N.W.T. rare earth mine owner halts construction of processing plant citing depressed market Social Sharing – by Francis Tessier-Burns (CBC News North – April 20, 2023)


The final cost of the plant has grown from $20 million to $60 million

Mere months after a visit from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promoting the importance of critical minerals, Canada’s only rare earth mineral mining project is stopping the construction of its processing plant in Saskatchewan.

In a recent news release, Vital Metals, owner of the N.W.T.’s Nechalacho mine project, said the current scale of operations at its North T pit “will not achieve positive cash flow from the project.” Now the company is looking for new funding sources and partners “to potentially build a sustainable business model for the Saskatoon business.”

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Canada can play a major role in addressing growing food insecurity, Nutrien CEO says – by Rosa Saba (Canadian Press/CTV News – April 5, 2023)


TORONTO – Canada is poised to play a big role in global food production as climate change makes farming more difficult and the world’s food supply chain is rendered fragile by political and economic uncertainty, said Nutrien CEO Ken Seitz. Seitz made the remarks in Toronto at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Canada.

He said climate change is redrawing the map of global food production and Canada has an opportunity to be a key player in addressing food insecurity. The world faces a double-barrelled problem, said Seitz: “To feed a rapidly growing world, we’ll need to produce more food and we’ll need to do it sustainably.”

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Conversations: Nutrien’s Ken Seitz on how Canada can seize its spot on the world stage – by Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post- April 3, 2023)


The game has changed and Canada, via Nutrien, could win it

If you were drafting a team to confront this age of climate, technological and geopolitical disruption, Ken Seitz might be a first-round pick.

The company Seitz leads, Nutrien Inc., is the world’s biggest producer of potash and the largest agricultural retailer. That puts the Saskatoon-based company in the middle of the climate fight since agriculture is both a significant source of greenhouse-gas emissions and export revenue.

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More companies hunting for lithium in northern Saskatchewan – by Doug Lett (Prince Albert Now – March 31, 2023)


Northern Saskatchewan is well known for producing uranium that’s used around the world, and has been home to a number of gold mines. But there’s a push now for critical minerals demanded by the energy transition— and one of them is lithium— a soft silvery white metal that is critical for batteries and electric vehicle production.

“Lithium is the hottest exploration commodity in the world right now,” said Warren Stenyer, CEO of Vancouver based ALX Resources. “Hotter than uranium, gold, nickel, copper,” he said.

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First Nations lay claim to all critical minerals and rare earth elements in Saskatchewan – by Will McLernon (CBC News Saskatchewan – March 30, 2023)


Province’s new critical mineral strategy infringes on Inherent and Treaty rights: FSIN

First Nations are laying claim to all critical minerals and rare earth elements in Saskatchewan in light of the province announcing its new critical mineral strategy on Monday.

Saskatchewan has 23 of 31 critical minerals on the Canadian Critical Minerals List. The government’s strategy aims to increase Saskatchewan’s share of Canadian mineral exploration spending to 15 per cent and double critical minerals being produced by 2030. It also intends to grow Saskatchewan’s production of potash, uranium and helium in addition to establishing the province as a rare earth mineral hub.

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Saskatchewan government releases new strategy on critical minerals – by Rob O’Flanagan (Saskatoon Star Phoenix – March 27, 2023)


The province is expanding the Saskatchewan Mineral Exploration Tax Credit from 10 per cent to 30 per cent.

The provincial government has launched a plan to double Saskatchewan’s stake in Canada’s critical minerals exploration sector, while establishing the province as a global hub for rare earth elements.

Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison and Energy and Resources Minister Jim Reiter gave details of the new strategy at a news conference hosted by NexGen Energy in Saskatoon. The goal is to nearly double Saskatchewan’s stake in Canada’s critical minerals sector to 15 per cent from 8.5 per cent by 2030.

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BHP open to potash partnership with Nutrien, leaves door open to new takeover attempt – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 14, 2023)


BHP Group Ltd. is open to partnering with Nutrien Ltd., and isn’t ruling out making another takeover attempt of the Canadian fertilizer giant, a senior executive with the Australian miner told The Globe and Mail. “We’re happy to partner,” Rag Udd, president minerals Americas with Melbourne-based BHP, said in an interview.

“If you take a look at the majority of our businesses, there’s some form of partnership there with other companies.” When asked whether a partnership with Nutrien meant a joint venture, a takeover of the company, or both, Mr. Udd replied, “There’s a myriad of options that could be looked at.”

