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ECONOMY | 04-09-2023 14:28

Argentina's Mendoza Province narrows search for US$1-billion potash investor

Mendoza Province has narrowed its search for a company to revive development of the Rio Colorado potash mine, a decade after Vale SA pulled out of the project.

Argentina’s Mendoza Province has narrowed down its search for a company to resume development of the RÍo Colorado potash mine, a decade after Vale SA withdrew from the project.   

“We have completed the bid selection process,” Mendoza Governor Rodolfo SuÁrez posted Monday on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Now, we will move quickly in the final negotiation of the contract with the best qualified bidder.”

Under the advice of UBS Group AG, provincial authorities sought offers in a competitive process that initially drew the interest of more than 30 firms. The winner will invest US$1 billion over five years. Bidding is taking place at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is reshaping the global fertilizer trade.

Mendoza — better known for its exports of Malbec wine than its vast mineral wealth — took over RÍo Colorado after years of wrangling with Vale. The Brazilian company pulled the plug in 2013 after spending US$2.2 billion to build almost half the mine.

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by James Attwood, Bloomberg

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