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Mosaic CEO has cancer, plans to stay on job

Mosaic CEO Jim Prokopanko speaks during the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago March 15, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress
Mosaic CEO Jim Prokopanko speaks during the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago March 15, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress

By Rod Nickel

(Reuters) - Mosaic Co Chief Executive Jim Prokopanko has been diagnosed with cancer, but plans to continue in his role, the U.S. fertilizer company said on Thursday.

Prokopanko is undergoing chemotherapy and said in a statement that he will work a regular schedule as CEO but limit his travel during the coming months.

"While this is a serious matter, the good news is that I'm feeling well and my doctors have informed me that I was diagnosed at an early stage," he said.

The company provided no details on the type of cancer Prokopanko is suffering from.

Mosaic, the world's biggest producer of finished phosphate products and a major potash miner, on Monday completed its $1.4 billion acquisition of CF Industries' phosphate business. It is carrying out roughly $3 billion worth of share buybacks.

Mosaic's management will continue to advance the strategic direction set by Prokopanko and the board, Chairman Robert Lumpkins said.

Shares of the Plymouth, Minnesota-based company dipped 0.4 percent after normal trading hours in New York. The stock had finished slightly higher in regular NYSE at $49.04.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler)

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