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PotashWorks Canada’s premier publication dedicated to the promotion, production and distribution of potash.


Saskatchewan potash industry looks forward to improving future

PotashCorp buyout proposal for K&S succumbs to world potash market forces

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Reaching Global Markets Canpotex is a premier potash exporter, located in the heart of Canada, with extensive global reach. We have built a large and sophisticated logistics operation to move Saskatchewan potash 1,600 kilometres through the Rocky Mountains to the west coast and further on to global customers. Canpotex is proud to deliver Saskatchewan’s valuable mineral to where the world needs it – making an important contribution to global food security.


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Table of Contents Message from the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall 12 Message from the Mayor of Esterhazy, Pauline Chewka 14 Message from the Mayor of Rocanville, Daryl Fingas 22 Saskatchewan potash industry looks forward to improving future 30 PotashCorp sinks new shaft at Scissors Creek 34 Picadilly Mine reinvigorates New Brunswick’s potash industry 36 PotashCorp buyout proposal for K+S succumbs to world potash market forces 40 Amendments to Potash Production Tax signal new changes for industry 42 Canpotex: Saskatchewan potash sales and delivery expert 48 Responding to danger: Recap of the 47th annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition 52 Russell-McCauley deposit still unsold; Status quo for industry 54 Ten ways mining executives can attract and retain women leaders 56 York Potash ready to mine the world’s largest, best-quality polyhalite 58 What’s next for Mesa’s Bounty potash project? 62 Major Belarus developments roil international potash markets 66 Ministry work in the Western Sahara: Potash mining shines light on human rights issues 68 Safe solutions with Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals 70 Riding the wave! The Saskatchewan Potash Council 72 Joy Global introduces high-productivity continuous miner for salt and potash mines 76 Supplying water to the potash industry 78 Project development and testing key in process design in a new era of potash production 80 Overcoming challenges: JNE Welding works with Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies 82 On the move: Premay Equipment L.P. Transports crystallizer vessel to K+S Potash Legacy mine 84 Fortis: Your partner in providing mining solutions 86 CCDF – A Metis success story 90 CIMS takes leadership role with First Nations Job Readiness & Apprenticeship Program 92 Plan your next holiday event or business meeting at one of Saskatchewan’s foremost gaming destinations 94 Safety as an investment in uncertain economic times 96 Training an apprentice is good business 97 Considerations when choosing your standby rescue coverage 98 Male depression hidden and undiagnosed 100 Boilermakers build partnerships 102 Frogs, fish, and hard hats? CanNorth is no fish out of water when it comes to providing environmental support for the potash industry 104


is published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5

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Nearly $280,000 raised for food hampers donated to fire evacuees in Northern Saskatchewan 106 The spirit of Saskatchewan: Banded together to support northern communities in need 108 Helping the potash industry mine more efficiently: Goodman Steel Ltd. 111 SRC: Meeting the challenges of potash processing 112 45 years & five divisions strong: Northern Strands 114 Terminating a contract: Making the best of a bad situation 117 Potash industry slow down 118 Moose Jaw – Building its future 120 The cost of downtime: Xtended Hydraulics & Machine 121 Esterhazy – Come grow with us 122 New strategic partnerships help push West River Conveyors to the next level 124 How to extract best value from electrical equipment 126 Enhancing mine safety with load cells 128 Comairco Saskatoon – Proud to support its local industries 130 Value-added services: Park Derochie 132 Faster bulk load out: Superior Technologies Weighing and Controls Inc. 134 Starting from sketches: A new automated potash storage and reclaim facility 136 50 years of partnerships in Saskatchewan potash 138 Wolseley Industrial Canada Inc.: Looking towards the future in PVF product supply chain 141 Fabric structure ideal for storing potash 142 Delivering a higher standard: Fednav 144 The Westpro advantage in potash processing 146 Your cost-effective energy services solution 148 Customizable waste and recycling collection: Dynamic Disposal 149 Modernize lubricant storage and handling practices 150 Carson Energy Services is now AECOM 151 Full-service mining solutions: Tetra Tech Inc. 152 AzkoNobel Surface Chemistry: Delivering excellent product, service, value to potash processors 154 Five decades of proven success engineering and building bulk material handling equipment for the potash industry 157 Fighting corrosion at the Prairie Finishing Trades Institute 158 People helping people: Inproheat’s solution for potash efficiency 160 Norseman Structures: Building solutions for the potash industry 162 Tron reflects new face of mine construction and services 164 Index to advertisers 165

PotashWorks 2016

© 2015 DEL Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced­by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher­. Publications mail agreement #40934510 Return undeliverable address to: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3L 0G5 While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information­ and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements­ made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations­made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher­, its directors, officers or employees.

Advertising Art Dana Jensen | Sheri Kidd Cover photo courtesy of PotashCorp.


