Federal government passes landmark First Nations mining regulations – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – March 30, 2017)


A landmark law passed this week by the federal government helps pave the way for a Saskatchewan First Nation and a Toronto-based potash development company to build the country’s first on-reserve mine northeast of Regina.

The “unprecedented” legislation under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) will apply provincial regulations to the $3-billion mine proposed by Enancto Potash Corp. and Muskowekwan First Nation.

“This represents a critical piece … to ensure a favourable investment climate for the development of the first potash mine on First Nations land,” Encanto president and CEO Stavros Daskos said in a statement.

Encanto has been working toward building a mine in Saskatchewan for years. It signed a partnership with Muskowekwan First Nation in 2010, and has since brokered a pair of 20-year potash sales agreements with Indian companies.

Saskatchewan’s multi-billion-dollar potash industry has been struggling amid an oversupplied market, which has led producers like Mosaic Co. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to scale back operations in the province.

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