Mine project curently under review by government
About 60 people crammed into a room at the legislature on Wednesday to voice their concerns over a proposed Yancoal potash mine near Southey.
“Ten years ago the province was begging to have a community like ours, now they are set to destroy it,” said Neil Wagner a Southey area business owner who grew up near the mine site.
“Our concern is about the environmental impact this is going to have and that’s our issue with it.” Yancoal, which is owned by the government of China, wants to build a solution mine, which would use millions of cubic metres of water each year to dissolve the potash.
In solution mining, water is poured into wells to bring potash up to the surface instead of conventional digging and extraction of the mineral from underground mine shafts.
Yancoal has a license to use water from the Buffalo Pound reservoir for the proposed operation and is also set to pay a water rights fee to Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency.
The mining company has said it will need a maximum of between 11 and 12 million cubic metres of water annually, but that amount will reduce substantially after operations are stable.
Yancoal has said it could start construction as early as this year. But opponents believe that the mine is not necessarily a done deal.
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