The Holbrook Arizona Journalconfirmed reports circulating that Denver-based American West Potash says it's possible they could have an underground potash mine in operation as soon as early 2014 in eastern Arizona. That's two years earlier than many expected any mine might be working. The newspaper cites Holbrook city officials as source of the news. [Right, location map with AWP and adjacent land holdings. Credit, AWP's NI-43-101 report]
The paper also states, "By March 2012, Avery plans to begin filing applications for permits with various regulatory and oversight agencies including the Arizona State Land Department, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources."
That latter reference is incorrect. The Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources was merged into the AZGS in July but never had any regulatory or oversight duties. I suspect the reporter meant to refer to the State Mine Inspector.
In another story a few days ago, the paper published a nice summary of "What is Potash?" that also included a brief analysis of world developments.
And in related news, Mineweb.com published a piece by market analyst Rick Mills entitled, "Why the world's biggest miners like potash," with the subtitle, "The world's three largest mining companies are all investing heavily in the potash sector which suggests this bulk commodity has plenty of growth ahead." He summarizes the many global factors that underlie the demand for potash.
One factor I have not heard before is that"Just when we need more soil to feed the 10 billion people of the future, we'll actually have less-only a quarter of an acre of cropland per person in 2050, versus the half-acre we use today on the most efficient farms," according to David Montgomery, author of the 2007 book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. That means more fertilizers may be needed to increase the productivity of remaining croplands.