Mining Helping Saskatchewan to Grow Stronger
The mining industry is extremely important to the people and the economy of our province. The industry provides over 30,500 jobs in Saskatchewan with mineral sales valued at approximately $6.6 billion in 2017. Our province recognizes this significant contribution by declaring May 27 to June 2, 2018 as Saskatchewan Mining Week. The Saskatchewan Mining Association organizes this special week annually to recognize and celebrate the importance of the industry to our province.
Events are scheduled throughout the week and around the province, including two events in Moose Jaw. The Chamber of Commerce has scheduled a breakfast May 30 with a presentation by Kyle Leadbeater, Superintendent, Dry End Production at K+S Potash Canada. The final event of the week is traditionally the Emergency Response/Mine Rescue Skills Competition. I’m excited that the 50th Annual Competition will be happening here at Mosaic Place and Moose Jaw Exhibition Park.
Saskatchewan is the largest potash producer in the world, home to almost half of the world’s potash reserves, and is the world’s second largest primary uranium producer, with a catalogue of other minerals such as gold, base metals, clays, coal and diamonds. Mining provides valuable employment across our province, including several Northern Saskatchewan communities.
Among 85 jurisdictions, the Mining Journal’s 2017 World Risk Report has Saskatchewan as the top-ranked jurisdiction in terms of places in the world to invest resource capital. Natural Resources Canada indicated that Saskatchewan ranks second nationally in exploration expenditures. In the past decade, $2.87 billion has been invested in mineral exploration in our province with an estimated $177 million invested in 2017.
One year ago, K+S Potash Canada officially opened of its Bethune potash solution mine, Saskatchewan’s first new potash mine in nearly 50 years. SSR Mining Inc. is planning a seven-year, $90 million expansion for its Seabee gold operation located 125 kilometers north east of La Ronge. Saskatchewan’s only active gold mine, Seabee had a new record for production in 2017, for the third year in a row. It is on track to meet, or exceed, last year’s totals in 2018.
Our government continues to work for the people of Saskatchewan by investing in our mining industry. The Ministry of Energy and Resources’ budget has increased by 1.5 per cent and includes a new four-year Mineral Development Strategy to create an incentive to increase the amount of mineral exploration in Northern Saskatchewan. The development strategy will focus on base metals, precious metals, and diamond commodities which have significant, unrealized potential to help grow and diversify Saskatchewan’s mineral sector.
Innovation Saskatchewan is funding research for new genomics technologies that will advance the mining sector, improve mineral processing and water treatment, and reduce environmental impacts from closed mines.
Mosaic and K+S potash mines provide employment for many people living in the Moose Jaw area. Their contributions to our local economy and their support of many charitable local projects and programs, is much appreciated. Saskatchewan Mining Week helps us to recognize and be more aware of these many contributions.