Michigan Potash and Salt Co. in Evart, south of Cadillac, home to the largest and most pure deposit of potash in the country, is finalizing financing and developing the necessary infrastructure to extract the mineral in an environmentally responsible way.
Potash is a potassium rich nutrient required for the growth of healthy food crops. It was added to the critical mineral list by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2018, which declared it a vital commodity for the country’s economy and security.
The deteriorating political situation in Belarus — President Joe Biden recently imposed sanction against the country — has hampered distribution of the critical mineral potash. Currently, the U.S. imports 96 percent of its potash supply from such countries as Belarus and Russia.
The company states the importance of its work at the new facility is great, as global supply disruptions and rapidly rising prices highlights the limits of foreign dependence of a key mineral.
“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,” says Ted Pagano, founder and CEO of the MPSC.
The new manufacturing facility will be located near Evart, and 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, followed by 150 full-time jobs.
“Once commissioned, the U.S. Potash Project will provide important relief and mark one of the largest union-supported infrastructure projects in the country,” says Jeff Kummer, COO of MPSC. “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.”