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Message from the Premier of Saskatchewan

The Honourable Brad Wall


n behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I am pleased to welcome readers to the 2016 edition of PotashWorks magazine, the only publication dedicated to potash promotion, production and distribution. Over the last seven years, Saskatchewan has grown by more than 123,000 people. This remarkable and sustained growth is a sign of an economy that is diverse, dynamic and rich in opportunity. Saskatchewan’s potash industry is one of the biggest reasons for this success. Our province typically accounts for 30 per cent of global potash production. The industry directly employs approximately 5,000 people here, contributing to the livelihood of thousands more. It represents decades of exploration, investment and development built on world-class, made-in-Saskatchewan infrastructure, supply chains and community engagement. Supporting this network are estimated potash reserves that give our province the potential to meet the demand of global markets for the next several centuries. In terms of volume, Saskatchewan posted record potash sales in 2014. Consequently, major expansions to most of the current potash operations in the province are either underway or have already been completed. As a result of expansions, there is the potential for a total investment of approximately $16.4 billion at existing Saskatchewan potash mines, bringing with it the creation of 1,900 new permanent jobs and an increase in productive capacity of over 90 per cent. Mosaic recently announced that it will invest an additional $1.7 billion over the next eight years to further develop its K3 potash project in Saskatchewan. Potential also exists for other new entrants to the potash industry, including three of the largest mining companies in the world – BHP Billiton, Vale and Rio Tinto (in concert with Russian fertilizer producer JSC Acron) – and junior mining companies such as Western Potash, Karnalyte Resources, M&J Potash Corporation and Encanto 12

PotashWorks 2016

Potash. K+S Potash is also proceeding with the development of the $4.1 billion Legacy potash project north of Moose Jaw, which will be the first new potash mine developed in Saskatchewan in over 40 years. All of this activity bodes well for our province and its people, but it also reflects the record demand for potash we are seeing in a world that is placing a stronger priority on food security. Our government recognizes the significant role that Saskatchewan can have in this changing world. The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth is our road map for meeting our own challenges in terms of growth and prosperity by enhancing our province’s leadership in food, energy security and innovation. Potash is a strategic part of this. To this end, our government has worked diligently to encourage sustainable development and investment from industry. The Fraser Institute’s 2014 Survey of Mining Companies, which shows the results of their annual survey of approximately 4,200 exploration, development, and mining-related companies from around the globe, ranked Saskatchewan the top jurisdiction in Canada and second in the world – behind Finland – among jurisdictions attractive to mining investment. This is the business environment we’ve worked hard to create here in Saskatchewan. We understand that it’s not enough simply to be endowed with mineral resources that the world wants; the world must also be able to access these resources. By supporting our potash industry, we continue to support and reinforce Saskatchewan’s overall growth and economic security for families, businesses, and communities across this province where it matters most. u

Brad Wall Premier

…the Little City that Could! MOOSE JAW IS BOOMING Vast reserves of potash – and two major mines in the area – are generating significant economic spin-offs to the city. The community has built world-class sports facilities, tourist attractions and Canada’s first new “lean” hospital. The value of today’s building permits is over 500 per cent higher than just over a decade ago, giving Moose Jaw the reputation as “The Little City that Could.” Moose Jaw is located in the heartland of some of the most fertile land on the planet and local ag processors are exporting their products all over the world. MOOSE JAW-REGINA INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR The Moose Jaw-Regina Industrial Corridor is home to world-class companies like Mosaic Potash, Yara Belle Plaine Inc., Terra Grain Fuels and K+S Potash Legacy Project. Many of their employees live in Moose Jaw.

For more information contact:

Deb Thorn EDO, City of Moose Jaw

228 Main Street N, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 3J8 P: 306.693.7332 C: 306.690.9713 E:

MOOSE JAW NEEDS WORKERS Moose Jaw needs more workers to meet its demand for skilled labour to service new and expanding businesses, two potash mines and growing ag processing sector. Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Moose Jaw Campus offers training for required skills: Engineering Technologies, Building Trades and Administration. MOOSE JAW, THE PERFECT PLACE TO CALL HOME Everyone loves Moose Jaw, and those who call it home know it is the perfect place to raise a family, with an abundance of parks, sports and recreational facilities and walking trails, with a wide variety of educational and cultural events throughout the year. Moose Jaw has jobs, housing and a fantastic quality of life.

Moose Jaw ranked #2 “One of the Top 15 Small Cities in Canada to Live In!”

Message from the mayor of Esterhazy

Pauline Chewka


eing a major community in Potashville brings its own challenges and rewards. Esterhazy has enjoyed a close working relationship with all of the mining companies that call us home from the early beginnings over 50 years ago with IMC to today with Mosaic. They have always showed themselves to be strong community ambassadors. They have always worked cohesively with the town to help meet the demands of being a mining community and are excellent corporate citizens. It would be fair to say that Esterhazy was able to count on financial support in the early years of growth more than now only because our world map has become so much larger. Employees don't just come from Esterhazy, but an hour radius all around, including Manitoba, so it is only fair that Mosaic has a much further stretch to its budget. They do, however, call Esterhazy home and we definitely appreciate the support we get from them to continue moving forward. Mosaic was instrumental, for instance, in the development of our Potashville Interpretive Centre, sitting in Esterhazy's Historical Park. The centre shows hundreds of visitors each year what a working potash mine looks like and gives them a glimpse into the day of a miner. Our population has grown to over 3,100, according to our Saskatchewan Health numbers, up from 2,474 in our 2011 Stats Canada census, creating an impact on our community. Although jobs are plentiful, small business has a hard time keeping employees due to the much higher-paying mine jobs available. Many businesses work in tandem with the potash mines, so when there is a cyclical slow down at the mines, there is too in these businesses, so much so that it often means layoffs. The expansions at the current mines


