Mineral Move with PrairieSky Royalty
Monday November 29 saw news that PrairieSky Royalty has reached an agreement with Heritage Royalty to acquire over 1.9 million acres of royalty lands in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in a deal worth $728 million. According to PrairieSky, the deal “includes current estimated royalty production of 2,700 BOE per day (92% liquids), from which PrairieSky expects to generate approximately $65 million of royalty revenue in 2022, excluding any leasing, compliance and other revenues associated with the Royalty Lands.”
“With this Acquisition, PrairieSky consolidates a complementary and historic asset base, one of the largest blocks of fee mineral title acreage in Canada, with our incomparable existing royalty portfolio,” said Andrew Phillips, president and CEO at PrairieSky. “The Acquisition is highly accretive on a per-share basis and is consistent with our strategy of adding complementary royalty assets that provide near term cash flow accretion per-share along with near, medium and long-term value enhancement potential. These other benefits include extensive leasing opportunities, near term implementation of multi-lateral drilling and other technological advancements, early stage and future enhanced oil recovery projects, and future exploitation of other minerals such as potash, helium and lithium, in each case at no additional cost to PrairieSky. Including the proposed Acquisition, PrairieSky has successfully added approximately 3.0 million acres of incremental royalty lands, predominantly fee mineral title, to our business in 2021.”
More Partnerships for Protein Industries Canada and Avena Foods
Protein Industries Canada announced Monday November 29 that three companies – YoFiit, Avena Foods Limited and Roquette Canada – are partnering to address challenges in plant-based milks, yogurts and other plant-based ingredients. The focus is on maintaining similar nutritional qualities as animal-based products but providing better functionality than existing products.
The project, worth C$1.7 million, will be led by YoFitt – a food-tech startup. Regina-based Avena Foods and Portage la Prairie, Man.-based Roquette Canada will supply ingredients for the project and gain insight into how their ingredients can work in consumer packaged goods.
“We are very happy to support a fellow Canadian food processing company on this exciting project. Avena’s tempered flours, already sold commercially for a number of food applications, show considerable promise for beverages. We look forward to working with YoFiit and our other partners to increase Canadian production and worldwide consumption of plant-based beverages and foods,” said Gord Flaten, Avena Foods CEO.
Saskatchewan’s Avena Foods is a specialty miller that provides food, pet food and nutraceutical manufacturers with sustainably grown and milled purity protocol oat and functional gluten-free pulse ingredients.
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) Acquires Husky Retail Fuel
On Tuesday, November 30, FCL announced its purchase of 181 Husky retail fuel sites from Cenovus Energy subsidiaries. The deal, worth $264 million, is the largest acquisition in FCL’s history and includes a mix of gas bars, car washes and convenience stores. Upon completion, FCL will transfer the Husky sites to various independent local Co-ops in Western Canada.
“This historic deal for our organization clearly aligns with our vision of building sustainable communities together and reaffirms our commitment to Western Canada, to our member-owned Co-ops and to their local members and customers,” said Scott Banda, FCL CEO. “By increasing our retail footprint, we further strengthen our position to meet the needs of our local Co-ops and their communities into the future.”
Paper Excellence and One Sky Forest Products Announce Co-Location Deal
Richmond, B.C.-based Paper Excellence and Prince Albert’s One Sky Forest Products will be working together through a new co-location agreement announced on November 30. The agreement will see One Sky co-locating its oriented strand board (OSB) at Paper Excellence’s Prince Albert mill.
One Sky will use about 10 per cent of the mill property and both companies will share storage and existing infrastructure. Earlier this fall, both companies received timber allocations from the Government of Saskatchewan.
“On behalf of Paper Excellence, I am pleased to announce this agreement with One Sky and begin moving forward with them on a co-location partnership,” said Carlo Dal Monte, vice president, energy and business development at Paper Excellence. “As we continue to work towards restarting Prince Albert Pulp Inc., this agreement is an example of how important co-operation and collaboration is to both the forest industry and to Saskatchewan’s economic growth overall.”
“We are very pleased to co-locate with Paper Excellence. This partnership is another indication of the growing strength of the Saskatchewan forest industry and an important milestone in progressing our new OSB facility in Prince Albert,” said Brian Fehr, chairman at One Sky Forests Products.
USask joins Agtech Accelerator
The University of Saskatchewan has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Agtech Accelerator, the new venture capital-based accelerator launched earlier this year by Cultivator and Economic Development Regina.
