Saskatchewan is to mining what Crosby is to hockey – by Bruce Johnstone (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 19, 2015)

To call Saskatchewan a major player in the global mining industry is a bit like saying Sidney Crosby is a good hockey player. Saskatchewan is a mining superstar.

It’s the world’s leading producer and exporter of potash, accounting for 30 per cent of the global supply of the agricultural nutrient potassium (one of three essential components of fertilizer, along with phosphorous and nitrogen.)

Potash was the top-ranked commodity produced in Canada in 2013, with a reported value of $6.1 billion, ahead of gold ($5.9 billion) and iron ore ($5.3 billion), according to Natural Resources Canada.

In fact, potash is the only mineral in which Canada is a world leader. And virtually all of that Canadian potash (96 per cent) was produced in Saskatchewan. (The remaining four per cent was produced at the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan mine at Sussex, N.B.)

Saskatchewan is also a world leader in uranium production, with nearly 16 per cent of the world’s supply of the nuclear fuel source, placing Canada second among uranium-producing nations after Kazakhstan.

And all of Canada’s uranium comes from Saskatchewan.

Not only are Saskatchewan’s potash and uranium mines the world’s biggest producers, the province boasts the highest quality ore bodies and reserves in the world.

“Saskatchewan has the largest high-grade reserves for both potash and uranium,” according to the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA).

“Saskatchewan hosts almost half of world potash reserves and eight per cent of the world’s known recoverable uranium reserves,’’ the SMA adds.

For example, Saskatchewan is home to the largest high-grade uranium mine in the world, Cameco’s McArthur mine, which was discovered in the province’s Athabasca Basin in 1988. How big and rich is it?

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