Archive | Saskatchewan Mining

BHP’s $20 Billion Canadian Potash Dilemma: To Build or Not? – by David Stringer, Thomas Biesheuvel and Jen Skerritt (Bloomberg News – December 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

BHP Group may be heading for another clash with investors as the world’s biggest miner gets closer to a decision on whether to build, sell or mothball its $20 billion potash project.

The Jansen mine in Canada is aimed at giving the company exposure to rising global food demand and represents one of its few big growth prospects. BHP has already spent about $2.7 billion on the project, according to an October filing, and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie last month spoke enthusiastically about the outlook for potash, a crop nutrient.

Yet investors and analysts are skeptical. The big-ticket project in the prairie province of Saskatchewan means getting into a new commodity dominated by a small handful of producers. Continue Reading →

Sisters of Mercy help push Canadian mining giant to abandon operations – by Michael Swan (The Catholic Register – December 10, 2018)

https://www.catholicregister.org/

After years of lobbying by a small community of Catholic sisters from eastern Canada, the world’s largest producer of potash is abandoning mining operations in territory south of Morocco.

Canadian-owned fertilizer giant Nutrien — created by a 2017 merger of Saskatoon-based Potash Corp. and Calgary-based Agrium Inc. — will cease all potash shipments from occupied and disputed Western Sahara territory before Jan. 1, 2019.

“It’s not our place as Canadians to go in and tell other countries how to live or what to do,” said Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland superior Sr. Elizabeth Davis. “It certainly is our place as Canadians — if we are living or working or present in other countries — to act with justice and to act ethically.” Continue Reading →

[Saskatchewan Mining] Diamond mine is ‘awesome’ employment opportunity: Métis director – by Glenn Hicks (Prince Albert Now – December 3, 2018)

https://www.panow.com/

This region’s director for the Métis Nation says the prospect of jobs at the planned Star Orion South Diamond Project is an “awesome opportunity” for her people.

She added the environmental and compensation concerns the local First Nation had with the project was not a priority for her organization whereas securing employment was. If it becomes operational, the mine in the Forte à la Corne area, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, could run for over 30 years and recover millions of diamonds, injecting billions of dollars into the provincial coffers.

“Any time we can get our Métis people employed and especially with the jobs of this essence … it’s an awesome opportunity I think, and hopefully we can all benefit from it,” Sherry McLennan, the regional director for the Métis Nation Western Region 2 told paNOW. Continue Reading →

‘This has been going on for a very long time’: Province suing feds over $278M mine cleanup after cost-sharing talks fail – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 27, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Saskatchewan is suing the federal government to avoid being left holding the entire bill for a massively over-budget uranium mine cleanup project, the total cost of which has grown more than 1,000 per cent, to $278.1 million.

The province is seeking $61.8 million — the bulk of Ottawa’s original $12.3 million commitment plus $50.6 million to cover half of what has been spent to date — and a court order that the federal government “contribute equally” to remaining costs.

Filed this week in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench, the statement of claim is the latest development in a 12-year dispute over the ballooning cost of burying radioactive tailings and other work at the abandoned Gunnar uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan. Continue Reading →

Only one senior Nutrien executive lives in Saskatchewan – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 19, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

When Pedro Farah takes over as chief financial officer of the world’s largest fertilizer company early next year, he will start looking for a home in Calgary rather than Saskatoon. That will leave Nutrien Ltd. with a single senior executive who lives and works in Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan’s former home: Newly installed president of potash Susan Jones.

Four of the remaining executives who report directly to Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro — plus Magro himself — live in Calgary; two reside in Loveland, Colo., and one calls Northbrook, Ill., home. That has the provincial government worried.

Premier Scott Moe’s communications director, Jim Billington, wrote in an email that Moe shares his predecessor’s concerns about the “business locations” of the company’s senior executives. Continue Reading →

Nutrien’s US$1.8B N.B. mine writeoff illustrates dismal state of potash market – by Gabriel Freidman (Financial Post – November 7, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

For nearly three years, the town has been working to absorb the shock of the closure

Saskatoon-based Nutrien Ltd., the largest potash company in the world, announced late Monday evening that it is closing a mine in Sussex, N.B. that cost billions of dollars to construct and that it had barely operated.

