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IW Business Bulletin – September 10, 2021

Timber Mill Growth in Prince Albert and Carrot River

The timber industry saw major expansion this week with three announcements for the northern part of the province.

On September 8, 2021 the proposed One Sky Forest Products mill in Prince Albert was granted timber allocations by the Government of Saskatchewan. The One Sky mill will have a capacity of 600 million square feet of oriented strand board yearly. The company has partnered with several Indigenous communities including Peak Renewables Ltd, twelve First Nations represented by Montreal Lake Business Ventures, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Big River First Nation, and Wahpeton Dakota Developments plus local investors.

The company anticipates the creation of 700 jobs that will prioritize hiring Indigenous workers and plans to begin construction in Q3 2022 and begin production in 2023.

“We are extremely pleased with today’s announcement from Minister Bronwyn Eyre awarding One Sky Forest Products and our partners the fibre tenures necessary to move our project forward,” said Brian Fehr, One Sky founder and board chair. “We have been working with our Saskatchewan investors and First Nations partners for over a year to get to this point and are eager to move to the next phase of project development. We thank the Government of Saskatchewan and look forward to developing this important project for Prince Albert, our First Nations partners and the people of Saskatchewan.”

September 9 brought news that Paper Excellence was granted a timber allocation by the Government of Saskatchewan. The company is restarting the Prince Albert pulp mill, with plans to have the facility online by fall 2023. The company predicts the creation of 200 jobs when the facility is restarted and impacting the local economy by $300 million per year.

“This fibre is critical to the restart of the Prince Albert pulp mill which is currently planned for the fall of 2023,” said Carlo Dal Monte, vice president of energy and business development. “This decision reflects the Saskatchewan government’s forward thinking and robust job creation ambitions. They have been terrific to work with—taking a real interest in our project and the Prince Albert community.”

On September 10, 2021 the Government of Saskatchewan announced the approval of timber allocations for an expansion of the Edgewood Forest Products Mill (owned by Dunkley Lumber) at Carrot River and the Carrier Forest Products sawmill in Big River.

The Dunkley Lumber facility will increase its lumber production by 75 per cent with its $100 million expansion. The expansion is also expected to add 240 jobs, both direct and indirect, for the region. Dunkley is a privately-held Canadian forestry firm with three mills in Western Canada.

“Dunkley looks forward to completion of its sawmill expansion in Saskatchewan and appreciates the proactive approach by the provincial government in its mandate to grow the forest sector while meeting important sustainability objectives,” said Rob Novak, Dunkley Lumber president.  “The sawmill will add a second saw line and increase production over five phases of development by the fall of 2023.  Saskatchewan is clearly open for business and refreshing to work with.  We really appreciate the response from the province in the form of a timber allocation increase to help support our capital investments in Carrot River.”

The Carrier Big River sawmill will upgrade its facility to increase production, and is the largest sawmill in the province.

“The increased allocation is the critical piece for us to reach full capacity,” Bill Kordyban, Carrier Forest Products president said.  “We acknowledge the diligence and hard work the province has done to further develop and diversify the forest industry in Saskatchewan.”

Uranium Sees Major Jump

Uranium is seeing significant price increases, hitting a six year high this week, due to action from the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust. The trust, which began trading on the TSX in July, has begun buying uranium on the spot market. On September 7, Sprott reached $1 billion in assets and with the long-term uranium forecast price (by 2028) reaching $60 USD according to Shaw and Partners.

The recent activity has led to an increase in stock prices for Cameco, which has seen 14 consecutive weeks of gains. As well, the company has seen RBC Capital raise its price target to $26 CDN per share from $17, and GLJ Research bumping it to $38 CAD from $27.

Mining Highlights

This week, Rockridge Resources Ltd. has started its field program at its Knife Lake Copper Project, which is an advanced-stage copper, silver, zinc and cobalt exploration property 30 km north of Sandy Bay, and Skyharbour Resources Ltd. announced completion of its airborne radiometric survey for its East Preston Uranium project in the western Athabasca Basin.

Fission Uranium Corp. also announced the results for its PLS project in the Athabasca Basin, with Ross McElroy, company president and CEO noting that “these new drill results highlight the impressive potential of the shallow, high-grade R840W zone.  In particular, PLS21-MET-004 is extremely well mineralized over a significant width and is drilled near the western extent of the R840W zone. The results also increase our confidence in reaching our goal of upgrading the zone for inclusion in the upcoming feasibility study.”

Foran Mining also reported results from the end of its infill drill program at its McIlvenna Bay deposit.

“Our latest intercepts continue to support the potential to upgrade the existing resource at McIlvenna Bay and underpin a potential increase in the mine life as we continue to advance our upcoming feasibility study. As results from the concluded infill program continue to come in, we now turn our focus to adding value and showcasing district potential with a near-mine expansionary and regional exploration program for the balance of the year. We look forward to sharing results as they become available,” said Dan Myerson, Foran’s executive chair.

The Foran McIlvenna Bay project is the world’s first carbon neutral copper development project.

Helium is Still Rising

September 7, 2021 saw news that Calgary-based Global Helium Corp. acquired additional lands and established its third core area in the southern part of the province. The acquisition increases the company’s total land position to over 668,000 acres within Saskatchewan. Global’s core areas are located northeast of Swift Current, southwest of Regina, and near the Saskatchewan/Montana border.

Sasktel Finishes Wireless Saskatchewan Initiative

Sasktel announced on September 10 that it has completed the Government of Saskatchewan’s Wireless Saskatchewan initiative, launching the last 10 macro cell towers to be built in the program. The towers, located near Aberdeen (South), Candle Lake, Carrot River (East), East Fairwell, Kuroki, Makwa, Marean Lake, Mount Pleasant, Prince Albert (East), and Shaunavon (Southeast), will bring better 4G LTE service those areas.

The Wireless Saskatchewan program was announced in 2017, with a goal to improve wireless and high speed internet services to rural Saskatchewan.

“At SaskTel, we are committed to being the best at connecting Saskatchewan people to what matters most,” SaskTel President and CEO Doug Burnett said.  “With Wireless Saskatchewan, we were able to make tangible and meaningful progress in addressing gaps in wireless coverage in underserved rural areas.  Looking to the future, the new towers we’ve constructed as part of this program will help us bring 5G deeper into rural Saskatchewan, ensuring that rural residents and businesses will also benefit from the same technological advancements that many in urban areas take for granted.”

Ceres Global Ag Corp. Reported Q4 and Year End Results

Ceres Global Ag Corp. announced its Q4 and year end results on September 10, seeing 87 per cent growth in income from operations over fourth quarter fiscal year 2020. Year end net income increased $7.7 million US to $12.0 million US, and the company expects record pre-tax profits for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022. In May, the company announced its intent to build a $350 million canola processing facility at Northgate, Sask.

“A strong fourth quarter capped a year of meaningful progress against our broader strategy to partner with growers and other suppliers to enable our downstream customers to do great things in the food, agriculture and energy markets,” said Robert Day, Ceres president and CEO. “In fiscal year 2021, we handled 14.4 million more bushels, we strengthened our presence in crucial geographies on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border, and we maintained the positive trajectory of improved financial performance that began several years ago. Most notably, the profitable execution of our strategy and positive outlook enabled us to recognize $9.7 million in previously unrecognized deferred tax assets during the quarter.”

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