Canadian Pacific joined K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) in celebrating the grand opening of its Legacy Project mine site. The mine is the first of its kind built in Saskatchewan in more than 40 years, and the rail infrastructure built to serve the mine is the most significant engineering project undertaken by CP since the mid-1980s.
“We are incredibly proud to have collaborated with K+S Potash Canada on this project and look forward to delivering their product to international markets for years to come,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “Building 30 kilometers of new rail through a rural area, including a river valley, is no easy feat and I want to congratulate all those who invested their time and energy in bringing this project to a successful conclusion.”
The 30-kilometre route to the mine site was a geotechnical challenge as grading through the valley required the movement of 9.7 million cubic metres of earth. Adding to the scope of the project was the construction of a 137 metre bridge and 70 metre tunnel.
“We needed to ensure that transportation of product from our mine to our port facility would be both secure and competitive,” said Dr. Ulrich Lamp, President and CEO, KSPC. “When we signed the contract with Canadian Pacific in 2013, we knew we had found the perfect partner and strategic fit for those needs. We are so pleased to see the finished rail infrastructure.” In the end, the rail project featured nearly 50,000 rail ties, 30.4 kilometers of track, 4,500 tonnes of steel (plates, rail, bolts), 90,000 tonnes of ballast and thousands of hours of work.
CP will primarily use unit trains – trains that consist of only one type of cargo – to ship the potash products to KSPC’s handling and storage facility in Port Moody, B.C. then on to overseas market. These unit trains will be approximately a mile and a half long, consisting of 177 rail cars.
In 2013, CP signed an exclusive, long-term contract with KSPC to deliver its potash products safely and efficiently to international markets.
K+S is an international resources company whose principal products are potash and salt. It is the world’s largest salt producer and one of the top potash providers worldwide. Its Legacy Project is a potash solution mine and production facility being built near Moose Jaw. It will be the first new greenfield potash mine built in Saskatchewan in over forty years. K+S expects it will produce its first marketable potash by the end of Q2, and anticipates reaching full production capacity of two-million-tonnes annually by the end of 2017.