PotashWorks 2016

also create a huge impact. Our population has been known to increase by as much as 1,000 transient employees who need to live in the community, but are not permanent, nor are they contributing to the tax base. This has caused a big stress to our infrastructure, roadways, policing and healthcare, without contributing to our income. Rent nearly doubled in most cases for both residential and office space, plumbers, electricians and builders became too busy with big jobs, leaving the residents scrambling to find workers. Prices have risen to meet the demands of the population. Housing costs skyrocketed leaving us with a raised assessment value, so even though taxes never rose, the cost to individual homeowners did. These things have now stabilized and have led us to improvements and growth. We now have new supporting businesses, new hotels, new restaurants, homes and apartments, all of which will remain when construction of the mines is over. Developers have come to build new residential areas, all of which increase the value of our community overall. Although we are living in stressful times, we too are living in exciting times. Times of growth always come with issues, but it is the final product that is important. Mosaic in its willingness to continually invest in the longterm sustainability of its mines is ensuring the future of Esterhazy for years to come. It has been responsible for every growth we have ever undergone and continues to push us ahead. We have more young people coming back home to work and raise their families. That in itself makes all the impacts worthwhile. Smart decisions now will reap rewards down the line. It has been an interesting time to be in office, but also a rewarding and positive experience moving the town forward. u

PRAIRIE Fighting Corrosion @ Prairie Finishing Trades Institute (PFTI) A National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) study tallied the total annual corrosion cost to be a whopping 3.1% of GDP! And nobody is more acutely aware of the costs of corrosion than Saskatchewan mining and oil owners / engineers! To meet this challenge, PFTI has partnered with the two premier protective coatings and linings standards organizations – the aforementioned NACE and “SSPC, the Society of Protective Coatings” - to incorporate cutting edge certifications into our Coatings and Linings Apprenticeship Training pipelines!

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Above ground or below, Brandt designs, manufactures, sells, and services quality mining equipment nationwide. Brandt’s mission is to deliver value to our customers through our core values of quality, innovation, commitment, and customer focus. We’re committed to meeting the needs of our mining customers by helping you increase uptime and lowering your operating costs. From proven performers like John Deere’s loaders, dozers, and excavators to Brandt manufactured bolters, lube trucks, graders, and transporters Brandt delivers the products you want and the service you need. Now with 27 branches nationwide, we’re always nearby to support you, when and where you needs us. That’s Powerful Value. Delivered.



Bit Service Company Ltd. | Phone 306-653-0988 | Fax 306-244-2262 | E-mail ISNetworld Registered

Bit Service Company offers a wide range of quality products for the mining, construction, and materials handling industries. Our experienced design and technical staff use 3D modelling software to work with customers to design cutting assemblies to maximize their productivity. Our full fabrication facilities enable us to bring these designs to reality. Bit Service will also professionally repair and refurbish cutting assemblies for potash boring machines, continuous miners, roadheaders and undercutters which provides lasting value and support for our customers.

Our after-sales support is our greatest strength, and it has allowed Bit Service to develop and maintain an excellent reputation throughout our market area. Over the years, the company has become the exclusive Western Canadian distributor and warehousing agent for manufacturers such as The Cincinnati Mine Machinery Co., Sandvik Mining and Construction, McSweeney’s Inc., and The Bowdil Company.

We strongly believe in our commitment to the support of current and prospective customers. We insist on high quality products and look forward to helping meet the needs of an increasing list of customers both within and beyond the industries currently served.

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proudly Saskatchewan owned and operated Northern Strands proudly supports Children’s Wish Saskatchewan

Message from the mayor of Rocanville

Daryl Fingas

2015 greetings from the town of Rocanville! Our summer has come and gone and now we are getting closer to ending another productive year in Rocanville. Since the last issue of PotashWorks, we have seen more growth in our town. A second 12-suite apartment block has been added to the property beside the first apartment block, and another new home is coming to our Cameron Crescent subdivision. There are still tax incentives in place for new homes in this subdivision and we welcome anyone that would like to make Rocanville their home. Across the street in the modular home area, a few more homes have been added and sold.


In the fall of 2014, a group of people got together to plan and design a new community hall for Rocanville. Our old hall, which was built in the 1950’s, was closed due to deteriorating conditions, and we have been without a community hall. After many meetings, a 15,000-square-foot hall has been designed, complete with a full theatrical stage and a large catering kitchen. However, a building of this size comes with a high price tag. A quote of $2.4 million was given to the committee to build this completely furnished hall. To be able to go ahead with this project, the committee needed some concrete dollar commitments. This is where PotashCorp stepped up with a commitment of one-third of the cost, providing the committee fundraises one-third, and the local governments provide the remaining one-third. What great support from PotashCorp! The commercial sector grew with the addition of a Cardlock next door to our golf course on Highway #8, complete with a convenience store. Another restaurant also opened its doors in August. Rocanville has a school with grades K to 12, a daycare centre, a nine-hole golf course, indoor swimming pool, curling ring, skating rink, cross-country ski trails, soccer, and a museum. We are located on Highway 8, 26 kilometres north of the number one highway and close to the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley.

• Learn how the six meter diameter mine shafts were developed 1100 meters down to the Potash ore deposit. The first successful shaft took five years to develop, through 10 rock formations, saturated with water, as well as one 80 meter quicksand formation.

