[Saskatchewan] Mines poised for $50B boost – by Scott Larson (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – December 2, 2011)


Continued growth expected

Saskatchewan is poised to see $50 billion in capital investment injected into the provincial mining industry during the next 20 years. Mining is a $7.1-billion industry in Saskatchewan and the province benefited from $3.1 billion in capital expenditures in 2010, the largest recipient of mining investment in Canada last year, said Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)

Gratton was speaking at a luncheon put on by the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and the North Saskatoon Business Association.

“Canada and Saskatchewan are blessed with a diverse abundance of natural resources that are in demand from growing global economies, positioning both province and country for continued long-term growth,” Gratton said. “However, our focus cannot solely rest on the economic benefits mining brings.

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Time to share [Saskatchewan] resource wealth – by Doug Cuthand (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – October, 22, 2011)


Aboriginal and First Nations issues are largely absent from this provincial election campaign. So far the only issue that has raised any eyebrows is the commitment by the NDP to negotiate a resource revenue sharing arrangement with the First Nations. NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter was speaking to an audience on the Red Pheasant First Nation when he stated that it was an idea whose time has come.

Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall categorically rejected sharing resource revenues with First Nations or any other group, stating that the province’s resources belonged to all Saskatchewan’s people.

Lingenfelter’s proposal was quickly absorbed into the campaign rhetoric, along with commitments from both sides for health care, education and so on. But resource revenue sharing is an issue that will not go away in Indian Country.

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For global workers, Saskatchewan beckons – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – December 3, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Saskatchewan’s popular Premier, Brad Wall, has a nice mission ahead of him — to lure to his province jobless workers from depressed places such as the United States and Ireland to support his booming economy.

While governments across the developed world are struggling with high unemployment, soaring debt and stalling output, Saskatchewan is expected to lead the country with GDP growth of 5.1% this year, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Its unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada for most of the year. It rose to a still-tight 5.1% in November, from 3.7% in October. One job website, sask.jobs.ca, listed more than 9,500 job openings Friday. Thousands more jobs are on the way with billions of dollars in planned investment in the potash and energy sectors. Meanwhile, the provincial government expects a record surplus of $25-million this fiscal year, which would have been even better, $115-million, if not for the cost of severe summer flooding.

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The revenge of Jansen [Saskatchewan potash] – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – November 12, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Far in Saskatchewan’s southern plains, between immaculate century-old villages and snow-dusted grain fields, Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. is toiling hard to grow a Canada-based potash business from the underground up.

Its foundation, the planned Jansen project, is beginning to take shape near the rural municipality of LeRoy, 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon. Two shafts — one to hoist ore, the other men and equipment — are being prepped to sink a kilometre below the surface, where the province’s immense ore deposits lie.

A giant refrigeration plant, the site’s central facility, has started producing brine that is pumped below, freezing the ground so the shafts can be cemented and sealed through a big aquifer that stands in the way.

Coming up next is the carving of an underground city that will be teeming with workers in assembly and maintenance shops, lunchrooms and refuge stations, a maze of tunnels and production areas.

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Bill Doyle: A passion for feeding a growing world – by Jacquie McNish (Globe and Mail – October 29, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

SASKATOON— Almost a year to the day after Ottawa called a halt to the bruising 100-day Potash War, its victorious general has little interest in reliving old stories from the battlefield.

“It was an experience,” Bill Doyle allows when asked about BHP Billiton’s foiled bid to acquire Canada’s potash champion, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, where he has been chief executive officer since 1999.

But what about the nationalist outcry against the deal? The duel with BHP’s Marius Kloppers, whose hostile takeover attempt thrust Potash Corp. into a global spotlight? The stinging criticisms of Mr. Doyle’s decision to make his home in Chicago? Ottawa’s dramatic, 11th-hour rejection of the takeover bid?

“A distraction,” he says with a dismissive wave of his hand during our lunch at Truffles, a small bistro in downtown Saskatoon that specializes in local produce.

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Saskatoon is home to Canada’s fastest growing economy – by Jeannie Armstrong (The [Saskatoon] StarPhoenix – October 22, 2011)


The country’s top economists are in agreement. Saskatoon will continue to lead economic growth in Canada through 2013.


The Conference Board of Canada, known for its conservative economic forecasts, says that Saskatoon’s economy will expand by 4.1 per cent this year, and will remain at the top of the economic growth leader board through 2013.The gap between Saskatoon and second place Calgary is quite significant, with Calgary’s economy expected to grow by 3.4 per cent.

What factors are contributing to Saskatoon’s sustained economic growth?

