Business Bulletins News

IW Business Bulletin – September 17, 2021

Sasktel Launches Rural Broadband Partnership Program

SaskTel announced its new Rural Broadband Partnership Program Monday, a new initiative to advance broadband connectivity in underserved locations in the province. The program will see SaskTel form partnerships with internet providers to bring broadband to rural properties, Indigenous communities and other remote or hard-to-reach areas.

“Maximizing rural Saskatchewan’s access to modern broadband internet is a key priority for our government,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “SaskTel’s new partnership model will ensure that all Saskatchewan residents and businesses can participate and succeed in the modern world.”

The Rural Broadband Partnership Program has seen interest from several local rural internet providers, with H and K Rural Networks Inc, Living Sky Internet, and Wood River Controls signed to the program. Wood River Controls was the first provider to partner with SaskTel and has already utilized the program to bring broadband service to the Last Mountain Lake area and the Muscowpetung First Nation. Wood River Controls is also working on a project at Lake Diefenbaker.

“We are firmly committed to connecting the people of Saskatchewan, and even though we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our rural networks across the province, we understand that there are areas we can’t reach alone,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “With the Rural Broadband Partnership Program, we’ll be better able to bridge the digital divide that exists in some areas of Saskatchewan and ensure that
more rural families and businesses can take advantage of the latest digital tools and technologies to connect, learn, and pursue business opportunities.”

Saskatchewan Sees Leading Manufacturing Sales in July

The Government of Saskatchewan reported on September 14 that Saskatchewan saw manufacturing sales increase by 56.8 per cent in July – the highest increase among the provinces. The total value of manufacturing sales in the month was more than $1.78 billion.

BHP Signs Deals for Jansen Mine Potash

In a presentation on Wednesday, September 15, BHP announced the company had made non-binding deals with importers for up to 100 per cent of the production from its Jansen potash mine project. This news comes on the heels of the Jansen project approval in August, and the securing of port services with Westshore Terminals the same month.

BHP is developing its sales and marketing team for the project, and said that markets for its potash could include the United States, India, Brazil and China. BHP also expects potash demand to increase by 1.5 to three per cent annually by 2040. Construction on BHP’s Jansen S1 project is expected to take seven years, followed by two years of ramp up to production. During the first phase, BHP anticipates production of 4.4 million tonnes per year, eventually rising to 12 million tonnes annually.

Cameco Collaborating on Xe-100 Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

Cameco announced this week that the company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with X-energy, to “explore possible areas of cooperation to support the potential future deployment, fuelling and servicing of Xe-100 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and the United States.”

“We feel very confident about the future of nuclear power and the future of SMRs, here in Canada, in the U.S. and across the globe,” said Tim Gitzel, Cameco president and CEO. “We intend to be a fuel supplier of choice for the emerging SMR and advanced reactor market and look forward to working with X-energy to see what opportunities might exist around their innovative reactor technology.”

“Cameco is a cornerstone of the Canadian nuclear industry and has global reach,” said Pete Pappano, president of TRISO-X, X-energy’s fuel fabrication subsidiary. “As X-energy works to bring the world’s first commercial advanced reactor to market in North America, we look forward to building a fruitful partnership that could provide a steady fuel supply for our technology in North America and support its deployment around the world.”

Cameco inked a similar MOU in July with GE Hitachi and Global Nuclear Fuel to explore BWRX-300 SMR deployment.

Helium Rising Again

Royal Helium announced Wednesday, September 15 that it had drilled its Climax-4 well to 2,701 metres and analysis is now underway. According to Royal Helium, this zone “had highest and most consistently elevated helium shows to date on the Climax block.” Analysis should be complete in the next four to six weeks.

The company also announced it has expanded its development program in the Climax area and applied for two more well licenses that are expected to be approved within weeks.

Viterra Supports STARS

Viterra will once again support STARS with its 2022 fundraising calendar – STARS’ second largest fundraiser.

The STARS calendars will be available to purchase in Viterra facilities in Western Canada. This is the seventh consecutive year Viterra has supported the fundraising calendar, where Viterra covers the printing costs for the project.

“At Viterra, we recognize the critical importance of first responders and the inspirational work they do on the front lines to help people in rural communities every day, including our employees, customers and their families,” said Viterra CEO for North America Kyle Jeworski. “Viterra and STARS have worked together since 2015, and through the strength of our continued partnership, we’re pleased to do our part to help patients share their stories and support STARS in raising awareness of their life saving work.”

This is the 29th year overall for the calendar campaign, with calendars will be available until December 3 at most Viterra locations and online at starscalendar.ca.

“Viterra’s ongoing generosity is integral to our fundraising success across Western Canada, which is more important than ever in these challenging times,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and CEO. “We are grateful for our partnership with Viterra to produce this popular calendar, which for nearly three decades has helped us raise vital funds and share the incredible stories of our patients and crew with the community supporters who make our mission possible.”

Fortune Bay Corp. Acquires Strike Uranium Project

On Thursday, September 16, Fortune Bay Corp. announced it has acquired the Strike Uranium Project near Uranium City, through claim staking. The project covers approximately 10,000 hectares, located 25 km west of Uranium City near the company’s flagship Goldfields Project.

The Strike Uranium project has been identified to have potential for high-grade unconformity-related, basement-hosted uranium deposits.

“The acquisition of the Strike Uranium Project through staking represents an exciting opportunity for Fortune Bay and its shareholders, particularly given the recent boom in uranium equities and increase in the spot uranium price,” said Dale Verran, CEO for Fortune Bay. “The Athabasca Basin is undoubtedly the world’s premier district for high-grade uranium; and unconformity-related, basement-hosted deposits are highly sought after targets given their high-grades and competent host rocks which allow for conventional mining. At Strike we believe we have the required exploration criteria for these deposits, and positive results from historical exploration with very limited drilling makes this a unique exploration opportunity.”

Verran noted that while the company is focused on its Goldfields Project, the Strike Project provides additional exploration for Fortune Bay “in a strengthening uranium market, and allows us to leverage off our existing operational capabilities in the Uranium City area and our team’s considerable experience in Athabasca Basin uranium exploration, which includes discovery and delineation.”

Next week: Federal Election on September 20.

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