Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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This report was researched and prepared by Global Business Reports (www.gbreports.com) for Engineering & Mining Journal. Editorial researched and written by Catherine Howe, Matthias Lomas, Sorina Dumitru and Sarah Crompton-Donnelly. For more details, please contact info@gbreports.com. APRIL 2018 Mining in Saskatchewan & Manitoba Saskatchewan's Mining Industry: Converting Potential into Success Ranked the top destination for mineral explo- ration investment by the Fraser Institute in 2016, Saskatchewan has held strong ties to the mining sector for many years. Tradition- ally known as an agricultural province, min- ing has played a prominent role in the diver- sification of Saskatchewan's economy, with more than 30,000 citizens now dependent on the industry in some way for employment. Saskatchewan stands out among Cana- dian provinces for its government's approach to mining. "We like Saskatchewan because it has 60 years of uranium experience and the government has done a fantastic job of treat- ing First Nations people and the environment properly. The province has lots of rules but if you follow them correctly you get access. The bottom line is that the province wants busi- ness. Brad Wall, until recently the Premier of Saskatchewan, has been amazing," said Dev Randhawa, CEO and chairman, Fission Uranium, which owns the highly rated Triple R uranium deposit at Patterson Lake South. Over the past decade, the province has also been amongst the top growth provinces in Canada in terms of mineral production value, alongside Qu├ębec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia. In 2016, Saskatchewan also experienced the largest absolute gain in production value year-over- year, from C$7.1 billion to C$8.5 billion. However, despite its apparent attractiveness, exploration spending in the province took a dive in 2017, from C$229 million in 2016, to C$181 million the following year. This fol- lows an already significant decrease from the C$257 million spent in 2015. The gap between Saskatchewan's re- source potential and investor confidence can in part be attributed to long lead times for mine development, causing many investors to look to other mining jurisdictions such as in South America, Africa and Australia, for quicker return on investment dollars. The other primary factor is unfavorable market conditions for potash and uranium, coupled with a lack of significant diversification into other resources. Superstar resources: potash and uranium While the province's resource reserves are varied, uranium and potash remain the prov- ince's frontrunners. Saskatchewan produces all of Canada's uranium, remaining the second-largest producer in the world, and boasts world-class potash reserves. The Athabasca basin hosts the highest- grade uranium deposits in the world. With an average ore grade of 3% across the 30 identified deposits, the two largest deposits, Cigar Lake and McArthur River, have aver- age ore grades of 15%, reaching significantly higher in some pockets. Operated by Cam- eco, the second-largest producer of uranium globally, both the McArthur River/Key Lake property and the Cigar Lake operation pro- duce about 18 million lb/year and each rep- resents about 12% of the world's production. Aerial view of Seabee gold operation in Northern Saskatchewan. Photo courtesy of SSR Mining.

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