Albany Potash Project Receives Conditional Environmental Assessment Approval
CanPacific Potash Inc.’s proposal to develop a new 3.25 million tonne-per-year solution mine in southern Saskatchewan has received conditional approval from the Ministry of Environment, based on the findings of an environmental assessment.
The company must now pursue additional provincial and local approvals for its Albany Potash Project, which would be located approximately 50 kilometres southeast of Regina, near Francis and Sedley. Completion of an environmental assessment is part of the regulatory process for major potash mine developments in Saskatchewan.
“The Ministry of Environment’s role is to ensure environmental responsibility is appropriately managed for developments such as potash mines,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “During the public review period of this project, we heard concerns about potential impacts to native grassland and wetlands and those concerns have been directly addressed in this decision to grant conditional approval for the project.”
To help manage potential impacts to the environment, CanPacific must meet the following conditions:
- For native grassland and wetland habitat that cannot be avoided by the project, CanPacific must develop a compensation plan for approval by the Ministry of Environment.
- The plan will identify affected native grassland and wetlands, identify the methods to restore/enhance existing areas or create new native prairie/wetlands, and provide a timeline for completing the work and monitoring the areas.
- CanPacific must submit a signed Development Plan Agreement to the RM of Francis prior to construction proceeding. The company must also obtain further ministerial approval for future development of the 20-year well-field areas.
The Albany Potash Project received significant public interest – 453 comments were submitted during the public review period, which ran from March 16 to May 15, 2019.
“The consideration of public comments is a long-standing and established part of the province’s environmental assessment process,” Duncan said. “Scientific evidence, combined with these comments from the public, continues to be the foundation upon which we make environmental assessment decisions.”
Further information on this project and the environmental assessment process and decision can be found at www.saskatchewan.ca/environmentalassessment.