cooperatives of India; under the agreement, the company will supply at least 5 million tonnes of muriate of potash for 20 years. Later in the year, it secured a commitment for a $100-million funding facility from GEM Capital; the money will be used to begin the engineering and design phase at Muskowekwan in anticipation of a shovel-ready construction date of September 2019.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2015.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Amanda Kay, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Gensource Potash is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.