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FAQs

Corporate
When was PotashCorp formed?

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan was formed as a Crown Corporation by the Saskatchewan government in 1975. Over the next three years, the company acquired about 40 percent of Canada's potash output. PotashCorp was privatized in 1989, becoming a publicly traded corporation on the TSX and NYSE.

What does PotashCorp produce?

PotashCorp produces potash, phosphate and nitrogen products that are used as fertilizers, animal feed supplements, and industrial ingredients.  For a full list of PotashCorp products see our Customers section.

How many people does PotashCorp employ worldwide?

As of December 31, 2013 PotashCorp employed 5,787 people.

How do I get a PotashCorp student/teacher/researcher package? 

A PotashCorp student/teacher/researcher package can be obtained by emailing our Corporate Relations Department or by calling toll free within Canada (1-800-667-0403) or from the US (1-800-667-3930).

Is it possible to tour PotashCorp facilities?

The Company’s operating sites are industrial areas and are not open for on-site public tours.

Investors - General
How do I buy PotashCorp shares?

PotashCorp common shares are traded in Toronto (TSX) and New York (NYSE) under the ticker symbol POT. Please contact a brokerage firm to buy shares in the company. 

What is the ticker symbol for PotashCorp?

Our ticker symbol is POT on both the TSX and NYSE.

When was PotashCorp’s initial public offering?

PotashCorp went public on the TSX and NYSE on November 2, 1989, at $CDN 18.00 and $US 15.125 per share, respectively. When considering the August 2004 two-for-one stock split, the May 2007 three-for-one stock split, and the February 2011 three-for-one stock split, this equates to $CDN 1.00 and $US 0.84 per share. 

What is PotashCorp’s year end? When are quarterly financial results released?

Our fiscal year end is December 31. Results will be announced the month following quarter-end:  April (first quarter), July (second quarter), October (third quarter) and January (fourth quarter and year-end). To obtain the date of PotashCorp’s next earnings announcement, see our Investor Relations Calendar

Does PotashCorp pay a dividend on its stock?

Dividends are paid on PotashCorp common shares as and when declared by the company’s Board of Directors. Since 1990 PotashCorp has paid a quarterly dividend. See our Dividend History page for dividend history. The current quarterly dividend is $0.35/share.

Does PotashCorp have a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)?

PotashCorp offers a Dividend Reinvestment Plan to any shareholder of record. See Dividend Reinvestment Plan for detailed information.

Where can I find annual meeting and proxy voting information? 

You can find this in our Shareholder information here.

How do I get a copy of the investor package?

All PotashCorp investor materials and communications can be viewed or downloaded on this website. If you would prefer hard copies of any material, please contact us either by email through Investor Briefcase or call toll free.

1-800-667-0403 - within Canada
1-800-667-3930 - from the US

What analysts cover PotashCorp?

PotashCorp is covered by both Canadian and US analysts. See Analysts for a listing of firms, analysts and their contact information.

Whom should I contact regarding my stock certificate? 

You should contact PotashCorp's transfer agent, CST Trust Company.

What is a transfer agent?

A transfer agent keeps records of every outstanding share certificate in a publicly held company, along with the name of the person to whom it is registered. When registered shares change hands, the agent transfers share ownership from the seller to the buyer. A registrar then reconciles all transfer records to make sure the number of shares debited is equal to the number of shares credited.

How do I change my address on my account?

If you own shares through a brokerage firm, you should contact the firm directly to change your address. If you are a registered shareholder, contact CST Trust Company to change your account address.

I am a shareholder outside of Canada. What does this mean? 

Dividends paid to residents in countries with which Canada has bilateral tax treaties are generally subject to the 15-percent Canadian non-resident withholding tax. There is no Canadian tax on gains from the sale of shares or debt instruments owned by non-residents not carrying on business in Canada. No government in Canada levies estate taxes or succession duties. 

How do I contact PotashCorp Investor Relations?

You can contact the Investor Relations department here.

Investors - Finance
How do provincial potash mining taxes work in Saskatchewan?

