Minerals

This image used with permission from Tourism Saskatchewan and was found in the Digital Saskatchewan collection, 2011
Carrot River received $5 million in federal funds to help sustain the peat moss industry.  World demand for horticultural peat moss from Carrot River continues to grow.  The very high quality of the material makes it a unique resource.  An access road and bridge were constructed in order to begin the harvest operations at the new bog.  The Peat Bog Access Road Project final report has been approved by Carrot River Town Council. In spring 2012, the report will be submitted to Enterprise Saskatchewan and Western Economic Diversification Canada. Final project cost was $6,526,287. The new bog will create 17 short-term jobs, maintain 22 existing jobs, and create 14 new jobs with Premier Horticulture Ltd.  Premier Horticulture Inc. is opening another bog 55 km north of Hudson Bay.  This new bog is a long-term project that will provide a steady supply of peat moss for the next 20 years, not only increasing production, but also employment.  Premier Horticultural Inc. peat moss is another value added Saskatchewan product, which provides both direct and indirect economic benefits. Approximately 70 people are employed by this industry including seasonal workers.

There is considerable optimism surrounding coal and diamond exploration in Northeast Saskatchewan.  
Diamond exploration continues in the Fort a la Corne region with Shore Gold and Newmont being the major stakeholders.  Mine construction on the Star location could begin as early as 2013, with production starting in 2016.  Construction of a new access road, power lines, gas line, and removal of top soils and clays would begin shortly after the decision to mine. Early job estimates suggest 500 jobs would be created annually during the mine’s 12-year life, not to mention the construction jobs during the four-year construction period. Costs are estimated to be $89-million in 2011, $181M in 2012, $536M in 2013, $473M in 2014, $259M in 2015 for a total of $1,538M.  Shore Gold announced March 31, 2011 that it has entered in to a construction agreement with Sask Power to design and construct a 230 kilovolt power line of some 21 kilometres, to the Company’s Star-Orion South Diamond Project by mid to late 2013.  Shore Gold has budgeted $4.4 million for the Fort a la Corne Joint Venture which enables them to focus on the completion of a final Feasibility Study on the aforementioned project.  The feasibility study is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2011.  Shore is continuing with the Environmental Impact Assessment process, including continued public engagement and consultation.  Newmont Mining Corporation has elected not to participate in the 2011 budget.

Other diamond companies have been searching for diamonds in the Northeast region but found coal instead.  Goldsource Mines Inc. of Vancouver unexpectedly intercepted a potentially large deposit of bituminous coal approximately 50 kilometers from Hudson Bay.  On March 14, 2011 a preliminary assessment report was made public on this project, called the Border Coal Project Saskatchewan. The authors of the technical report, Marston, EBA Engineering Consultants, and other independent qualified representatives recommended to Goldsource: to proceed with a test run; engage in a rigorous marketing study; continue to monitor potential technologies; compile results into a Preliminary Feasibility Study to be completed in early 2012.

Saturn Minerals Inc. has completed the first phase of diamond drilling on the Armit  and Erwood section of their Saskatoba Coal Project.  The drilling program at the site, which is located near the town of Hudson Bay, consisted of 12 vertical holes totaling 1,680 metres.  Coal seams were intersected in six of the holes, finding widths including 9.74 and 9.45 metres of coal. Similar projects are happening in sites near Mistatim and Red Earth. Saturn has signed a nonbinding Letter of Intent with Kinistin Saulteaux Nation and Key, Yellowquill and Fishing Lake First Nations on February 7, 2011. The Company continues to build strategic relationships throughout eastern Saskatchewan to pursue new opportunities and advance current projects in the Saskatchewan share of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Wescan Goldfields Inc. has 281 permits covering a total area of 190,992 hectares.  Wescan Goldfields Inc. announced that Phase I drilling has been completed on its 100 percent owned Hudson Bay and Pinehouse Coal properties.  At Hudson Bay, coal was intersected in 21 out of 40 drill holes, with a maximum coal zone thickness of 12.90 metres. These initial coal discoveries will direct the drilling locations in the upcoming 2010 Phase 2 Drill Program. Drilling results from Phase I indicates that the prospective area for coal is much greater than previously anticipated in the Hudson Bay area. Wescan has evaluated further the merit of gravity flying to determine drill targets for Phase II which will take place in 2011.