Marc Thorne, mayor of Sussex, said that the news arrived quickly. On Monday, the company asked for a meeting on short notice, and told him it planned to close its potash mine and return the site to nature.

“In four or five years, there may not be any indication that the mine was even there,” said Thorne. The situation illustrates the dismal state of the potash market. Nutrien’s predecessor, the Potash Company of Saskatchewan, started building the mine in 2007 and finished eight years later at a cost of US$2.2 billion. Continue Reading →

Cameco says uranium market improves, but still a need for caution – by Mariaan Webb (MiningWeekly.com – November 5, 2018)

http://www.miningweekly.com/

Although the uranium market has showed a “marked” improved over the past year, Canadian uranium major Cameco has cautioned that prices are still nowhere near where they have to be to restart the idled production capacity, let alone incentivise new production opportunities.

Significant production cuts, reductions in producer inventories and an increase in demand for uranium in the spot market have put pressure on uranium prices, with the current spot price up about 40% on last year, while the long-term price is about 6% higher than a year ago.

However, Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said that despite the “green shoots”, the market still had “a long way to go”, noting that prices were “nowhere near” the levels needed to trigger a restart of idled capacity. Continue Reading →

Government grants environmental approval for Prince Albert-area diamond mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 25, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The provincial government has signed off on a Saskatoon mining company’s plan to build a diamond mine east of Prince Albert, ending what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in Saskatchewan history.

The announcement is sure to please Star Diamond Corp. and its investors, many of whom have sunk their savings into the project only to grow increasingly frustrated by delays, a lack of information, and languishing share prices.

It is not, however, likely to please members of nearby James Smith Cree Nation. A consultant hired to speak for the First Nation told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this month that Star Diamond’s environmental plan was “hopelessly flawed.” Continue Reading →

Nuclear-missile commander vs. Saskatchewan premier: The debate over proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports – by Tom Blackwell (Financial Post – October 23, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

Amid the multi-pronged Trump trade wars, uranium has been largely overlooked, but any protectionist measures could undermine a major Canadian export

Brian Boner isn’t alone in applauding proposed U.S. curbs on uranium imports from foreign countries like Canada. His reasons for backing the idea, though, stand out.

As a former nuclear-missile crew commander — managing up to $5-billion worth of intercontinental atomic firepower — the Wyoming state senator says he knows the importance of a robust domestic uranium industry.

“I was responsible directly to the president for potential launch actions on anywhere from 10 to 50 ICBMs,” Boner says in comments to the U.S. Commerce Department, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles. “An increasingly uncertain geopolitical environment requires prudence and caution, especially in these crucial matters of defending our country from its existential threat.” Continue Reading →

With $4.1 billion at stake, Nutrien waits on Chilean court to rule on ‘Hail Mary’ lawsuit – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 20, 2018)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The giant potash company is tussling with a powerful businessman: the former son-in-law of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet

Saskatchewan-based Nutrien Ltd. persuaded antitrust authorities earlier this month to sign off on its US$4.1 billion sale of its stake in a South American lithium producer. But now the giant potash company is tussling with a powerful businessman: the former son-in-law of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Julio Ponce, a billionaire with a checkered past whose father-in-law previously ruled Chile, has filed a lawsuit seeking more time to review Nutrien’s US$4.1 billion sale in Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile to a Chinese buyer.

If the lawsuit delays the sale long enough, some analysts believe Nutrien may be forced to ditch its Chinese buyer and sell its stake in SQM on the open market — for as much as US$1 billion less than the original price. Continue Reading →

Investors frustrated as diamond mine talks between province, First Nation stall – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 15, 2018)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Investors in a proposed diamond mine east of Prince Albert are growing increasingly frustrated as environmental consultations between the provincial government and the nearby James Smith Cree Nation appear to have stalled.