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BHP inks $188m contracts with First Nations at Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan – by Staff (Mining.com – March 10, 2023)


BHP (NYSE: BHP, ASX: BHP) announced Friday that as construction progresses at its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, it has awarded three new contracts in partnership with local First Nation communities.

Covering camp management, site services and raw ore/handling foundation, the contracts include representation from the six First Nations surrounding the Jansen site, with whom BHP has opportunity agreements in place.

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BHP brings forward Jansen Stage 2 studies – by Mariaan Webb (Mining Weekly – February 21, 2023)


Diversified miner BHP is speeding up work at its Jansen potash mine, in Canada, as the group sees an attractive entry opportunity for supply in lower-risk jurisdictions amid increased geopolitical uncertainty.

The company, which previously bought forward first production at Jansen Stage 1 from 2027 to the end of 2026, on Tuesday confirmed that the feasibility study for Stage 2 would be completed a year earlier than previously planned.

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Sask. ‘well-positioned’ to fill resource gaps left by war, sanctions on Russia: economic experts – by Dayne Patterson (CBC News Saskatoon – February 14, 2023)


Cameco signs uranium deal with Ukraine worth billions

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to significant gains for Saskatchewan’s resource-based companies, industry experts say.

Cameco Corp., a Saskatoon-based company, announced last week that it has agreed to a multi-billion-dollar contract with SE NNEGC Energoatom — Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear energy utility — to meet Ukraine’s full nuclear needs from 2024 to 2035.

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Rare earth minerals could help in climate change fight, but mining raises environmental concerns: expert (CBC News Saskatchewan – January 31, 2023)


Vital Metals plant in Saskatoon will process rare earth elements mined in Northwest Territories

While rare earth minerals are now being touted as a key part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, there are environmental concerns in extracting these minerals from the ground, says an expert in environmental considerations around mining.

Demand is growing for rare earth elements — a group of 17 metallic elements that tend to occur in the same ore deposits and are used in batteries for everything from vehicles to smartphones.

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Mosaic yet to finalize a date to restart its Canadian potash mine – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – January 27, 2023)


Resumption will depend on when the company’s current inventory drops enough to restart operations for the long term

Mosaic Co. says the full resumption of its potash mine in Saskatchewan, where production was curtailed in December, will depend on when the company’s current inventory drops enough to restart operations for the long term.

The Tampa, Fla.-based company said in a Dec. 6, 2022, statement that it had “temporarily curtailed” its Colonsay potash mine in Saskatchewan as its inventory levels were sufficient to meet near-term demand. It added that it expected to restart its mill by early 2023.

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Trudeau visits rare earth element processing plant in Saskatoon – by Kelly Geraldine Malone (Canadian Press/CTV News – January 16, 2023)


SASKATOON – Justin Trudeau pressed Saskatchewan’s government on its record for clean energy projects after Premier Scott Moe expressed disappointment he was not made aware of the prime minister’s visit to a rare earth elements processing plant.

“There’s work to be done on encouraging the government of Saskatchewan to see the opportunities that companies, and indeed, workers, are seeing in ΓǪ cleaner jobs, in the opportunities for cleaner energy projects,” Trudeau said Monday after a tour through the Vital Metals facility in Saskatoon.

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BHP to start recruiting hundreds to operate world’s largest potash mine in Saskatchewan – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post- January 1, 2023)


Planning to hire 600 people in 2023, with large portion of workforce drawn from local community

Seasons change, and so does the weather, but one thing remains constant in Saskatchewan: BHP Group Ltd. keeps pressing forward with Jansen, a $7.5-billion project 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon that will be the world’s largest potash mine once completed.

With billions of dollars spent in the past decade, the company has already built two mine shafts and is planning for first potash production in 2026.

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K+S Potash Canada gearing up for increased capacity at Bethune mine – by Pat Rediger (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 16, 2022)


Although the grand opening of the K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) mine in Bethune was greeted with cheers from across the province in 2017, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate as the company plans to continue increasing production at the facility over the coming decades. KSPC is targeting to one day reach four million of tonnes of potash production per year, which is double the current production from the mine.

KSPC is in the midst of a feasibility study which will lay the framework for future milestones of growth and timelines for the Bethune mine. Sam Farris, president of KSPC, said this process will enable the company to become a world-class potash producer and future leader in climate change responsibility while sustainably feeding the growing world’s population.

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