Archive | Saskatchewan Mining

Prof says rare earth elements facility in Saskatoon could stabilize supply chain in North America – by Scott Larson (CBC News Saskatoon – March 4, 2021)

A new processing facility being built in Saskatoon could be part of the solution to a recent global shortage of computer chips and semiconductors for vehicles and electronics.

There are 17 rare earth elements: cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, promethium, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium and yttrium.

These naturally occurring minerals are key components in modern electronics. They are used in making everything from electric cars to cell phones and wind turbines. Continue Reading →

‘Stay off our lands unless given consent’: FSIN, mining firm at odds over exploration on Sask. First Nation (CTV News Saskatoon – February 24, 2021)

SASKATOON — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is asserting that resource exploration permits from the Government of Saskatchewan have no authority on First Nations’ lands.

This comes after a Toronto-based uranium resource exploration company was found twice on the Birch Narrows Dene Nation without the consent of their band council.

“Resource developers must understand that provincial permits don’t give them the green light to run roughshod over our inherent and treaty rights,” said Birch Narrows Dene Nation Chief Jonathan Sylvestre. Continue Reading →

Cameco’s legal victory seen as rebuke to CRA’s costly pursuit – by Patrick Brethour (Globe and Mail – February 19, 2021)

For every day of his 10-year tenure at the head of Cameco Corp., Tim Gitzel has been saddled with a sprawling, costly and potentially ruinous tax dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency over how the uranium producer dealt with its overseas profits.

That dispute was punctuated, if not yet quite ended, on Thursday when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the CRA’s appeal of lower-court decisions that had sided with the company.

The heart of the long-running dispute is transfer pricing, or how multinational companies such as Cameco determine what prices their subsidiaries charge each other for goods and services, with those decisions influencing how much tax is paid in various jurisdictions. Continue Reading →

Uranium Royalty buys royalty interests on two world’s biggest uranium mines – by Vladimir Basov Vladimir (Kitco News – February 11, 2021)

(Kitco News) – Uranium Royalty (TSX-V: URC, US: URCCF) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire existing royalty interests on the McArthur River and Cigar Lake uranium mines in Saskatchewan, Canada.

McArthur River and Cigar Lake mines rank as the two largest high-grade uranium mines in the world, with ore grade 100 times world averages as disclosed by Cameco.

Based on disclosed production capacities, the mines have the combined capacity equal to 21% of global forecasted uranium demand (2021). Continue Reading →

Nutrien, Cameco CEOs again among highest-paid in Canada – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – January 4, 2021)

The heads of two publicly-traded corporations with significant mining operations in Saskatchewan were again among the country’s highest-paid executives in 2019.

Nutrien Ltd. CEO Chuck Magro’s $16.4-million pay package made him Canada’s 11th-highest-paid CEO, according to new data compiled by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Cameco Corp. CEO Tim Gitzel, meanwhile, was paid a total of $7 million, good for 84th place on the list, which the self-described “progressive” think tank has published annually since 2006. Continue Reading →

Uranium poised for price jump after 2nd Cigar Lake closure, analysts say – by Jacob Holzman ( – December 2020)

The largest operational uranium mine in the world is shutting down for the second time in 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19, presenting fertile ground for another rise in prices linked to the pandemic.

Saskatchewan-based Cameco Corp. announced Dec. 14 the suspension of production at its 50%-owned Cigar Lake uranium mine in the province after three employees at the site tested positive for the coronavirus.

It was the second temporary closure of the mine due to COVID-19. Orano SA, which has a 37% interest in Cigar Lake, announced the same day that it was suspending production at the nearby McClean Lake uranium processing mill. Continue Reading →

Cameco suspends Cigar Lake operations again amid climbing COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 15, 2020)

Cameco Corp. is suspending operations at its Cigar Lake uranium mine in Saskatchewan for the second time this year to reduce the threat of further spread of COVID-19 into vulnerable northern communities as the province’s coronavirus caseload soars.

The province on Monday reported 267 new cases of the coronavirus and two more deaths. A total of 12,238 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Saskatchewan and 91 have died from the disease since the pandemic began.

Located about 650 kilometres north of Saskatoon, Cigar Lake is the world’s biggest uranium mine, accounting for about 14 per cent of global output. Continue Reading →

A huge rally in food prices is stoking record fertilizer demand – by Marcy Nicholson and Justina Vasquez (Bloomberg News – December 9, 2020)

Fertilizer producers are next in line to benefit from rising crop prices, with farmers poised to plant more acres in 2021.

For the world’s handful of companies that produce potash — a potassium-rich fertilizer mined underground from evaporated sea beds — it is the light at the end of the tunnel following several volatile years. Bloomberg’s Green Markets pegs global potash demand at a record in 2021, while Morningstar Inc. says it will likely set a new “high watermark.”