The federal government approved Star Diamond Corp.’s plan to build the mine in the Fort à la Corne forest in 2014. More than four years after receiving the company’s final environmental impact statement, the province has yet to give its blessing.

That is likely because a fresh round of talks with James Smith Cree Nation, launched last winter and originally expected to last six months, appear to have reached an impasse over various concerns, including access to land and natural resource royalties. Continue Reading →

With the CRA tax case now behind it, is it finally time for a bet on Cameco and the future of uranium? – by David Berman (Globe and Mail – September 27, 2018)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A court ruling in favour of Cameco Corp. in its long-simmering tax dispute with Canada Revenue Agency has lifted a concern that had weighed on the uranium producer’s share price for several years, sending its stock soaring on Thursday.

The share price jumped 15.7 per cent, to $14.80 in Toronto, for its biggest gain in nearly 10 years, and executives beamed.

“I do not think it could have been more clear on any of the issues,” Tim Gitzel, Cameco’s chief executive officer, said during a conference call. “So we’re absolutely delighted with the decision.” The Tax Court of Canada ruling released on Wednesday said Cameco had not violated Canadian law by selling uranium through a European subsidiary to reduce its tax bill. Continue Reading →

Nutrien’s new head of potash optimistic as industry enters ‘mode of recovery’ – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 24, 2018)

 

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Sitting in her office on the 11th floor of the Scotia Centre, her back to a wrap-around view of autumn bursting along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Susan Jones contemplates her new position as head of the world’s largest supply of potash.

It’s a big job: Jones is responsible for six of the 10 potash mines currently operating in Saskatchewan, as well as a supply chain that carries the pink-hued fertilizer from the Canadian prairies to India, China and 40 or so other countries around the world.

But Nutrien Ltd.’s new president of potash — a lawyer from Calgary who spent 13 years with Agrium Inc. before its blockbuster merger with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. earlier this year — seems more interested in the people who actually use potash. Continue Reading →

SASKATCHEWAN’S FIRST COLD WAR URANIUM MINE – by Dr. Laurie Schramm (Saskatchewan Research Council – September 18, 2018)

https://www.src.sk.ca/

This blog post is based on the book, “The Nicholson Mine. Saskatchewan’s First Cold War Uranium Mine” co-written by Dr. Laurier Schramm and Patty Ogilvie-Evans.

In the early 1930s, prospectors discovered mineable deposits of Canadian uranium minerals in the Beaverlodge region near Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan. Uranium wasn’t much more than a curiosity at that time, but it became instantly valuable when the 1939 discovery of nuclear fission and its massive energy-producing potential led to an international atomic energy race.

The worldwide search for uranium caused a resurgence in northern Canadian mineral exploration through the 1940s. In the early 1950s, many uranium mines were developed in northern Saskatchewan.

This era is rich in stories, involving a high-stakes treasure hunt in a remote, northern wilderness, and the secrecy, intrigue, and urgency of the Cold War, plus adventures and hardships of all kinds. Although there were many failures, a few remarkable successes were born out of a combination of hard work, good fortune, creativity, and dogged persistence. The results made Canada one of the world’s largest sources of uranium. Continue Reading →

Meeting held in Bienfait regarding the future of coal-fired electricity in Saskatchewan – by Brady Bateman (Estevan Mercury – September 19, 2018)

https://www.estevanmercury.ca/

A public discussion was held in the town of Bienfait on Thursday regarding the future of coal-fired power in Saskatchewan, and the rest of the country.

The meeting was hosted by Souris-Moose Mountain MP Robert Kitchen, who stated that the purpose of the evening was not for him to speak to the attendees, but to have the attendees speak to him, and to suggest ideas that could be useful in the argument of the importance of coal power in Canada.

“Why I’m here is that I, with a couple of my colleagues from Alberta that have coal mining in their ridings, as well as coal energy in their ridings, we obviously have some big concerns, for you, for the communities and the big impact that this will have on this part of Saskatchewan as well as Alberta,” said Kitchen. Continue Reading →