In 1909 Meadows and his brother-in-law, Oscar L. Dortch, teamed with Waldemar A. Schmidtmann, the foster son of a highly successful Austrian industrialist whose holdings included Kaliwerke Sollstedt - a thriving potash mine in Germany. The three acquired the Schmidtmann holdings in the potash mine and formed the International Agricultural Corporation in New York. Two core businesses were now in place for what would later become IMC Global.
Phosphate mining operations proved lucrative in Tennessee and Florida and opened doors for other business ventures. In 1927 IMC Global built its first phosphate chemical plant in Wales, Tennessee. Here the company manufactured concentrated phosphates that were used in detergents and other cleaners. By 1940 IMC Global had opened a potash mining operation in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Advancing technology in the mining of phosphates and potash ores - and the acquisition of smaller mining companies - helped IMC Global expand its operations. Giant mining machines, called draglines, and other automated equipment were eventually introduced and allowed for large-scale mining of phosphate and potash. In the first year of operation at Carlsbad, New Mexico, for example, 50,000 tons of potash was produced. Today, some 60 years later, the Carlsbad operation yields more than 1.7 million tons of product in the same time period.
In 1942 the company moved its headquarters to the Chicago area, where it has been based ever since, and adopted the new name of International Minerals & Chemical Corporation
, or IMC as it came to be known.
In the 1960s IMC Global significantly expanded its involvement in potash production by becoming the first company to mine the nutrient from beneath the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada. This potash deposit had been discovered by an oil exploration crew at the 7,400-foot level, beneath a diverse series of the earth's geological layers. One of these layers was known as the Blairmore - a 200-foot-deep mass of semifluid quicksand under explosive pressures (up to 475 pounds per square inch). Using a method called "tubbing," IMC Global froze the liquid quicksand and lined a downward shaft into the earth with cast iron panels, each weighing four tons. All together, seven million pounds of cast iron tubbing and 17,000 giant bolts were used in creating a permanent hole in the Blairmore strata. This allowed for two mines to be opened in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan - the K-I mine in 1962 and the K-2 mine in 1967. Today these mines can produce more than 4 million short tons of potash product for global agriculture.
In 1994, the name of the company was changed to IMC Global Inc. to better reflect the worldwide scope of the corporation's mission and operations.
As IMC Global entered the 1990s, the Company made strategic moves to solidify its leadership position in phosphate and potash. In 1993 IMC Global entered into a joint venture that launched IMC Phosphates Company M.P. (originally known as IMC-Agrico Company), a phosphate mining and fertilizer production company in Florida and Louisiana. The joint venture greatly increased IMC Global's phosphate production capabilities and created the world's largest and today the lowest-cost producer of vital phosphate crop nutrients.
In early 1996 IMC Global merged with The Vigoro Corporation of Chicago. This merger increased the Company's revenues by 40 percent and doubled its potash capabilities with new mines in Saskatchewan and Michigan. Following the Vigoro merger IMC Global began producing more potash than any other company in the world and at the lowest cost. In 1997 the Company again increased its specialty potash capabilities and revenues through the acquisition of Western-Ag Minerals in Carlsbad, New Mexico. This operation was located adjacent to IMC Global's existing Carlsbad potash mine and processing facility. By mid-1999 the Company had combined the two facilities, as planned, and extended the life of potash mining in the Carlsbad Basin to more than 30 years.
On the heels of the Western-Ag acquisition, IMC Global merged with Freeport-McMoRan in December 1997. This merger, which effectively gave IMC Global about 80 percent ownership of the IMC Phosphates joint venture, put the Company in strategic and operational control of the world's largest phosphate operation with a capacity of about 8.0 million short tons of concentrated phosphates annually. - from www.imcglobal.com Certificate:
Common Stock, issued in the 1970’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w) State: NY-New York Subject Matter: Mining and Related
| Metals and Related
| Chemicals and Related Vignette Topic(s): Mining Scene
| Allegorical Featured Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body, edge faults and toning from age.