“USask has a strong history of providing research that actively improves how agricultural producers feed the world,” said USask vice-president, research Baljit Singh. “This partnership is an example of how our institution is focused on innovation and creating new paths of discovery by working with industry.”
The three-year agreement will see USask providing a potential total investment of C$180,000.
Red Leaf Pulp Sees Investment from the Government of Canada
Kelowna B.C.-based Red Leaf Pulp has received C$3.8 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to commercialize its proprietary pulping technology using wheat straw and other agricultural resources. Red Leaf Pulp has its first initial non-wood pulp plant under development near Regina, with plans to commence production in 2024 using locally-sourced wheat straw.
“There couldn’t be a better time to invest in a greener, more sustainable future for all Canadians. Cleantech innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization are key to the vital shift to a healthier environment and a net-zero carbon economy. The SDTC funding announced today will boost our leadership in climate and waste reduction technology and help foster a truly Canadian success story,” said Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“As sustainability efforts intensify globally, and tissue and packaging suppliers realize the advantages of an annual feedstock such as wheat straw, Red Leaf’s technology is gaining momentum in the marketplace,” said Martin Pudlas, CEO. “Along with our consortium partners Allnorth, Valmet, IEM and CNG, we appreciate the significant support of the federal government towards making Red Leaf’s innovations a success.”
The Regina-based Red Leaf Pulp facility will produce approximately 182,000 tonnes of market pulp a year when it begins production in two years.
Grounded Lithium Corp. Announces Private Placement
Grounded Lithium Corp., a new private lithium brine exploration firm with land ownership in Saskatchewan, has announced its intention to complete a non-brokered private placement of up to C$5,500,000 from the sale of common shares. The proceeds are earmarked “for further delineation of the potential on the Company’s properties, extension of its land holdings and for general working capital purposes.”
“Following our extensive mapping efforts, we are pleased to progress towards extending delineation of the significant potential we see in our land holdings from known Lithium tests,” commented Gregg Smith, president and CEO.
The initial tranche is scheduled to close December 9, 2021 with remaining tranches closing no later than January 14, 2022.
Denison Mines Approves Adoption of Indigenous Peoples Policy
Denison Mines Corp.‘s board of directors has approved the company’s adoption of a new Indigenous Peoples Policy (IPP). According to the company, this policy shows Denison’s recognition of the role Canadian business plays in reconciliation and their commitment to advancing reconciliation.
The company’s flagship operation is its Wheeler River Uranium Project in northern Saskatchewan, located in Treaty 10 territory.
“I believe Industry has an important role to play in acknowledging, and building awareness of, the history of Indigenous people in Canada and the critical importance of pursuing the objectives of reconciliation. As such, the adoption of an Indigenous Peoples Policy is a notable step in our Company’s journey to bring reconciliation to the forefront of what we do and how we do it. This policy is supported by our Board of Directors, on behalf of Denison shareholders, and is welcome amongst all levels of staff within the organization – from the executive team to operational personnel. We are pleased to formalize our Company’s approach to Indigenous relations and commit to the development of a continuously evolving Reconciliation Action Plan,” said David Cates, Denison’s president and CEO.
SSR Mining Acquires Taiga Gold
SSR Mining announced December 2, 2021 that it will acquire Taiga Gold Corp. in friendly deal worth approximately C$27 million. The acquisition will expand SSR Mining’s presence in Saskatchewan as the only gold producer in the province, adding five new properties for exploration. It also consolidates 100 per cent interest in its Fisher property for SSR Mining (which was operated as a joint venture between the two companies).
“With this transaction, we will successfully redeploy a portion of the proceeds from the recent non-core royalty portfolio sale into new growth opportunities in a core jurisdiction. The acquisition of Taiga Gold reiterates our commitment to the Seabee gold mine and ongoing investment for future resource discoveries as we aim to extend Seabee’s mine life into the next decade. Additionally, the acquisition of new greenfields exploration properties across the province of Saskatchewan should allow SSR Mining to build upon our regional expertise in a region we consider exceptionally prospective geologically and underexplored,” said Rod Antal, SSR Mining president and CEO.
The deal is expected to close in the first six months of 2022.
Saskatchewan’s Unemployment Rate Drops
Statistics Canada reported Friday that Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.2 per cent in November 2021, down from 7.1 per cent a year ago and down from 6.2 per cent in October 2021. The national average for November 2021 was 6.0 per cent.
Saskatchewan added 10,100 jobs in November, with 7,500 of those being full-time positions.