Mosaic Potash Esterhazy Mines Close, Colonsay Plans to Resume Production
Mosaic Potash announced June 4 that the company would immediately close the K1 and K2 potash mine shafts at Esterhazy – nine months early due to flooding. The Colonsay mine will be restarted as the transition from K1 and K2 to K3 continues. Mosaic says its annualized potash production could increase by two million tonnes (from 2020 levels) as K3 builds up to full capacity and Colonsay restarts production.
“Mosaic has been managing inflows at Esterhazy since 1985, and has accelerated the development of the K3 shafts to allow for the ultimate closure of the K1 and K2 shafts,” said Joc O’Rourke, Mosaic president and chief executive officer. “For the last decade, we’ve run scenarios that relate to the early closure of these shafts. As a result of that planning, we expect to end up in a stronger position than ever in 2022.”
Federal Investment in Saskatchewan Ventures
On June 3, 2021, the Government of Canada announced $11,513,951 in funding for 11 projects under the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program. The ventures receiving federal dollars include Heads Up Plant Protectants, Avena Foods Ltd., Blue Sky Hemp Ventures Ltd., Brandt Industries Canada Ltd., Curbie Cars Inc., North Start Systems Inc., Offstreet Technology Inc., Cova Software (Retail Innovation Labs Inc.), Salon Scale Technology Inc., Saskarc Inc., and SkillShark Software Inc.
The investments made by the federal government are expected to results in more export sales , revenue growth and job creation.
“The Government of Canada recognizes that Canadian businesses have been working hard throughout the pandemic to maintain their base and continue to employ Canadian workers during a crisis. This is why we will continue to make strategic investments to support communities and businesses in all regions of the country. Our message to business owners and workers is clear: we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together,” said Hon. Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada on June 3.
Brandt Looking for Workers
Coming on the heels of the federal government announcement of investment into Brandt Group of Companies, the company announced June 3 it plans to invest in staffing throughout the organization. Brandt is planning to hire more than 1,000 employees by the end of the year, with half of the planned hires occurring in its Saskatchewan locations.
The Government of Saskatchewan announced June 2, 2021 that it has increased funding for irrigation expansion in the province. The funding dollars are for projects that can be completed within the next two years. Program applicants can receive up to $500,00 to finance irrigation infrastructure, up from $300,000. The Irrigation Development Program is designed to increase irrigation capacity in Saskatchewan by financing infrastructure to bring water to irrigable cropland. This program is outside the province’s planned Lake Diefenbaker Irrigation Expansion Project, which was announced in 2020.
Checkpoint in Northern Saskatchewan
The Clearwater River Dene Nation has created a checkpoint on Highway 955, which runs through its reserve land near uranium zones in northern Saskatchewan. The action comes as a response to the provincial government granting approvals for uranium exploration companies without “meaningful consultation” with the First Nation or consent from the community’s elders, trappers and members. The Clearwater River Dene Nation (CRDN) is also concerned about COVID-19 exposure from the exploration companies’ staff in the area, and the impact exploration is having on wildlife in the region. The CRDN has retained legal counsel, hiring Vancouver-based firm JFK Law, that has represented Indigenous People and Governments in regulatory proceedings, litigation and conflicts with the Crown and industry.
“The CRDN will not permit what happened in the past to occur again and they will use all means at their disposal to protect the Treaty rights, culture and interests of the CRDN Elders, trappers and People. Our Elders, Trappers, community members and youth will have the last say over the way the land is used and how it is left for the future generations,” said Chief Teddy Clarke.