Farmers’ incomes in the U.S. and Canada are up from a year earlier, boosted by crop prices that surged to multi-year highs on the back of strong demand from China and by pandemic-related government stimulus. Continue Reading →

‘Basically, we’re mining the centre of the Earth’: Sask. company says it’s cracked code on geothermal power – by Staff (Saskatoon CTV News – December 9, 2020)

SASKATOON — What could be a renewable energy breakthrough has emerged from the depths of the Saskatchewan landscape. Deep Earth Energy President and CEO Kirsten Marcia spoke with CTV News at Noon host Jeff Rogstad about the company’s promising foray into geothermal power. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Before we talk about the big news, let’s talk a little bit about an overview. For people who haven’t heard about Deep Earth, what exactly are you doing?

There is a very, very deep, hot aquifer in Williston Basin – so below our potash resources, below our oil and gas resources. Three and a half kilometres down there’s this big, hot pancake. We’re talking 120C to 130C, hot enough that we can produce that geothermal brine, bring it to the surface, harvest the heat out of it and generate power. Continue Reading →

The 100-Day War: An oral history of BHP’s hostile takeover bid of PotashCorp – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 13, 2020)

Ten years after it happened, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix spoke with key players in what was at the time the biggest business story in the world.

It was ten years ago that BHP Billiton tried to buy Saskatchewan’s most iconic company. The Anglo-Australian mining giant’s hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. in the late summer and fall of 2010 was the biggest business story in the world at the time.

Tens of billions of dollars were at stake, not to mention a former Crown corporation at the heart of an industry that has long been considered the backbone of Saskatchewan’s identity, history and economy.

PotashCorp owned five of the nine potash mines then operating in the province, and employed thousands of people. It was also a global success, with operations around the world. And it was not for sale. Continue Reading →

ROB MAGAZINE: What investors still don’t understand about Nutrien – by Michael McCullough (Globe and Mail – October 27, 2020)

Farmers in Saskatchewan have been social distancing for over a century, the joke in the agricultural sector goes. Behind the cheap laugh lies an essential truth: A global pandemic isn’t felt much on a crop farm.

The work conditions don’t require a lot of human contact compared to other industries and, as another well-worn industry adage goes, “People gotta eat.”

Which is good news for Nutrien Inc., the largest producer of potash—and second largest of nitrogen fertilizer—in the world, with 20,000 employees and a market capitalization approaching $30 billion. Continue Reading →

Estevan looks to diverse coal usages, modular potash mines – by Evan Radford (Regina Leader-Post – November 2, 2020)

As part of southeast Saskatchewan’s move away from burning coal, Estevan is looking to a new partnership struck with a nearby First Nation and a veteran geologist to help keep jobs and money in the area.

The city has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ocean Man First Nation and Buffalo Potash Corporation to study how and if it can bring modular potash mines to the area and a processing facility that wouldn’t burn coal, but would still use it to create fuel.

Ocean Man sits about 100 kilometres north of Estevan. Buffalo Potash Corp., founded in 2018, is headed by long-time geology consultant and potash expert Stephen (Steve) Halabura; some of his past work includes pinpointing underground potash reserves in the province and helping BHP Billiton set up its mining sites. Continue Reading →

Cameco’s tax dispute with CRA may end up before Canada’s highest court (CTV News – November 1, 2020)

SASKATOON — The Canada Revenue Agency is taking a dispute with Cameco over tax reassessment to the Supreme Court of Canada, seeking an appeal to a lower court ruling earlier this year.

On Oct. 30, the uranium mining company received notice that CRA is seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, appealing the June 26 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal which sided with Cameco in its dispute of reassessments issued by the CRA for the 2003, 2005 and 2006 tax years.

“After two clear and decisive rulings in our favour from the Tax Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal that confirmed we complied with both the letter and intent of the law, it is incredibly disheartening and unfair for our employees, communities and many other stakeholders to be once again thrown into uncertainty as a result of CRA’s actions,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel in a news release. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner develops environmentally friendly way to produce potash – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – October 11, 2020)

A Canadian company has developed a new, environmentally friendlier mechanism to produce potash without generating salt tailings and requiring no surface brine ponds.

According to Saskatoon-based Gensource Potash (TSX-V: GSP), the absence of tailings eliminates decommissioning risks, while not having ponds removes the single largest negative environmental impact of conventional potash mining.

The extraction method that Gensource has created injects a hot salt (NaCl) brine into horizontal caverns in the ore body, which selectively dissolves potash, (KCl) leaving salt in place. Continue Reading →

Explorers targeting Saskatchewan’s diversified mineral prospects – by Ellsworth Dickson (Resource World – September 22, 2020)

Saskatchewan is the largest exporter of agri-food products in Canada; however, it is also notable for hosting a variety of mineral resources and even heat for a new geothermal plant.

The Prairie province has approximately half of the world’s potash reserves and 8% of the world’s recoverable uranium reserves. The Athabasca basin of northern Saskatchewan has the world’s highest grade uranium mines.

Its 2019 production of 18 million pounds of U3O8 are being used in Canada and globally to generate some 306 billion kilowatt hours of electricity which is equivalent to powering about 28 million homes with an almost zero carbon footprint – and there is a great deal of uranium yet to be discovered and to mine. Proven and Probable Reserves stand at 565.8 million pounds U3O8. Continue Reading →