Archive | Saskatchewan Mining

Athabasca exploration juniors reveal voluminous resource increases – by Henry Lazenby ( – February 20, 2018)

VANCOUVER ( – Junior explorer Fission Uranium has reported an increase of about 30% in the total compliant indicated and inferred resources at its flagship Triple R deposit, in North-Western Saskatcewan.

The Kelowna, British Columbia-based company on Tuesday said the resource estimate for the Triple R deposit now spans the R1515W, R840W, R00E, R780E and R1620E zones, and essentially doubled the inferred resource by some 95%, while the amount of pounds of uranium in the indicated resource rose 8%.

TSX-listed Fission noted that the increase in the indicated resource is mainly owing to infill drilling on the R780E zone, while the increase in the inferred resource is attributable to the discovery and delineation of the R1620E, R840W, and R1515W zones. Continue Reading →

$2 million in mine exploration funds coming from federal, Saskatchewan governments – by Eric Westhaver (Flin Flon Reminder – February 14, 2018)

Mine exploration around Flin Flon is about to get a boost, courtesy of the federal and Saskatchewan governments. A joint venture between the two sides will provide a total of $2 million in funding for aerial exploration and incentives for junior mining companies.

Under the program, Saskatchewan’s provincial government will spend $1 million on a geophysical survey of the area around Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach. A budget proposal for other parts of the project is in the planning stages.

The surveying will be done jointly by the Geological Survey of Manitoba and the Geological Survey of Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Work on the project is expected to begin before early March. Continue Reading →

Potash demand ‘robust’, but Nutrien CEO doesn’t rule out closing higher cost mines – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – February 7, 2018)

Nutrien Ltd., the newly formed company from the merger of The Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and Agrium Inc., is well on course to achieve savings of half a billion dollar in synergies annually, according to its chief executive officer Chuck Magro.

“When we look at it, the $500 million in annual synergies — we’re very confident about that number,” Magro told investors on Nutrien’s first conference call about the company’s 2018 guidance. Already, the company has saved $40 million, Magro said, predicting that more savings will be achieved through the combination of the transportation, operations, finance and procurement functions.

For instance, he pointed to the elimination of 200 railcars as one example of a cost-saving synergy that resulted from the combination. But integrating the two companies could send ripples throughout Canada, with impacts far beyond Nutrien’s bottom line. Continue Reading →

Exploration agreement aims to help junior mining companies in northern Sask. and Man. – by Bridget Yard (CBC News Saskatoon – January 31, 2018)

Future of Creighton, Sask.’s main industry ‘up in the air,’ according to longtime Mayor Bruce Fidler

An agreement between the Saskatchewan and federal governments worth approximately $2 million will aim to help junior mining companies in their exploration of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The agreement was signed in December 2017.

The future of the mining camps near Creighton, Sask., which is approximately 430 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, is “up in the air,” according to the town’s mayor.

“The forecast put out a year ago by Hudbay [Minerals] was that the 777 mine, the one in operation right now where they’re producing ore, is going to run out and shut down in three or four years,” said Bruce Fidler. Continue Reading →

Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien to keep Saskatchewan base: premier – by Rod Nickel (Reuters Canada – January 4, 2018)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Nutrien Ltd, the fertilizer company formed this week by a merger of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan and Agrium, has committed to establishing its head office in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan and increasing corporate office jobs there, Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said on Thursday.

Wall said that in recent meetings, Nutrien’s leading executives agreed to increase corporate office positions in Saskatchewan by 15 percent, to 300.

Saskatchewan is home to all of Nutrien’s operating potash mines, and the provincial government sets royalties and taxes on production. The location of top executives has long been politically sensitive as many were once based in Chicago. Continue Reading →

Supply cuts a ‘step change’ for uranium price – by Frik Els ( – December 18, 2017)

The announcement made by uranium giant Cameco in November that it’s suspending operations at its flagship McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan and surprisingly deep three-year cuts by Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom provide a “step change” for uranium prices says a new report on the sector from Cantor Fitzgerald equity research.

On Monday, the world largest producer of uranium, surprised the beleaguered market with a larger than expected cut to production of its own.

Two weeks ago Kazakhstan’s state-owned Kazatomprom announced intentions to reduce its output of U3O8 by 20% or 11,000 tonnes (around 28.5m pounds) over the next three years beginning in January 2018. According to the company roughly 4,000 tonnes will be cut in 2018 alone “representing approximately 7.5% of global uranium production for 2018 as forecast by UxC.” Continue Reading →

Chile politics put Potash in tight spot on SQM stake sale – by Dave Sherwood and Felipe Iturrieta (Reuters U.S. – December 14, 2017)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The chance to own a stake in Chile’s SQM, one of the world’s top lithium producers, has attracted several potential suitors as prices for the so-called white gold – a key ingredient in electric car batteries – have skyrocketed.

But the buyer of the 32 percent of SQM being sold by Canadian Potash Corp of Saskatchewan‘s, which needs to divest the stake as part of a merger, will need to navigate tricky politics well before any deal is inked.

With a presidential election in Chile on Sunday, conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera has emerged as the favorite with investors, but neither he nor his opponent in the second-round runoff, center-left candidate Alejandro Guillier, have expressed a favorable view of the scandal-plagued miner. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Cameco suspends 40% of production in face of oversupply – by John Cunning (Northern Miner – November 22, 2017)

Every mining subsector has its unofficial leader. It’s that company — usually with the largest market capitalization — that has arguably the best combination of top mineral deposits, superb operations, savvy management, high-quality workers, technical excellence, welcoming jurisdictions, a stable balance sheet and steady cash flow.