Come for a visit! u

• Learn how potash ore is moved from the mining area to surface, how it is refined to produce high grade fertilizer which is sold around the world. • Book a tour for your next school field trip, senior club or professional organization. Guided tours are available May to August inclusive by contacting the Tourist Information Centre, 745-5406 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please contact the Town Office , 7453942, in the off season to arrange a guided tour. • Hours of operation: May – weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekend tours available upon request. June 01 to August 31 – Weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 22 PotashWorks 2016

For more information please contact

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Serving Local Communities since the 1960’s! Welding & Fabrication • Machining • Painting • Steel Supply Blasting & Painting


•Ourpaintshopisfullyheatedandvented, wearecapableofpaintingmultiplecoats ofpaintincludingenamels,zincprimers, urethanesandhi-buildepoxy. Ourfinishedpaintproductsgothrougha strictthicknesstestandblastprofilefor qualityassurance

•Ourmachineshophousedin6,500sq.ft. Weareabletomachinetocustomer’sspecificationsusing: •CNCverticalmillingmachines(3) •Horizontalmillingmachine4”spindle •Conventionallathes(5);maximumsize42”swingx120”length •CNClathes(3);maximumsize22”swingx72”length



•11,250sq.ft.ofenclosedfabrication& processingarea •GMAW,FCAW,SMAW,GTAWandMCAW •CWB47.1/47.2 •ASMESection,VIII,B31.1,B31.3andCSAB51 •MildSteel,AluminumandStainlessWelding

•WerepairNationalquintiplexandtriplexpumps,fromtoptobottom. •WeareanoutletforOEMparts,plusmanufactureaftermarketparts whereapplicable. •WehavebeenrebuildingJ275andJ165pumpsforover25years. •Wearealsoexperiencedandabletorepaircentrifugalpumps,such asWarmanorWeirpumps.PartsmanufacturingtoOEMspecifications orcustomerspecificationsisdoneinourmachineshop.

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Wolseley Industrial Canada (formerly Goodman Industrial) is proud to supply Pipe, Valve and Fitting products and services to the Potash Mining Construction industry. TWO LOCATIONS Saskatoon | 3422 Millar Ave., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 306-203-4767 | Jason Santha - Branch Area Manager Esterhazy | 931 Gonczy Ave., Esterhazy, Saskatchewan 306-745-6453 | Michelle Shire - PVF Sales Manager

Saskatchewan potash industry looks forward to improving future By Leonard Melman


f there were one basic mining industry on earth, which appeared to have a gilt-edged future, it would seem to be potash mining. After all, potash is one of the main agricultural plant fertilizing products in widespread use, and international agencies such as the United Nations are forecasting a relentless growth in the world’s population from a present figure of approximately 7.3 billion to just under 10 billion by 2050. However, if a poll were to be conducted among potash-producing nations near year-end 2015, optimism regarding the near future might be sorely lacking as an array of problems, mostly associated with falling potash prices, beset the industry both here in Canada, as well as internationally – and when we refer to “here in Canada”, the province most affected is Saskatchewan, proud possessor of the greatest potash resources in the world. Potash has been used by mankind to facilitate agricultural production for many centuries, but it was the discovery of natural potassium salts that allowed for economic production on a widespread basis. The availability of increasing supplies prompted additional applications and the potash mining industry enjoyed increasing demand and rising prices, which eventually reached the neighbourhood of US$1,000 per tonne of potassium chloride. However, prices near that level encouraged widespread exploration and development, and by early in this decade, a supply glut began to develop and, quite naturally, potash prices began to fall, finally reaching near the US$400 level in 2013. It should be noted that this

30 PotashWorks 2016

price decline was likely exacerbated by a broader general commodity price decline, which encompassed metals mining, uranium, and petroleum as well. In addition, potash prices have been pressured by anticipated waves of new production likely to enter the world’s supply system in coming years. These include German producer K+S, which plans to come online in 2016 with its Legacy potash project in Saskatchewan, with a planned production at a rate of twomillion tonnes per year in 2017, moving up to four-million tonnes by 2035. In addition, Uralkali in Belarus is expanding production by 30 per cent over the next five years; Eurochem will also be adding new projects; and BHP is expected to move forward with its Jansen project after temporarily suspending work in 2014, which could potentially add eight million additional tonnes annually. As noted elsewhere in this issue, those declining prices led to the eventual breakup of one of potash’s most prominent marketing consortiums in 2013 involving Belarus and Russian producers, as each entity sought to obtain greater market inroads for themselves by driving prices lower. Potash prices fell rapidly, finally bottoming near the US$305 per tonne range, although some recent reports suggest some transactions have recently taken place below that level. Chinese actions also provided a negative background in the form of a special marketing plan announced in March 2015, which would allow China to buy up enormous supplies from Belarus near US$315 per tonne, as well as China’s participation in an expanded potash production facility, also in Belarus, which is scheduled to add 1.8 million tonnes of potash per year to

Potash has been used by mankind to facilitate agricultural production for many centuries, but it was the discovery of natural potassium salts that allowed for economic production on a widespread basis. the world’s supplies beginning in 2020. These price declines have had a significant effect on the Saskatchewan potash mining industry, resulting in some cancelled or delayed projects, significant job losses, reduced production schedules, and even cancelled merger/buyout plans. A quick review of potash mining in Saskatchewan shows that the mineral was originally discovered within Saskatchewan in the 1940s as an accidental result of petroleum drilling when the potash-laden Prairie Formation was found about 1,000 metres below the surface. Exploration and development soon demonstrated that Saskatchewan’s potash resources were so enormous that according to provincial geologists, they could supply the world’s cumulative demands for several hundred years. Initial potash production began at the Esterhazy mine in 1962 and a flood of activity followed to the point that by 1971 no less than 10 potash mines were in production within the province. This rapid expansion of production quickly brought about a glut in the market and the provincial government stepped in with a ‘rationing-pricing’ plan. Eventually the government participated in potash mine ownership by forming the Potash

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Corporation of Saskatchewan, which eventually became a privately owned corporation named PotashCorp, which remains an important industry leader up to the present.