The potash production tax is payable under the Mineral Taxation Act, 1983 (Saskatchewan). This tax consists of two components: a base tax of $11 (indexed) per K2O tonne of Saskatchewan potash sold and a profit tax of 15.0 to 35.0 percent on profits less certain credits. Where we fall within this range depends on several factors including potash price realizations, Canadian/US exchange rate, and the timing and amount of capital spending on potash projects in Saskatchewan. These taxes are deductible for Canadian income tax purposes and are charged to “Other Provincial and Mining Taxes”, below the gross margin line, on our income statement.

How do changes in foreign exchange rates affect results?

Nearly all PotashCorp sales are priced in US dollars. Our operations in Canada and Trinidad expose the company to fluctuations in currency values of those countries against the US dollar. The largest exposure is created by our Canadian potash operations, which affects Canadian dollar potash operating costs when translated to US dollars for financial reporting purposes. For example, as the Canadian dollar strengthens, our reported operating costs rise.

What companies or projects has PotashCorp invested in or acquired?

Please see PotashCorp History.

Investors - Potash
What is Potash?

Potash is the major source of the primary nutrient potassium. It is mainly used as a fertilizer but also has some industrial applications, including the production of computer and TV screens, soaps, de-icers and water softeners. It is also used as an animal feed supplement.

Potash is often referred to as “the quality nutrient” because it helps plants develop strong root systems and retain water, contributing to higher yields and greater resistance to drought, disease and insects. It also improves the taste and nutritional value of food, and, in animals, helps growth, maintenance and milk production.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How is potash produced?

Potassium chloride (KCl), commonly called potash, is primarily mined from underground ore deposits by conventional mining techniques or by more energy- and cost-intensive solution mining. In limited circumstances, it can also be harvested from salt lakes or seas.  The ore or brine is processed into the finished product in surface mills.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Which crops are the biggest users of potash?

In the US, more than 45 percent of potash is applied to corn. In China, fruits and vegetables consume half of the potash applied, with rice taking a further 28 percent. In Brazil, almost 75 percent of the potash is used to produce soybean, sugar cane and corn. In Malaysia and Indonesia, oil palm accounts for approximately 70 percent of potash consumed.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What would it cost to build a new potash mine? 

In Saskatchewan, we estimate it would cost CDN $4.2 billion to bring into production a new conventional 2-million tonne per year greenfield potash mine and mill, which would take a minimum of 7 years lead time to bring to production. This figure does not include infrastructure outside the plant gates, such as rail, road networks, utility systems, port facilities and potential fees to purchase reserves, which could increase the cost to more than CDN $6 billion.

The risks of establishing a greenfield mine are high – in commercial underground mine development, water has often been encountered in sinking a shaft; the ore body can also be irregular and difficult to mine.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What influences the cost of producing potash?

Potash production costs are affected by the mine’s geology (ore thickness, consistency, continuity, depth and grade), energy and water management costs, the level of mill recovery, operational capacity and degree of automation.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How important is trade in potash?

More than 180 countries use potash, but only 12 countries produce significant amounts. As a result, about 75-80 percent of the potash produced moves across borders. Canada is typically the world’s largest exporter, accounting for about 40 percent of the total world potash trade.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How does potash get to the North American markets?

Most of our Saskatchewan potash is sent by rail to warehouses and fan tracks, where it is stored or sent directly to customers by rail or truck. We also ship small amounts of product by rail to transfer points on the Great Lakes for delivery by vessel and to transfer points on the Mississippi River for delivery by barge. Most of this potash is shipped to PotashCorp warehouses, where our customers pick it up by truck.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How does potash get to the offshore markets?

PotashCorp owns (both directly and through Canpotex, the marketing company for Saskatchewan potash producers) shipping facilities on the East and West coasts of North America to facilitate offshore delivery. Our Saskatchewan product is sent by rail to Canpotex terminals in Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR, for vessel loading. We export potash from our New Brunswick facility through our terminal at the port of Saint John, NB, which offers logistical advantages when delivering to Central and South American customers.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What are the key markets for potash?

