Passport Potash Announces the Appointment of Director and Chairman of the Board

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA-(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2012) - Passport Potash Inc. (TSX VENTURE:PPI)(OTCQX:PPRTF) (“Passport” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the appointment of David J. Salisbury as a Director and Chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr. Salisbury has had an extensive career in the mining industry, spanning four decades, including seventeen years with Rio Tinto plc (“Rio Tinto”). During his career he has had experience in almost all phases of mine development and operation, including: operating and capital budget development, operating cost control, product quality, profit/loss analysis, engineering, safety, field operations and maintenance, strategic planning, environmental compliance, market development, merger and acquisition analysis, employee relations, community relations, public relations and government relations at both the state and federal levels.

Mr. Salisbury was President and CEO of Resolution Copper Mining (“Resolution”) from 2008 to his retirement on January 31, 2011. At Resolution he was responsible for the development of a deep underground copper mine in Superior, Arizona. One of his primary responsibilities was a legislative land exchange involving 3025 acres of federal land in exchange for 5500 acres of ecologically important private land. His role at Resolution required significant interaction and engagement with members of the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, the Governor of the State of Arizona and State legislators. He was also responsible for leading the activities of integrating all engineering studies and design with environmental permitting, progressive development of the future operations culture and working environment, health and safety, project budget controls and community relations.

From 2006 through 2008, Mr. Salisbury was President and CEO of Kennecott Minerals Company, where he was responsible for the comprehensive management of underground operations in Juneau, Alaska; open cut/heap leach gold in Nevada; and the development and construction of an underground nickel operation in Michigan.

Mr. Salisbury was a leader for the Rio Tinto global improvement program, Improving Performance Together, from 2004 through 2006. He led one of four major streams of work aimed at bringing about radical change in the way Rio Tinto conducts business. This responsibility covered the engineering and operation of processing operations at all Rio Tinto operations and involved leading a team of eight general managers and managers in diagnosing current state, formulating solutions, implementing pilot trials and ultimately rolling out change across the global group.

Mr. Salisbury was Managing Director and CEO of Rössing Uranium Ltd. from 2001 through 2004. The Rössing mine employed 1200 people and produces U3O8 for the global nuclear fuel industry, representing 8% of the global primary supply. During his tenure the mine achieved its historical best safety performance while increasing production with a staff decreased by 33%.

While with Rio Tinto, Mr. Salisbury also held Senior Executive positions with Kennecott Ridgeway Mining Company and Kennecott Energy Company.

Prior to joining Rio Tinto Mr. Salisbury was the President of Cordero Mining Company/Sun Coal Company (1992 to 1993) and responsible for the operation of the Cordero Mine, the seventh largest coal mine in the United States. At Cordero he completed a major organizational restructuring to reduce cost and improve efficiency, dropping operating costs by 10%.

Mr. Salisbury served as President and COO of the Al Hamilton Operating Company/Bradford Coal Company (1990 to 1992) where he was responsible for the operation of 9 active mines in a 30 mile radius of Clearfield, PA. During his tenure he improved the financial performance of this operation and was able to bring it into profitability.

From 1989 to 1990 Mr. Salisbury served as President of The Coteau Properties Company/North American Coal Corporation where he was responsible for the construction, management and operation of a 12 million tons per year surface lignite mine near Beulah, North Dakota. The Coteau Properties Company/North American Coal Corporation had annual sales of 86 million US dollars to the only commercial coal gasification plant in the United States. Mr. Salisbury administered a 20 year contract with the sole coal customer, and negotiated a new contract extension adding a new coal field and additional production up to 16 million tons per year.

Mr. Salisbury served in various management positions with The Coteau Properties Company/North American Coal Corporation from 1978 through 1989. He was the project manager responsible for the oversight of design, contract administration and construction management of the Freedom Mine, a greenfield mine facility valued at 186 million dollars. The project was completed on time and under budget.

Mr. Salisbury noted, “It is with great enthusiasm and a commitment to success that I approach this opportunity of adding my experience to that of Passport’s excellent management team. I look forward to building on the strong foundation of accomplishments demonstrated by Passport Potash Inc.”

“We are thrilled to have someone of Mr. Salisbury’s caliber joining us as Chairman of Passport’s Board of Directors. There are few mining executives who can match the breadth of Mr. Salisbury’s experience or his record of success in the mining industry,” commented Passport’s President and CEO Joshua Bleak.

Furthermore, the Company announces that it has received notice of resignation from Gary F. Zak as a director of the Company. The Board of Directors would like to thank Mr. Zak for his services. Mr. Zak will continue his involvement with the Company as a member of Passport’s advisory board.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Passport Potash Inc.


Joshua Bleak, President

This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward-looking statements”. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, including the likelihood of commercial mining and possible future financings are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining is an inherently risky business. Accordingly the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. For more information on the Company and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review the Company’s annual filings that are available at

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Source: Marketwire Canada (January 17, 2012 - 8:00 AM EST)

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