And that is what’s particularly distressing about the revelation in mid-November that uranium’s undisputed leader Cameco is suspending operations in northern Saskatchewan at its world-class McArthur River uranium mine and Key Lake mill that processes McArthur River ore. Key Lake is the world’s largest high-grade uranium mill.

Cameco owns 70% of McArthur River and 83% of Key Lake, and is operator at both, with France’s Areva owning the rest. Together, the operations produced 11.1 million lb. uranium oxide in the first nine months of 2017. Continue Reading →

Cameco Corp. takes another hit, but production cuts positive for uranium market – by Jonathan Ratner (Financial Post – November 9, 2017)

The patience of Cameco Corp. shareholders is being tested yet again, as the Saskatchewan-based uranium producer’s latest round of quarterly earnings fell short of expectations, and now the company is cutting its dividend and temporarily suspending work at two operations.

The news sent Cameo shares higher, as the production cut is expected to be beneficial to a global uranium market that is widely forecast to be oversupplied by approximately 20 million pounds in 2018.

“This is the type of supply side shock that is positive for the market, but negative for Cameco in the short term,” said Rob Chang, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald. “…These are necessary moves that reduce losses and actively help fix the global supply situation.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto joins race for stake in world’s largest lithium miner – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 8, 2017)

Canada’s PotashCorp must sell its interest in Chile’s SQM within 18 months of merging with Agrium, and Rio wants it.

Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) is said to be weighing an investment in Chile’s Chemical and Mining Society (SQM), the world’s largest lithium producer, becoming the latest in a long line of companies interested in grabbing a stake in the Santiago-based miner.

According to Chilean news site El Mostrador (in Spanish), the Anglo-Australian giant is eying the 32% interest in SQM that Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX, NYSE:POT), the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer by capacity, has to sale to be allowed to merge with smaller rival Agrium (TSX, NYSE:AGU).

The Saskatoon-based potash miner is working with Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch to sell its stake in SQM (worth about $4.5 billion at current market values), and so fulfill some of the conditions imposed by regulators in China and India to approve the company’s friendly merger with Agrium. Continue Reading →

World Mining Competition testing the mettle of students in Saskatoon – by Alicia Bridges (CBC News Saskatoon – October 29, 2017)

Mining engineer Sydney Miller had never met the students on her four-person team before the World Mining Competition started in Saskatoon on Friday. Within 36 hours, the group had developed a complex mining strategy in response to a detailed question in a 26-page case study.

On Sunday, the multi-disciplinary teams of business, engineering and geology students from around the world each got the chance to present those strategies to a panel of judges.

Speaking shortly after her team’s presentation in the preliminary round, Miller said it had been a sleep-depriving and challenging weekend so far. “We had to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and set up the case accordingly to where we thrive,” she said. Continue Reading →

Looking for Clues to Fate of Fertilizer Rally Amid Surplus – by Jen Skerritt and Megan Durisin (Bloomberg News – October 25, 2017)

As fertilizer producers in North America enjoy late-season improvement in prices, investors are looking for clues from the companies this week about how much longer the gains will last.

While crop nutrients including nitrogen and potash have rebounded from recent lows, questions remain about the lingering impact of a global surplus and prospects for a slowdown in demand. Producers will begin reporting third-quarter results in the next week, starting Thursday with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.

Potash Corp.

A rally in potash prices probably helped to boost earnings for the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company to 12 cents a share in the quarter, excluding some special items, compared to 9 cents a year earlier, according to 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Continue Reading →

SSR Mining eyes $90 million expansion at Seabee gold mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 24, 2017)

The new owner of Saskatchewan’s only gold mine is planning a seven-year, $90 million expansion it hopes will boost production, cut operating costs and extend the operation’s lifespan into the mid-2020s.

SSR Mining Inc.’s planned investment in the Seabee gold operation, which is about 125 kilometres northeast of La Ronge, is “really exciting,” said the president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association.

“I think the $90 million … that they’re looking at really sends a strong signal that they’re looking at re-investing in that whole area for the long-term. It’s really significant,” Pam Schwann said. Continue Reading →

Potash, Agrium merger moves toward final hurdles – by Jeffrey Jones (Globe and Mail – October 23, 2017)

More than a year in the making, the merger of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. looks to be inching to completion.

India – one of several countries with a say in the tie-up of two Canadian-based fertilizer producers – gave its blessing last week, on the condition some minority international interests are put on the block.

The country’s competition regulator agreed to the deal providing Potash sells its stakes in Arab Potash Co., Israel Chemicals Ltd. and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA within 18 months. The companies can close their deal before divesting the assets, which are estimated to be worth more than $5-billion (U.S.). Continue Reading →

PotashCorp hires banks to lead sale of stake in Chilean lithium producer – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 24, 2017)

Canada’s Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX, NYSE:POT), the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer by capacity, is said to have hired Goldman Sachs and BofA Merrill Lynch to explore selling its stake in a Chilean lithium producer.

PotashCorp, which holds 32% of Chile’s Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM) and has three of eight board seats, is evaluating selling its part in the company to secure approval for its friendly merger with smaller rival Agrium (TSX, NYSE:AGU).

PotashCorp and Agrium said earlier this month their link-up would close several months later than previously anticipated as regulators in China and India put as a condition the divestment of certain minority interests the Canadian potash giant owns. Continue Reading →