Our largest markets include: the US, China, India, Latin America (primarily Brazil) and Other Asian Countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea and Japan).

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What is Canpotex?

Canpotex Limited (Canpotex), an international marketing and distribution company wholly owned by Saskatchewan potash producers PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium, is the world's largest exporter of potash. By marketing through Canpotex, PotashCorp benefits from extensive offshore marketing expertise and lower transportation and distribution costs, which can be considerable when shipping from Canada’s interior. Canpotex competes in the key markets with global potash marketing agencies such as Belarusian Potash Company (BPC), the marketing agency for suppliers in the former Soviet Union, and other producers, including ICL, K+S and SQM.

Canpotex draws potash from the three producers proportionally based on the companies’ relative capacity. PotashCorp is the largest contributor approximately 48 percent (first-half entitlement). Net revenues are shared according to the percentage of potash contributed for sale.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How do your major markets purchase potash?

We sell to the US primarily from Saskatchewan. These customers – primarily wholesalers, retailers and cooperatives that purchase on the spot market from PCS Sales – buy mainly on a delivered basis. We do not sell directly to farmers.

Our New Brunswick facility, located near a port on Canada's East Coast, has logistical advantages in supplying Brazil and other Latin American countries. Sales of its production are handled by PCS Sales.

Large offshore customers use a variety of methods to buy from Canpotex:

  • Canpotex handles all offshore sales of Saskatchewan products
  • Sinofert, China's largest potash importer and distributor, purchases under six-month pricing contracts beginning in 2011 with minimum annual volume commitments
  • Indian customers buy under annual pricing contracts
  • Customers in other Asian countries buy under short-term price and volume contracts, or on the spot market
  • Latin American customers buy on the spot market from Canpotex and PCS Sales.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Investors - Nitrogen business
What is Nitrogen?

Nitrogen (N) is part of the genetic blueprints RNA and DNA. It is needed by animals for proper nutrition and maturation, and is the fundamental building block of plant proteins. In crops, nitrogen helps improve yield and quality.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How are nitrogen fertilizers and products for industry produced?

Nitrogen products are manufactured from feedstock ammonia, which is synthesized from natural gas, steam and air. Ammonia, the most concentrated nitrogen fertilizer, can be upgraded to produce other nitrogen products, including urea and ammonium nitrate.

Urea, a solid product with high nitrogen content and excellent handling properties, is the major source of fertilizer nitrogen. Ammonium nitrate, used for industrial purposes, is made from ammonia and nitric acid. Liquid forms of urea and ammonium nitrate can be combined into nitrogen solutions for use as fertilizer.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Which crops use the most nitrogen?

In North America, corn, wheat and cotton demand the most nitrogen. Globally, wheat, rice and corn are the three largest consumers of nitrogen.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What influences the cost of producing ammonia?

Natural gas prices can account for 70-85 percent of the cash cost of producing ammonia. The higher the cost of gas, the higher its contribution to the unit cost of ammonia.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How important is trade in nitrogen?

Most ammonia produced is consumed domestically. Because ammonia is a hazardous material requiring specialized equipment to move, cross-border trade is limited to about 11 percent of global production.

About 60 countries produce urea. With better handling characteristics than ammonia, about one quarter of global urea production is traded.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What are the major industrial uses of nitrogen?

Ammonia is used to produce fibers and resins, refrigerator coolants, pulp and paper, and metal products. Urea is used to produce resins, dyes, adhesives, NOx removal, and pharmaceuticals. Nitric Acid is used to produce fibers, resins, polymers and metal finishing products. Ammonium nitrate is used to produce explosives, primarily for the coal mining industry.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Investors - Phosphate business
What is Phosphate?

Phosphate (P), which is expressed in nutrient terms as P2O5, is the major source of phosphorus, the energizer of plant production. It is crucial to photosynthesis, cell reproduction and other yield-enhancing processes. Animals need phosphorous for body growth, maintenance and repair.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

How are phosphate fertilizers, feed supplement and industrial products produced?

