Sask. government approves Yancoal potash mine environmental assessment (CBC News Saskatchewan – August 9, 2016)

Company from China must meet new conditions before final approval for project near Southey

The government of Saskatchewan has approved an environmental assessment for a proposed Yancoal potash mine near Southey, Sask. The 3,000-page impact statement was prepared by the Chinese government-owned Yancoal. The statement, along with more than 800 submissions of public feedback, was reviewed by a Saskatchewan government panel.

Yancoal’s impact statement reviewed potential concerns, including local infrastructure, impact on ground water supply and air quality monitoring.

In order for the project to move forward, Yancoal must now meet a number of conditions, including creating a community involvement plan, forming a community advisory committee and committing to isolating the site from nearby waterways to “to ensure no off-site impacts to water quality,” the government said in a news release.

It also must work with the Rural Municipality of Longlaketon in planning and developing the mine.

On Tuesday, Environment Minister Herb Cox announced the conditional approval.

“All of the work done by our very creditable and experienced professionals, as well as the public comments we have received, have led us to be confident this is the right move to go forward,” Cox said.

Cox added taxpayers will not have to foot the bill if something goes wrong at the Yancoal mine.

“One of the conditions of this approval will be that they provide financial assurance to the provincial government so that no taxpayer from this province will be required to put any money into any cleanup for the decommissioning or reclamation when this project wraps up,” he said.

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