According to the Conference Board of Canada announcement, “Saskatoon is benefiting from strong resource development, while healthy population growth is bolstering the housing market.”

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Rio Tinto tops hostile Cameco bid for Hathor – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – October 20, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite. Brenda Bouw is the Globe and Mail mining reporter.

A battle is shaping up between global mining giant Rio Tinto PLC and Canada’s Cameco Corp. over a promising uranium explorer in Saskatchewan, with Cameco under pressure to win as it seeks to double production of its single resource.

London-based Rio has struck a friendly deal to buy Hathor Exploration Ltd. for $578-million or $4.15 a share, topping Cameco’s hostile offer of $3.75 a share made in late August.

The companies are vying for control of Hathor’s assets in the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, where about 20 per cent of the world’s uranium is produced. Both bids come as the price of uranium, used to fuel nuclear power plants, struggles to recover from a slump since the nuclear crisis in Japan last March caused many countries to re-examine their nuclear power programs.

With the long-range belief that nuclear energy will expand in key growth countries such as China and India, Rio is looking to expand its existing uranium operations in Australia and Africa. Its offer for Hathor is the first Rio has made for a Canadian company since its ill-timed purchase of Montreal-based aluminum producer Alcan in 2007, on the eve of the global recession.

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NEWS RELEASE: Rio Tinto makes recommended all-cash offer of C$4.15 per share for Hathor Exploration

19 October 2011

• Rio Tinto to make an all-cash offer for all the common shares of Hathor for C$4.15 per common share, representing a premium of more than 55 per cent to Hathor’s unaffected closing price on 25 August 2011.

• Hathor’s board unanimously recommends shareholders accept the Rio Tinto offer.

• Hathor directors and senior management have entered into lock-up agreements with Rio Tinto and have agreed to tender all of their common shares to the Rio Tinto offer.

• The acquisition of Hathor bolsters Rio Tinto’s global uranium strategy and complements its current exploration programmes in Saskatchewan and its uranium operations elsewhere in the world.

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BHP dreams big for Saskatchewan, talks of five more potential mines – by Jennifer Graham, Canadian Press (Canadian Business Website – September 28, 2011)

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-publishing business magazine in Canada.

SASKATOON – The world’s biggest miner says there is the potential for several new potash mines to be built in Saskatchewan, but it’s taking a measured approach an ambitious dream.

BHP Billiton has about 14,500 square kilometres of land in the Prairie province and thinks there’s the potential for about five more mines.

“We’ve got a great land position in Saskatchewan . . . and we’re exploring that as fast as we can to make sure that we understand the resource that we have available to us,” Chris Ryder, vice-president of external affairs for BHP in Canada, said in a phone interview Wednesday.

BHP, a British-Australian company with global operations — including diamond and potash businesses in Canada, is currently developing its Jansen mine in Saskatchewan and hopes to start producing potash in 2015.

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The [global] race for rare metals – by Geoffrey York and Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – July 16, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. Brenda Bouw is the Globe’s mining reporter.

VANRHYNSDORP, SOUTH AFRICA, VANCOUVER – Filled with radioactive waste, its buildings gutted and crumbling after 48 years of disuse, the abandoned Steenkampskraal mine would seem to hold little value to anyone.

Until recently, the decaying apartheid-era mine in a remote patch of South African desert was mainly of interest to scientists studying the effects of high radiation on the thousands of bats that hibernate in the empty mine shaft.

But soon the bats will be evicted, the radioactive waste will be buried and the shaft refurbished. The Canadian owners of this mine are scrambling to tap the mine’s rare-earth minerals – possibly the hottest commodity on the planet these days, with immense strategic and technological significance, and pivotal to a global geopolitical rivalry.

As prices soar, there is a frantic global rush to develop new sources of rare earths. These obscure minerals – 17 different elements with futuristic names such as neodymium, samarium, yttrium and lanthanum – are crucial for everything from guided missiles and hybrid cars to flat-screen televisions, iPods and BlackBerry phones.

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Harold Morrow: ‘Mr. Potash’ knew where to look for Saskatchewan’s new buried treasure – by Nora Ryell (Globe and Mail – February 08, 2011)

 The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media.

Working for the government and as a consultant, he helped big players develop a new industry

Harold Morrow’s involvement in early mining exploration first led him to the gold mines of Northern Ontario, but it was in the Devonian layers of sedimentary rock found in Saskatchewan that he discovered a real find.

As he would later write to a colleague: “The Saskatchewan potash deposit is the most valuable single ore body ever found in Canada. … The Texas Gulf Kidd Creek ore body (in Timmins, Ont.), although a great one, will be gone and forgotten centuries before the demise of the Saskatchewan potash deposits.”