Several other important companies besides PotashCorp also own and are developing and/or operating potash mines within the province. That list includes the Mosaic Company; Agrium, Inc.; BHP Billiton; and Germany’s K+S AG. PotashCorp has interests in five Saskatchewan mines, including Allan, Lanigan, Cory, Patience Lake, and Rocanville. The corporation announced several layoffs in recent years due to declining potash prices, and recently cancelled an anticipated buyout of K+S. BHP had planned to advance their Jansen Mine in Saskatchewan; ultimately striving to make it the largest operating potash mine in the world, but declining prices caused a temporary cessation in work in the spring of 2014. However, the company might move their schedule forward due to the flooding of Urakali’s massive Solikamsk-2 mine in Siberia, which instantly removed three per cent of the world’s potash supply.



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The Mosaic Company, headquartered in Regina, owns three potash projects in Saskatchewan, including Belle Plaine, Colonsay, and Esterhazy. Although the company continues to point toward a long-term positive outlook, they recently issued a press release which noted, “In response to current crop nutrient market conditions, primarily related to delayed fertilizer purchases in Brazil and North America, The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) announced today the Company will reduce production in its Potash business by extending maintenance downtime at its Colonsay mine, and maintain planned slower production in its Phosphates business.” Agrium, Inc. continues to operate their Vanscoy potash mining and production facility, located 32 kilometres south-

west of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. According to the corporate website, “the Vanscoy facility produces three sizes of high-quality potash for shipment to markets around the world. An extensive network of underground roads takes workers to the mine faces and various shops. This operation directly employs 619 people.” One other project of note is the K+S Legacy Project near Moose Jaw in southcentral Saskatchewan. The project was originally initiated by Potash One and then was acquired in 2010 by K+S, a major European company. As noted earlier, Legacy is expected to start production by the end of 2016, increasing gradually to two-million tonnes per year in 2017, and reaching full capacity approaching 2.9 million tonnes per year by 2023. The project has drawn considerable attention within potash circles and appeared sufficiently attractive for PotashCorp to make a bid to acquire K+S in order to gain control of Legacy, but the offer was recently withdrawn with PotashCorp officials citing a decline in global commodity and equity markets, and a lack of engagement by K+S management as reasons for their decision. While it is true that the potash industry in Saskatchewan has encountered some serious problems during the past several years, it is worth remembering that several important plusses remain. First, worldwide demand for food continues to grow, resulting in increasing acreage under cultivation; commodity cycles have a tendency to correct over time; the potash ore bodies in Saskatchewan are among the world’s largest, and are therefore amenable to efficient, lowcost operation, and the Saskatchewan government continues to provide substantial assistance to the industry. Potash mining is among the most important building blocks of Saskatchewan’s growing economy and revenue from that industry remains one of the important contributors to Saskatchewan’s attractive lifestyle. u







Photo courtesy of PotashCorp.

Photo courtesy of PotashCorp.

PotashCorp sinks new shaft at Scissors Creek

Underground at the mine shaft at Scissors Creek.


t has been more than 35 years since the last shaft was sunk in Saskatchewan to reach the province’s rich potash deposits. So it was a significant achievement when PotashCorp’s new 1,123-metre service shaft at Scissors Creek broke through to the underground mine workings in June 2015, five years after excavation began. “This was a great accomplishment for our employees and contractors,” says Jochen Tilk, PotashCorp president and CEO. “This has been a complex project requiring considerable technical expertise by all those involved.” The new shaft is part of the approximately $3 billion expansion of PotashCorp’s Rocanville mine, located 250 kilometres east of Regina, near the Manitoba border. The mine’s operating capacity is expected to increase to 5.7 million tonnes annually, up from 2.7 million. Production ramp up is scheduled to begin in 2016. Since the mid-1950s, 17 shafts had been sunk for Saskatchewan’s potash industry. The most recent one, prior to Scissors Creek, was a service shaft completed in 1979 at Lanigan. Potash is mined from mineral deposits left by ancient evaporated seas. But to access these, miners must solve the Blairmore Formation: a wet, sandy layer

34 PotashWorks 2016

Aerial of PotashCorp’s Rocanville mine.

of earth located between 400 and 600 metres below surface. If not contained, this sand floods mineshafts, preventing access to the potash below. In fact, this is how Saskatchewan’s first potash shaft failed in 1956. The development of the Blairmore tubbing ring in the 1960s allows miners to access Saskatchewan’s potash, which lies in horizontal deposits about a kilometre underground. The ground around the planned vertical shaft is frozen, then concrete is poured to form a preliminary wall over the sand. Cast-iron “Blairmore Rings” are then installed, making a barrier strong enough to keep the walls of the shaft intact for many decades. When PotashCorp decided to sink the Scissors Creek shaft, its engineers and geologists sought to capitalize on and even improve the technology used to navigate the Blairmore, and deeper, layers. “It was both interesting and exciting to be working on what was really new territory for us,” says Arnfinn Prugger, PotashCorp’s vice-president, technical services. “We’ve been able to build on what people did in the past, and that has been very helpful, but we came up with many new ideas as well.” Once the location was selected for the new shaft, 32 holes were drilled around its perimeter and calcium chlo-