Phosphate rock mined from underground ore deposits is reacted primarily with sulfuric acid to produce phosphoric acid (P205), the feedstock for other products. Phosphoric acid can be reacted with ammonia and granulated to produce the solid fertilizer DAP and MAP, concentrated by evaporation to produce merchant grade phosphoric acid, further evaporated to produce superphosphoric acid, reacted with limestone or phosphate rock to produce animal feed products, or purified by solvent extraction to produce industrial grade phosphoric acids.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Which crops use phosphate?

In the US, the most phosphate-intensive crops are corn, wheat, soybeans and cotton. In Asia, rice, corn, wheat and root crops use the most phosphate, while in Brazil the biggest consumers are soybeans, corn, sugar cane and rice. 

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What influences the cost of producing phosphate?

Phosphate rock production costs are affected by ore thickness, consistency, continuity, depth and concentration (ore per tonne of phosphate rock). Phosphoric acid input costs are primarily impacted by costs of phosphate rock and sulfur; solid phosphate fertilizers are further impacted by the cost of ammonia.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

What are the major industrial uses of phosphate?

Industrial phosphates are used in applications such as water treatment, metal cleaning, food production, and for manufacturing refractory materials, fire fighting solutions, and quick setting cements.

For further information, please see our Overview of PotashCorp and Its Industry.

Customers Service
How do I contact a Customer Service Representative (CSR)?

PotashCorp maintains 24/7 customer service. Please contact your sales person via email or phone for immediate assistance.

Will I always have the same Customer Service Rep?

PotashCorp’s CSRs cover designated areas of the country. In most cases, customers will work with the same CSR on an ongoing basis.

Where can I get pricing information on fertilizer products?

All pricing must be discussed with your sales representative.

Can I buy my fertilizer supplies directly from PotashCorp?

PotashCorp is a wholesale manufacturer of fertilizer ingredients. We do not sell directly to farmers.

Is there a minimum order size I need to buy from PotashCorp?

All PotashCorp products are sold in bulk. The smallest size for shipment is a full truck (24 metric tonnes).

Can a CSR track my order and tell me when it will arrive?

Your CSR can provide detailed information about your orders, order history and delivery status whenever needed.

You can also use the Customer Service Window to access your order, shipment, railcar tracking and invoicing information online. The Window offers secure, 24-hour real-time access.

How can I request a certificate of analysis?

Your CSR can provide you with a certificate of analysis.

Careers
What kinds of career opportunities are available at PotashCorp?

PotashCorp has opportunities in several disciplines including engineering, trades/crafts, accounting and more. To learn more see our Job Descriptions page.

How do I apply for a position at PotashCorp?

Our current opportunities are posted in the Careers section, where you can submit your resume or application form online. If you don’t see an opportunity that fits your qualifications, you can sign up for Career Alerts to receive emails when appropriate positions become available. You can also contact the HR Departments at each of our sites directly.

Once my resume is submitted, how long will it take to hear back about an interview?

When you submit your resume through our website you will receive an automatic response confirming we’ve received it. If your qualifications match our needs we will contact you for an interview.

What kinds of opportunities are available for students?

PotashCorp hires students for internship, co-op and summer opportunities. We post positions on both our own and university websites. By signing up for career alerts, you will be notified when opportunities are available. Students can also learn more about the company at career fairs (see our Calendar for details).

PotashCorp also sponsors external scholarships which are administered by the designated educational institution. 

Where could I work at PotashCorp?

PotashCorp hires workers for its North American and Trinidad facilities. See our Locations page for details.

What are the communities like where I could work?

We operate in both rural and urban communities. See our Locations page for details.

What kinds of benefits does PotashCorp offer its employees?

PotashCorp offers competitive compensation and benefits to employees.

What’s it like to work at PotashCorp?

To learn about what it’s like to work for PotashCorp from some of our employees, visit our Profiles page.

Last Reviewed: Feb 28, 2014