01/19/2016 08:04 EST | Updated 01/19/2017 00:12 EST

PotashCorp to close N.B. mine indefinitely, cut 420-430 jobs to reduce costs

SASKATOON — The Picadilly potash operation in New Brunswick is suspending production indefinitely, resulting in the lay off of more than 400 people.

The mine owner — Saskatoon-based Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, or PotashCorp — says a crew of 35 employees will remain to take care of Picadilly while it's idle and the rest of the workforce will be cut by 420 to 430 people.

PotashCorp says New Brunswick employees will be eligible for 100 positions available in Saskatchewan and it will establish ad $5-million community investment fund.

The Saskatoon-based company says it's aiming to increase its competitiveness and reduce both operating and capital costs.

It estimates PotashCorp will reduce its cost of goods sold — an operating item — by $40 million to $50 million in 2016.

It also estimates that Picadilly's closure will cut capital costs by $50 million in 2016 and $135 million over the next two years.



The Canadian Press