ride brine chilled to -35 degrees Celsius was pumped through pipes, freezing the ground to a depth of 600 metres. This allowed work to begin on the shaft excavation and liner construction. The Scissors Creek liner has 114 tubbing rings installed through the Blairmore Formation. Tubbing rings were also installed through other, deeper water-bearing zones, bringing the total used to 204. Better castings for the tubbing have allowed for improvements in the design of the liner, as has higher strength concrete. PotashCorp also broke with traditional practice when it decided to construct a permanent headframe over its new shaft, rather than build a temporary one that would be replaced after the ground had thawed and settled following completion of the shaft. This was accomplished by building a system of piles and pile caps outside the diameter of the freeze ring; concrete beams were poured onto these, followed by the construction of the 52-metre-high concrete headframe. This saved both time and money, Prugger says. The Scissors Creek shaft, located 16 kilometres from the main mine site, will be used to move workers and equipment underground to mine a new area of the Rocanville potash deposit. The existing service shaft is being converted to a production shaft, substantially increasing the volume of potash that can be brought to the surface. The expansion also included a new wet mill and a 500,000-tonne product storage facility. Overall, PotashCorp is spending approximately $8.4 billion to expand each of its five Saskatchewan mines and its mine near Sussex, New Brunswick. u

Picadilly Mine reinvigorates New Brunswick’s potash industry By Melanie Franner

Mark Fraccia , president of the potash division of PotashCor p.

Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault at the actual sod-turning ceremony at Picadilly mine.


t’s been many years since the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources first discovered potash in the Plumsweep-Penobsquis area in 1971 and subsequently granted the exploration and development rights to the Potash Company of America. These operations were acquired in 1993 by Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (also known as PotashCorp) and the facility was renamed PCS (New Brunswick Division) Inc. The next few years saw potash deposits discovered in the Cassidy Lake and Lower Millstream areas. The Cassidy Lake deposit eventually went into production but was closed in 1997, while the Millstream deposit has yet to be fully explored.

Prime time at Picadilly Today, potash mining in New Brunswick accounts for about five per cent of all 36 PotashWorks 2016

potash production in the country. And PotashCorp continues to be a major player in the province. The company has continued to mine Penobsquis, which has been producing approximately 800,000 tonnes of potash per year and approximately 600,000 tonnes of salt per year. A new deposit, however, was discovered in 2002. This Picadilly deposit, as it is known, is located approximately one kilometre south of the existing Penobsquis mine. Subsequent exploration showed that this new deposit offered a potentially significant reserve. As such, work soon got underway. Mining feasibility studies were completed in 2007 and environmental approval came in 2008. PotashCorp announced a $1.7 billion project to access the new Piccadilly deposit in 2007. But the deposit proved to

be more geologically complex than first thought. “There were some challenges along the way,” states Mark Fracchia, president of the potash division of PotashCorp. “It took longer than first expected to sink the shafts. This is a complex job that not only requires the excavation, but also installation of concrete linings through varying geological conditions and water-bearing formations. There are many variables and the process requires constant management to maintain control over the materials and schedule.” FCC Construction, of the OSCO Construction Group, was charged with managing the construction for the two new headframes required for the expansion project. According to the company, the foundation for the production shaft headframe was done inside a secant pile wall because of an anticipated inflow of

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From L to R: Shannon Rhynold, mine superintendent, Minister Arseneault, and Iain Guille, general manager of the Picadilly mine.

groundwater. The wall itself was constructed of three-foot-diameter concrete caissons, drilled and socketed into the bedrock, and overlapping each other to create a retaining and water-cutoff wall. The excavation work was done inside the wall. Both headframes have 60-feet deep foundations, while the excavations required moving in excess of 55,000 cubic yards of material. Both foundations also required placement of 10,000+ cubic yards of concrete. “The total cost of the Picadilly mine is estimated to be $2.2 billion,” states Fracchia, who adds that about half of that was spent through local vendors. “It is estimated that 11,000 new jobs were created during the construction phase and the mine is expected to employ around 450 and 500 full-time workers.” Once fully operational – production is expected to ramp up over the next two to three years – the Picadilly mine is anticipated to have an operational capacity of up to 1.8 million tonnes of potash per annum. “The anticipated life of the Picadilly mine is more than 30 years,” states Fracchia, who adds that production at the Penobsquis mine will slowly be phased out as Picadilly ramps up. Although located relatively close to each other, the Penobsquis and Picadilly mines will require different mining techniques. “At Penobsquis, the ore body is on a 38 PotashWorks 2016

Minister Donald Arseneault.

relatively steep slope, so it is mined using a cut-and-fill method,” says Fracchia. “This means a mining room, or panel, is cut with a continuous miner, then backfilled with salt tailings. The miner then cuts above the backfilled room and the process is repeated following the angle of the ore body. At Picadilly, the ore body is more horizontal, so it will be mined using a more conventional long-room and pillar-mining technique. Continuous borers cut a first pass, turn and cut a second pass adjacent to the first. They then cut subsequent passes below the first, following the thickness of the ore seam.”

