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IW Business Bulletin – December 17, 2021

FCL reports earnings

Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) saw nearly $9.1 billion in revenue and $495 million in earnings for the financial year ending Oct. 31, 2021. This is up from $7.9 billion and $177 million in earnings in 2020. FCL will return $353.5 million to local Co-ops throughout Western Canada.

“There’s been a lot of change and uncertainty impacting our work and our lives in the last year, including the pandemic, global supply chain issues and distressing weather conditions across the Prairies,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda. “It’s remarkable how the Co-operative Retailing System continues adapting to ever-evolving circumstances to remain steadfast supporters of Western Canadian communities that Co-op members can depend on.”

FCL had a record year in sales for fertilizer, crop protection, seed, and home and building solutions business lines, and good performance in food and energy. In 2021. FCL expanded its Brandon, Man. fertilizer terminal, formed a joint venture with Blair’s Family of Companies, and acquired True North Renewable Fuels. The company also recently announced its acquisition of land for its planned renewable diesel facility in Regina and its purchase of 181 Husky Fuel retail sites from Cenovus Energy Inc. 

SaskTel begins deploying 5G

On December 15, SaskTel announced it has begun deploying its 5G wireless network within the province. Work has started in Regina, with expansion plans to both Regina and Saskatoon in early 2022.

“Today’s announcement is the beginning of something big for SaskTel and Saskatchewan. Since we first introduced wireless service to the province in 1989, we have worked tirelessly to deliver the best possible experience for our customers, investing hundreds of millions of dollars and countless people-hours to expand and evolve our networks,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to bring the next-generation of wireless technology to our customers. Not only does it further enhance their ability to connect to the world around them, it also sets the stage for technological innovations that will improve the quality of life in our wonderful province.”

SaskPower and Capstone commission wind farm

Toronto’s Capstone Infrastructure Corporation (Capstone) has commissioned its 10 MW Riverhurst Wind Farm. The project will sell emmission-free energy to SaskPower via a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement.

“It’s great to see the Riverhurst Wind Farm achieve commercial operation, which also accomplishes a couple of important milestones for Capstone, including completing our first project in Saskatchewan and welcoming the 30th operating facility in our fleet,” said David Eva, Capstone CEO. “A big thanks to the Capstone team for working over many years to see this project to fruition, along with the turbine supplier ENERCON, SkyFlo, and WSP in supporting a safe and well managed construction process. Finally, we appreciate the collaborative approach from SaskPower on this project and look forward to further supporting their efforts to reduce emissions associated with electricity generation in the province.”

ISC appoints new CFO

Information Services Corporation (ISC) has appointed Robert (Bob) Antochow as the company’s new chief financial officer. He currently works as the senior director, finance for ISC.

“I am very pleased that we are able to announce Bob’s appointment as CFO, effective February 1, 2022.  Since joining ISC in 2015, Bob has been a key part of building an exceptional finance function within ISC. He has been a strong leader within the organization and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him in his new role, as we and the rest of the team continue to execute on our strategy,” said Shawn Peters, ISC president and CEO designate.

Both Peters and Antochow commence their new roles on February 1, 2022.

Baselode Energy Corp. appoints VP

Toronto-based Baselode Energy Corp. has announced the appointment of Cameron McKay as the company’s vice-president, exploration and development. Baselode controls 227,000 hectares of exploration area in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin.

“It’s been my sincerest pleasure to work closely with Cameron since he joined Baselode in November, 2020. I’ve learned a lot from his technical expertise and we have complimented each others strengths.  I’m very happy to have Cameron progress in the Company in a more executive role as his strengths are truly befitting the position,” said James Sykes, Baselode CEO, president and director.

This week, Baselode also announced the company has received diamond drilling permits from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment for its 100 per cent owned Shadow Uranium project in the Athabasca Basin.

Skyharbour stakes new uranium properties

Skyharbour Resources Ltd. has staked six new uranium exploration properties in northern Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. The properties make up 147,510 hectares in the region, bringing Skyharbour’s land package to a total of 385,934 hectares in the Basin.

“We have been actively staking claims and adding to our dominant uranium project portfolio in the Athabasca Basin. These newly acquired projects are strategically located and are geologically prospective with very little modern exploration having been carried out on them. They complement our more advanced-stage exploration assets including Moore Lake and South Falcon Point, and provide additional ground to option or joint-venture out to new partner companies as a part of our prospect generator business,” said Jordan Trimble, president and CEO, Skyharbour Resources.

Fortune Bay announces exploration plans

Fortune Bay Corp. will work on three Saskatchewan projects in 2022, including its Stirke, Murmac and Goldfields Gold projects near Uranium City. Strike and Murmac will see geophysical surveying in the winter, with drilling into spring and summer. Goldfields Gold will see drilling to test gold targets. and further expansion dependent on final assay results from its phase one drilling in 2021.

“With the close of our $6.9 million financing we are fully-funded for next year’s expansive exploration programs which are focused on making new discoveries. At Strike Uranium, the comprehensive historical survey dataset from the mid-2000’s has allowed us to rapidly advance this project and develop an initial set of targets which meet the criteria for high-grade basement-hosted uranium deposits. A planned winter ground gravity survey is aimed to further prioritize targets before we embark on a maiden drilling campaign. Plans for Murmac Uranium include drill target generation through continued data interpretation and a winter VTEM and ground gravity survey, followed by an inaugural summer drilling program to test prioritized targets. At the Goldfields Gold project, our team has developed drill targets between the Box and Athona gold deposits which have the potential to deliver the next gold discovery within the Goldfields Syncline. The coming year is poised to be an exciting year for the Company with potential value catalysts on multiple fronts.” said Dale Verran, CEO at Fortune Bay.

U of R and Vietnam National University sign agreement

The University of Regina and the University of Economics and Law, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (UEL,VNU-HCM) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a Student Exchange Program Agreement (SEPA) on December 15, 2021. The partnership is focused on collaboration between the two schools, with students able to study at both institutions and UEL,VNU-HCM lecturers pursuing PhD studies at U of R to build capacity at UEL,VNU-HCM.

“The Government of Saskatchewan values the new partnerships between our province’s universities and the University of Economics and Law in Vietnam, which will build intellectual and cultural linkages through research, dialogue and exchange,” said Gene Makowsky, Saskatchewan’s Advanced Education Minister. “We look forward to further strengthening this relationship through the opening of the Saskatchewan Vietnam Office in Ho Chi Minh City in the coming months.”

Saskatchewan leads, again

Wholesale trade for the province was up from September to October 2021, seeing an increase of 6.8 per cent. This represents the largest increase among the Canadian provinces.

The total value of wholesale trade in Saskatchewan was $2.9 billion, and was led by farm product merchant wholesalers.

The same day, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its final mineral public offering for the 2021-22 fiscal year has raised $3,205,870.20. This is the highest amount since the subsurface mineral public offering process began in 2018. The increase is due to the increased demand and interest in lithium.

Mosaic shares November numbers

The Mosaic Company released its November 2021 sales revenue and volumes on December 16. The company saw $465 million in phosphate sales revenue in November, up from $312 million the same time in 2020.. Potash sales revenue climbed to $271 million from $162 million in November 2020, and Mosaic Fertilizantes leapt to $489 million in November 2021, up from $242 million a year earlier.

A day later, Mosaic declared a quarterly dividend of $0.1125 per share on the Company’s common stock.

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