Archive | Saskatchewan Mining

Abandoned mine cleanup federal, provincial responsibility: Cook-Searson – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 18, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

Liberal candidate Tammy Cook-Searson says both levels of government should help clean up the abandoned Gunnar mine.

The Liberal candidate in Saskatchewan’s vast northern riding says both the federal and provincial governments should be responsible for cleaning up the abandoned Gunnar uranium mine and other, similar sites in the region.

That aligns with the view of many Saskatchewan politicians, but breaks with the federal Liberals’ position that the province should put up virtually all of the cash for the massively over-budget project, which is currently estimated to cost $280 million.

“I think that both levels of government need to sit down and figure out what the fair share is. Negotiate it,” Tammy Cook-Searson said of the largest environmental remediation project in Saskatchewan history, which was originally expected to cost just $24.6 million. Continue Reading →

Potash downturn forces tough decisions, expert says after Nutrien layoff announcment – by Bridget Yard (CBC News Saskatoon – September 12, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/

The resource economy in Saskatchewan felt the pain of downturns in the potash market and resulting cost-saving measures Wednesday, when Potash giant Nutrien announced that up to 750 employees at three of its Saskatchewan mines will be affected by temporary layoffs.

It’s the latest move in an industry that has seen over-supply issues for years — and while marginal gains have Nutrien projecting a positive outlook, one Saskatchewan expert predicts the market will continue to suffer, at least for a few more years.

One of the goals of the merger of PotashCorp and Agrium that formed Nutrien was to produce $500 million in savings each year, but “you don’t pull that out of the air,” said University of Saskatchewan professor Brooke Dobni, who specializes in analysis of the province’s potash industry. Continue Reading →

Nutrien to temporarily shut down three Saskatchewan potash mines – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 12, 2019)

https://thestarphoenix.com/

The eight-week shutdowns are expected to affect between 600 and 700 miners.

The world’s largest fertilizer company says it will temporarily shutter three of its Saskatchewan potash mines to address what it calls a “short-term slowdown” in global potash markets.

Nutrien Ltd. said late Wednesday afternoon that its Allan, Lanigan and Vanscoy mines will be “proactively” shut down for eight weeks in the fourth quarter of the year.

The shutdowns are expected to affect between 600 and 700 miners across the three sites beginning in November, Nutrien spokesman Will Tigley said in a telephone interview. Continue Reading →

Cameco may cut uranium output further as demand stalls – by Geert De Clercq (Reuters U.K. – September 5, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Canadian miner Cameco said it will hold down output until uranium prices recover and it could cut production further, although nuclear reactor life extensions in France and newbuilds in China, the UAE and Britain bring some hope.

Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan, Germany and other countries have closed dozens of reactors, which has depressed demand for nuclear fuel and forced miners to close or mothball mines as uranium prices plunged.

From a $140/pound high in 2007 and about $70 just before Fukushima, uranium fell to a low of $18/lb in 2016 and has since recovered slightly to $25 today as miners cut output. Continue Reading →

Nutrien aims for ‘mine of the future’ as Cory operation marks 50 years of potash – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – August 13, 2019)

https://leaderpost.com/

The visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

The gate clangs shut, blotting out most of the summer light filtering into the headframe. Gloved hands reach up to switch on headlamps; the beams jitter across the walls, echoing the nervous energy inside the cage as it descends into the blackness below.

For all the size and complexity of its surface operations — a vast network of mills, conveyors, warehouses and loading facilities — the visible portion of a Saskatchewan potash mine is dwarfed by what lies beneath the sun-baked prairie.

It’s like a small city, mine general manager Leon Boehm said as he drove an electric vehicle through the sweltering underground air toward one of the Cory mine’s active faces, the business end of Saskatchewan’s most iconic natural resource extraction industry. Continue Reading →

Washington continues critical inquiries into rare earths and uranium supply chains – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – July 15, 2019)

http://resourceclips.com/

While somewhat relaxing its concern about uranium, the U.S. appears increasingly worried about rare earths supply. A Reuters exclusive says Washington has begun an inventory to itemize domestic RE projects.

“The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27,” the news agency reported.

“Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency.” The request mentions the possibility of investment by the military, Reuters added. Continue Reading →

Saskatoon: Cameco encouraged as Trump ends fears of uranium import restrictions – by Chelsea Laskowski (CBC News Saskatoon – July 15, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/

In a memorandum late Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump rejected restrictions on foreign uranium imports

Saskatoon-based uranium mining company Cameco is breathing a sigh of relief after U.S. President Donald Trump declined to put restrictions on uranium imports from other countries in a memorandum sent Friday.

“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise, but we were certainly pleased,” said Jeff Hryhoriw, director of government relations and communications with Cameco.

Uranium producers in Canada had been watching the U.S. closely for the past year as that country’s Commerce Department started investigating whether restrictions on uranium imports were necessary to maintain national security. Continue Reading →

Nutrien says 34 workers trapped in Sask. potash mine now safely back on surface (Financial Post/Canadian Press – July 4, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

A spokesman said the workers, who were about a kilometre underground, were safe and had food, water, power and contact with the surface

SASKATOON — A fertilizer company says all 34 people who were trapped deep in a Saskatchewan potash mine for more than a day are now safely above ground.