Market demand The Picadilly mine is considered to be well located – with ready access to port facilities – to service many of PotashCorp’s customers in the U.S. and Latin America. “Latin America, particularly Brazil, is a growing market for us,” states Fracchia. “The U.S. consumes about 9.5 million tonnes of potash annually, while Latin America consumes about 11.7 million tonnes.” Despite a reduction in global commodity prices, international demand for potash during the first half of 2015 has remained strong – with PotashCorp experiencing record shipments to offshore markets. “Despite the near-term macro-economic challenges, PotashCorp remains optimistic about long-term demand for potash, particularly in light of forecasts that sug-

gest the world’s population could reach more than nine-billion people by the year 2050,” says Fracchia.

A financial win The Picadilly mine officially began operations in October 2014 to much excitement and fanfare. But there may be more excitement still to come. The New Brunswick government recently issued an RFP for the potash exploration rights in Salt Springs, an area located adjacent to the former Cassidy Lake potash mine and less than 60 kilometres northeast of the Port of Saint John. “We put out the RFP to see what the level of interest is,” said Energy and Mines Minister Donald Arseneault, who admits that the responses included those from several companies around the globe. “Unfortunately, some companies have since pulled out because of the downturn in the potash market. I want to get the biggest bang for our buck, so I believe it is in our best interest to wait until the market conditions pick up again and then issue another RFP.” Minister Arseneault knows of what he speaks. “The Picadilly mine is special to me,” he adds. “I was Minister of Natural Resources back in 2007 and was one of many people who helped convince PotashCorp to commit. There is no doubt that Picadilly mine will have a tremendous economic impact on our province.” u

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PotashCorp buyout proposal for K+S succumbs to world potash market forces

Photo courtesy of K+S Potash Canada (previously published in the 2012 issue of PotashWorks).

By Leonard Melman

K+S Potash’s Legacy mine site in 2011, shortly after the company announced the multi-billion-dollar project.


or several months this summer and early fall, attention of the Saskatchewan potash industry was focused on a proposed buyout involving the first important new potash mining project located entirely within Saskatchewan during the past 40+ years. We are referring to the Legacy Potash mine located about 50 kilometres north of the city of Moose Jaw and presently under construction. The buyout offer was presented by PotashCorp to Legacy’s owner, Germany’s K+S AG.

Following a period of exploration and preliminary development by previous owner/operator Potash One, K+S acquired ownership of the project and broke ground for construction of production facilities by late 2011. As work advanced, K+S initially forecast commercial production to begin by late 2015, but later revised that timetable to mid-2016. Present plans call for production at a rate of 2,000,000 tonnes of potassium chloride per year by 2017, with potential expansion to four million tonnes per year by 2030.

Thanks to important developments within the world of potash itself, as well as conditions specified by K+S, the offer was made in June, rejected conditionally by K+S in both July and August, and then finally withdrawn by PotashCorp in early October. However, despite the fact that as of fall 2015 the offer is no longer in play, the background history provides us with substantial information regarding the international and domestic world of potash mining; economic forces affecting the potash market and, to some extent, political considerations within the German economy.

Proven reserves at Legacy occur at about 1,500 metres below surface and have been estimated to be approximately 160 million tonnes with a projected mine life of 55 years. K 20 content grade has been estimated at 18 per cent, significantly higher than K+S’ European operations, and mining is to be accomplished via a sodium chloride-brine solution method which selectively dissolves potassium chloride. The solution will be transported to the surface via two boreholes for further processing.

Legacy’s history, as well as projected economic returns from the mine itself provides the most important background information to the offer.

During the negotiation process, it became clear that one of the attractive features of the Legacy mine included the fact, as noted by K+S CEO Norbert Steiner, that the Legacy mine’s location

40 PotashWorks 2016

would permit effective entry into the huge American fertilizer market. It was entry into North America which was one of K+S’ reasons for initially acquiring the mine. From the PotashCorp point of view, buying K+S and thereby acquiring the Legacy mine appeared to present important benefits. As noted, the acquisition would enable PotashCorp to further its marketing efforts within North America via the marketing organization known as Canpotex, which represents PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium. Industry sources suggest that the acquisition of K+S would increase PotashCorp’s presence within that organization. As originally proposed at the end of June 2015, PotashCorp would pay a price of 41 Euros to acquire each share of K+S, a premium over then current share quotes. K+S initially rejected the offer in July and, following additional private negotiations, rejected the offer a second time in August. One of the important stumbling blocks was the K+S concern that their European mines were more expensive to operate and, therefore, PotashCorp would probably close those German operations, resulting in major job losses within the German economy, leading to increasing German political opposition to the deal. Another objection offered during the initial rejection was that the PotashCorp offer did not fairly value K+S assets. In a company press release accompanying the second rejection, K+S noted, “K+S rejected the unsolicited proposal of PotashCorp because the price offered had not nearly reflected the fundamental value of the company and was not in the best interests of the company.” In the end, in early October PotashCorp decided to withdraw the offer, noting that world potash market conditions continued to decline with several new projects likely to enter the supply stream in coming years while demand appeared unlikely to grow at the same pace, suggesting lower potash prices for some time to come. Apparently, the securities markets tended to agree with the PotashCorp withdrawal decision as the stock rose immediately following that announcement. In the opposite direction, K+S shares plunged on European exchanges following word of PotashCorp’s decision, falling quickly from slightly above 30 Euros to below 25. Although the proposed buyout was ultimately rejected, several important considerations emerged. First, as a major supplier to the international markets, developments within Saskatchewan’s potash industry continue to garner strong attention worldwide. Next, concerns regarding a potentially over-supplied worldwide potash market are evident and will become important in future merger or buyout considerations. Lastly, despite an evident array of current problems, potash mining continues to remain a vitally important and attractive industry – presumably to Saskatchewan’s ultimate long-term benefit. u

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Amendments to Potash Production Tax signal new changes for industry By Melanie Franner to improve competitiveness with other potash-producing jurisdictions.