An area once entirely under ancient seas was uniquely rich in deposits of potassium chloride – or potash, as it is now commonly called, which is used almost exclusively in fertilizers. What started out as the “gold bug” quickly became the “potash bug,” and Morrow became a leading consultant in how to find it.

He was so successful at discovering deposits that in 1966 he was named “Mr. Potash” by the editor of the Northern Miner newspaper.

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A bridge between two worlds [Aboriginal Communities and Canada Mining Sector] – by Diane Jermyn (Globe and Mail – May 18, 2011)

 The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media.

Miners have started engaging the aboriginal communities on whose land they dig. But is it enough?

Leanne Bellegarde tries to connect communities. She’s a member of the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan, a lawyer, and now, the director of aboriginal strategy for PotashCorp.

Native people are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Saskatchewan. PotashCorp, a global potash producer in the province, projects it will need 800 new workers over the next two years, thanks to expansion and retirements.

But what should be an ideal match – people wanting jobs and a company needing workers – presents deep challenges. Many jobs at PotashCorp require Grade 12 or equivalency. Ms. Bellegarde says it’s difficult to find people who meet that bar in First Nations and Métis communities. And so the jobs often go to qualified outsiders, frustrating aboriginal people.

PotashCorp is one of many mining companies in Canada that realize engagement with native communities isn’t just a feel-good enterprise but an economic growth strategy. But while this engagement goes far deeper than in the past, some say it’s just the beginning of what’s truly needed.

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NEWS RELEASE: Canada maintains number-two spot for exploration in 2010

Metals Economics Group’s 21st Corporate Exploration Strategies study

U.S. dollar currency is used throughout this press release

Worldwide nonferrous exploration budgets by region, 2010
(more than 2,200 companies’ budgets, totaling US$11.5 billion)

(Note: The annual budget totals for Canada, Australia, and the United States
are typically much larger than those of most other countries; as a result,
MEG treats these countries as individual regions in its CES studies.)

Vancouver, British Columbia, January 24, 2011 – Canada maintained the regional number-two spot for planned exploration spending in 2010, attracting 19% of worldwide nonferrous exploration allocations. According to Metals Economics Group’s Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES), Canada has held second place for nine years since overtaking Australia in 2002. (Metals Economics Group’s study covers expenditures for precious and base metals, diamonds, uranium, and some industrial minerals; it specifically excludes iron ore, aluminum, coal, and oil and gas.)

Four provinces—Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia—accounted for more than three-quarters of the $2.2 billion in planned Canadian nonferrous exploration spending in 2010. Of the 710 companies that planned to explore in Canada in 2010, 90% were based in Canada, together contributing 79% of the planned Canadian nonferrous exploration total. Worldwide, Canadian-based companies accounted for more than half of the 2,200+ active explorers covered by the 2010 edition of CES, and together accounted for 41% of the 2010 global exploration budget total.

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The Crisis in Manitoba Mining Versus the Prosperity in Saskatchewan – by Stephen L. Masson

Stephen L. Masson, M.Sc. P.Geo. is the President, of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Prospectors and Developers Association

“Saskatchewan has now become a “have” province based on the enormous revenues of its mining industry plus oil and gas, whereas Manitoba struggles despite the huge mineral potential of the province.” Stephen L. Masson (December, 2010)

Another year of good metal prices but lower exploration costs has made for continued strength in the mineral exploration of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but far more in Saskatchewan than Manitoba.

Soaring gold has made it possible for even small juniors to fund their projects at whatever stage. Uranium in Saskatchewan and Rare Earth metal exploration in both provinces remains strong. Nickel exploration in the Thompson Nickel Belt continues at a good pace, although the shut-down of the Bucko Lake Mine offered a small wrinkle in this otherwise promising historic exploration real estate.

The Snow Lake, Flin Flon, and Sherridon Camps saw continued strong exploration, riding in part on the coattails of the huge Lalor Lake Zn-Cu-Au discovery in the Chisel basin of Snow Lake. Hudbay Minerals is now proceeding towards development of this large and very rich deposit. Continued success by Hudson Bay and VMS on the Reed Lake deposit promises a near surface deposit rich in copper, with a recent hole reporting 6.69 per cent copper over 71.69 m.

Flin Flon continues to dominate the Copper-Zinc news as one of the great mining camps in this country, which remarkably continues to turn out discoveries and world class deposits. Halo continues to increase its inventory of Copper Zinc in the Sherridon Camp and Rockcliff, along with VMS, Callinan, and Copper Reef, which are aggressively exploring in the Snow Lake and main Flin Flon Camps.

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