Will Tigley, a spokesman with Nutrien Ltd., said a service shaft stopped working at its Cory mine near Saskatoon on Tuesday. On Wednesday evening, the staff took a separate elevator normally used to transport potash to the surface.

“We are happy to confirm that we have all of our 34 people above ground,” he said. “For the most part, all of our employees were in good spirits and we got some of our other employees to drive them home to their families.” Continue Reading →

Nutrien pondering potash production increases – by Devan C. Tasa (Humboldt Journal/Yorkton This Week – June 13, 2019)

https://www.yorktonthisweek.com/

Nutrien is considering whether it should increase its potash production capacity by five million tonnes by 2023, then by another five million tonnes after that.

At an event for investors in Toronto on May 28, Susan Jones, Nutrien’s executive vice president for potash, said they have five million tonnes of capacity in place at existing operations that can be quickly brought online with minimal investment if there’s a need.

“In other words, all of this available capacity has already been bought and paid for over the last decade, putting us in a unique position as the only producer with available tonnes to move tonnes into the market quickly, nimbly and flexibly as needed,” she said. Continue Reading →

Port of Saint John becomes exporter of potash despite Sussex mine shutdown (CTV Atlantic – June 11, 2019)

https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/

Pipelines have been controversial, but the so-called potash pipeline between Saskatchewan and Saint John has been a surprise success story even after our region’s only potash mine ceased production.

When potash mining abruptly came to an end three years ago in the Sussex area, the next domino that was expected to fall was the potash export terminal at the port of Saint John.

“In the worst-case scenario, we saw the potash terminal being mothballed, said Pat Riley of the International Longshoreman’s Association. “Without potash it just does not work.” But it is working, with potash mined in Saskatchewan and shipped by rail to New Brunswick. Continue Reading →

Millions at stake in Sask-Ottawa legal fight over uranium mine cleanup – by Francois Biber (CTV News – June 4, 2019)

https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/

The Province of Saskatchewan is suing the federal government for its share of the cleanup costs of what used to be the world’s largest uranium mine.

Saskatchewan has spent $135 million so far with total costs estimated at $280 million; the federal government has spent $1 million, Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan’s minister of energy and natural resources, told reporters during a mine site visit. “I think any fair observer looking at that information would say that is not fair.”

Gunnar Mine, located 25 kilometres south of Uranium City near Lake Athabasca, began as an open pit uranium mine in 1954. It operated underground between 1957 and 1963. Continue Reading →

Estevan mayor criticizes NDP outreach on coal jobs – by Arthur White-Crummey (Regina Leader-Post – May 15, 2019)

https://leaderpost.com/

“It is time to move away from coal, but you don’t move away from the people,” NDP leader Ryan Meili said while pushing the province to support miners during the transition

With Saskatchewan miners facing the economic hammer blow of a looming coal phase-out, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is pushing the province to do more to blunt the damage. But he earned the ire of Estevan’s mayor by supporting the very policy that’s threatening the industry.

“I actually think it’s a good decision. It is time to move away from coal, but you don’t move away from the people,” Meili said. “And that’s what I think Saskatchewan is really missing here. They’re saying it’s someone else’s fault, so we won’t help.”

Mayor Roy Ludwig agreed that the province is dragging its heels, but he had a simple message for Meili: “We would rather keep our jobs, thank you very much.” Continue Reading →

Potash producer Nutrien eyes expansion as BHP ponders entry – by Rod Nickel (Reuters Canada – May 28, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada’s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s biggest producer of potash fertilizer, said on Tuesday that it was evaluating whether to expand its annual production capacity by 5 million tonnes after 2023, around the time that metals miner BHP Billiton is considering a move into potash.

In a presentation to investors in Toronto, Chief Executive Chuck Magro said the additional capacity would consist of expansions to existing Canadian mines during the next decade.

Nutrien currently has some 5 million tonnes of idled potash capacity due to soft prices in recent years. Continue Reading →

Who knew? There’s a global helium shortage — and it could pop more than balloons – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – May 21, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

But out of the vastness of southwestern Saskatchewan, a solution is emerging

Out of the vastness of southwestern Saskatchewan, a solution is emerging to a little-discussed problem — a gap in the global helium supply chain.

In recent years, as fears of a helium shortage creeped up, prospectors have journeyed to the Canadian heartland and drilled deep into the earth in search of helium; and at least one company there has already started commercially producing gas.

The ramifications of a helium pinch came into focus earlier this month when New Jersey-based Party City announced it had raised prices in certain categories of balloon in the face of “helium headwinds.” Its chief executive said “mother nature” would determine whether there’s enough helium to meet the company’s demand; and he demurred on whether prices would ever come down. Continue Reading →

Saskatchewan giving early consideration for small nuclear reactors – by David Baxter (Global News – May 16, 2019)

https://globalnews.ca/

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has found anti-carbon tax allies in Ontario Premier Doug Ford and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. Moe said they have been discussing another power option too, small modular reactors.

Moe said talks around the technology are in the very early stages, but the door appears to at least be open a crack for the prospect of nuclear power in Saskatchewan.

“That’s not saying we’re moving ahead with that but we most certainly want to have the conversation around the clean supply of nuclear power in the province,” Moe said. Continue Reading →