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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

New sanctions put spotlight on US near-total dependence on foreign potash

August 13, 2021 GMT
Michigan Potash & Salt Company, LLC (PRNewsfoto/Michigan Potash & Salt Company,)
Michigan Potash & Salt Company, LLC (PRNewsfoto/Michigan Potash & Salt Company,)
Michigan Potash & Salt Company, LLC (PRNewsfoto/Michigan Potash & Salt Company,)

EVART, Mich., Aug. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent sanctions imposed by the Biden administration against Belarus, including on the critical mineral Potash, make the scarcity of the in-demand mineral even more dire. The U.S. currently imports 96% of its supply from foreign countries like Belarus and Russia. Michigan Potash & Salt Company, LLC (MPSC) in Evart, Michigan, is home to the largest and most pure deposit of potash in the country. The company is currently wrapping up final financing and developing the necessary infrastructure to extract it safely, in an environmentally responsible and protective way. The necessity of this work was made clearer with the deteriorating situation in Belarus, exacerbating global supply disruptions and rapidly rising prices.

Potash has no substitute and is a required nutrient for healthy food crops. Potash is so important it was added to the critical minerals list by the U.S. Department of Interior in 2018, declaring it a vital commodity for our country’s economy and security.

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As Ted Pagano, founder and CEO of the MPSC, pointed out: “Michigan is uniquely positioned to help meet this need, reducing our dependence on imported potash and domestically producing this critical commodity used to grow our country’s and world’s food. That’s why we need to break ground on this project quickly and benefit current and future generations.”

The new manufacturing facility will be located near Evart, Michigan, in the heart of the American corn belt and will be the United States’ first new potash development in more than 30 years. The facility will employ skilled labor and is estimated to create 300 union construction jobs and then 150 full-time jobs.

Jeff Kummer, the company’s COO, added that the food and agriculture industry simply can’t get the supply they need and that potash prices have doubled in the past year, generating unyielding financial pressures on farmers across the country. “Once commissioned, the U.S. Potash Project will provide important relief and mark one of the largest union-supported infrastructure projects in the country. It will reinvigorate local communities, spur the economy, support Michigan and U.S. farmers, and bring an essential ‘Made in the USA’ product to market. We can’t wait to get started.”

“This project represents a huge opportunity for tradesmen and women in Michigan and we’re excited to get started,” said Jeremy Garza, state political lead for the Michigan Pipe Trades Association. “Not only will this create a lot of high paying union jobs, we’re also helping fill a critical need for farmers across the country.”

The company is in final stages of securing the necessary capital to move forward.

“Taking a proactive stance is not only prudent but essential when it comes to food security. This was made even more evident with these recent sanctions announced yesterday,” Pagano added.

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About Michigan Potash & Salt Company
The Michigan Potash & Salt Company management team brings together over 300 years of industry experience, together with its EPC partner in Barton Malow – the largest trade employer in Michigan. The company is committed to developing the U.S. Potash Project in a safe and responsible manner that protects Michigan’s critical natural environment and waters while supporting local and national rural communities. To learn more about the project, please visit www.mipotash.com or contact ir@mipotash.com.

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SOURCE Michigan Potash & Salt Company, LLC