Compass Minerals president and CEO Frank Malecha (left) and Sifto Canada plant manager Floyd d’Entremont look over a salt packaging line at the company’s Nappan mine. Malecha visited the mine on Wednesday.
Nappan's Sifto Salt operation has a "solid" future according to the new CEO of Compass Minerals, its parent company.
NAPPAN – The president and CEO of Compass Minerals says his company’s Nappan operation has a solid future.
Fran Malecha visited the Sifto Canada operation in Nappan on Wednesday to meet with staff and its management team and tour the facility.
“We see our business here as strong,” Malecha said. “Over the last 10 years we have been steadily increasing our business here. We’re not at a hundred per cent capacity on an annual basis, but we are at capacity at many times during the year.”
He said the Nappan operation is looking to seize whatever opportunities are available and he sees the company continuing to grow locally.
His comments come several months after U.S.-based Morton Salt announced the closure of its fine salt operation at its Pugwash mine, putting more than 40 out of work.
Malecha said he preferred not to comment on another company’s operation, but said there is no risk of the same thing happening in Nappan.
“It’s a solid operation. It’s all about having the right facility in the right place with the right people operating it. We have some very dedicated, experienced people,” Malecha said. “The operation has been successful here and has a long future ahead of it.”
The Nappan mine has the capacity to produce up to 130,000 tons of salt annually. Most of that salt is used in the food sector in table salt and fisheries salt as well as water conditioning salt. A small portion of its business is in road salt.
Malecha said Compass Minerals is continuing to invest in capital improvements to the solution mining operation that first opened in Nappan more than 65 years ago.
Plant manager Floyd d’Entremont said a new bulk loading system was installed, while work has been ongoing to upgrade key infrastructure that has been in place since 1985.
“We’re replacing parts of our main compressor and our vapour scrubber,” d’Entremont said. “We installed a new salt screener to increase the capacity on a certain grade of salt.”
The company employs 43.
Malecha said he is very impressed with the local workforce.
“It’s a strong workforce. It’s engaged with a strong management team,” Malecha said. “It takes all that to be a successful business. That’s what we have here and they continue to do more every year.”
Malecha said the salt business in North America has been flat in recent years. The decline in the fishery has forced the company to look elsewhere for business. He said parts of the business are more recession resilient than others. For instance, he said, the water softener side continues to be strong.