[Saskatchewan potash] Bethune Mine: Promises Lasting Legacy – by Ella McIntyre (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – June 11, 2013)


A promise of economic growth and employment, with an eye to ensuring long-lasting environmental and community well-being, is behind K + S Potash Canada’s $3.25 billion dollar solution mining Legacy Project planned for the Rural Municipality (RM) of Dufferin, near the village of Bethune. Bethune is approximately 50 kilometres from Regina.

“Not only is the Legacy Project Saskatchewan’s first potash mine in nearly 40 years, it is one of the world’s most economically attractive greenfield projects,” said Christine Stass, spokesperson for K+S Potash Canada and its parent K+S Group, a leading supplier of fertilizers and the world’s leading salt producer.

As Stass explains, with a potash price of between USD 400 and 450/tonne, the project achieves a Return on Capital Employed of 12 per cent and an attractive premium on K+S Group’s costs of capital. It also promotes important jobs and economic opportunities for Saskatchewan. By spring 2013, 200 to 300 people will be working on site which, at its peak, will provide over 1,100 jobs and roughly 6 million employment hours. The following two years will see rail construction, structures built and equipment installed and, by late 2015, plant commissioning and the site near completion. Once in full production, the mine will employ 320 permanent workers, with more jobs created through ongoing contract employment.

Potash production for the mine is anticipated for 2015. The operation will ramp up to full capacity of 2.86 million tonnes by 2023. With further expansion, production could increase up to 4 million tonnes per year.

As solution mining experts, K+S Group has several mines in North America and Germany, and is bringing that vast knowledge and expertise to the Bethune community. Solution mining is the process of mining underground water-soluble minerals by dissolving minerals with water. The water, called brine, is then extracted from the ground and the minerals recovered from it. This and other key information about the Legacy Project has been shared with Bethune and area residents and other key stakeholders in a number of engagement activities that are expected to continue during the life of the project.

“K+S Potash Canada has been fortunate to engage the community and solidify great relationships,” said Stass. “In addition to outreach to residents and First Nations and Métis communities, there are partnerships with the RM of Dufferin, AMEC (an international project management and services company) and March Tron as Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management partners, Associated Engineering for design and project management and road improvements, and MGM Communications for marketing.”

All in all, it’s a future – and a legacy – K+S Potash Canada is excited to be a part of. “We’re proud to be a part of the steady growth the province of Saskatchewan is experiencing,” said Stass. “The company looks forward to being a valuable and contributing partner for a long time to come.”

For the original version of this article, click here: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Bethune+Mine/8507514/story.html