An objective view Jack Mintz, president’s fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, has often written on the subject of Saskatchewan’s Potash Production Tax system.

The potash industry is currently forecast to provide the Government of Saskatchewan with over $800 million in direct resource revenue through the Crown Royalty and Potash Production Tax during the 2015/16 fiscal year, says Deputy Minister Laurie Pushor, Ministry of Economy, Government of Saskatchewan.


he province of Saskatchewan currently has 10 operating potash mines, with another one under construction. According to the Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Economy, these mines produced 10.27 million K 20 tonnes in 2014. The total revenue from the 11.22 million K 20 tonnes sold in that same year amounted to $5.7 billion – a record year for sales volume and among the highest years for production. And a great time to think about implementing changes to the Potash Production Tax system – as witnessed in the March 2015 provincial budget. These changes, which became effective January 1, 2015, defer capital expenditures for capital spending for future years. As a result of the changes, all capital expenditures will be allowed to accrue at the 120 per cent rate, but will be deductible from annual gross sales revenues at a declining balance of: • 20 per cent for mine operation and maintenance expenditures; and • 60 per cent for mine expansion or new mine development expenditures. 42 PotashWorks 2016

Jack Mintz, president’s fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, says that the Potash Production Tax system does little to eliminate the complexities inherent in the current system.

“As part of the 2015/2016 budget, the Government of Saskatchewan announced changes to depreciation rates on capital,” states Laurie Pushor, deputy minister, Ministry of Economy, Government of Saskatchewan. “This technical change was intended to provide the Government of Saskatchewan with an immediate temporary increase in revenue from the potash industry by reducing the accelerated depreciation rate to rates closer to other industries.” Industry pundits suggest that the increased provincial revenues from the potash industry will help offset the $661 million decline in oil revenue from last year’s budget. “In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, the potash industry is currently forecast to provide the Government of Saskatchewan with over $800 million in direct resource revenue through the Crown Royalty and Potash Production Tax,” states Pushor, who adds that the Potash Production Tax has been in place since 1990 and has undergone multiple changes since then, primarily as a way to grow the industry and

“The Saskatchewan potash tax is one of the most complex systems I have seen in the world, not just for potash, but for other non-renewable resource tax systems,” he says. “The complexity not only reduces transparency for voters and taxpayers, but also increases the economic, compliance and administrative costs in running the system.” Mintz credits the NDP government with “morphing” the potash production tax into an “illogical” system in 2002 when potash prices were low. “It created a system whereby the regime varies depending if the project existed before 2002 or not,” he says. “As a transition measure, that may work for a while. But it is not something one wants to have for long periods where one project has a more favourable tax regime than another.” The proposed Potash Production Tax system does little to eliminate the complexities inherent in the current system, says Mintz. “One of the major distortions was too much tax support for exploration and development, with a 120 per cent write off of costs,” explains Mintz. “It would have been appropriate to expense capital costs in profit-based royalty systems, like the oil sands and Norway’s oil and gas. But a 120 per cent write off was too rich. The government now requires assets to be depreciated based at this 120

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per cent rate getting closer to expensing. However, I would have preferred a simpler approach of just having a 100 per cent write off.” Mintz believes that the new changes to the Potash Production Tax will undoubtedly provide less incentive for companies to invest. But, at the same time, he says that companies were over-capitalizing projects anyway because they were given too much of a tax write-off. “A better balance is achieved by reducing distortions among assets and different players,” he says. “It will reduce the incentive to over expand those projects, getting a better economic return.” Pushor admits that there are a variety of potash production tax systems being used throughout the world. The one currently being proposed by the provincial government falls into the range of applicable systems. “Saskatchewan is the world’s largest producer of potash and produces about

44 PotashWorks 2016

95 per cent of the potash in Canada,” he says. “The royalty regime in New Brunswick, the only other potash producer in Canada, is a private agreement between the producer and the Government of New Brunswick, for which details are not publicly available. Worldwide, similar profitbased systems have depreciation rates on capital, which can vary widely from no capital recognition up to and above 100 per cent.”

Next up The reaction from existing potash producers in Saskatchewan is generally one of concern. And, according to Pushor, will be discussed during a Potash Royalty and Tax Review process. “As announced in the budget, the changes are an interim step that will be followed by a broader review of the entire potash taxation regime,” he states. “The review process is currently underway and will involve both the existing producers and potential new producers.”

This review process, adds Pushor, is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Rich resource According to Pushor, close to 5,000 people were directly employed at the potash operating mines in Saskatchewan in 2014. There were several thousand more people either directly employed in construction of potash projects or employed through indirect jobs supported by the potash industry. There is little doubt that the potash industry is a strong factor in the provincial economy – and government coffers – and will continue to be so. “Although demand can vary from year to year, continued population growth and improved diet throughout the world will require increased and more efficient use of fertilizers,” concludes Pushor. “Potash demand is forecast to continue to increase in the years ahead.” u

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Canpotex: Saskatchewan potash sales and delivery expert

The Canpotex Express at Kinsmen Park.


he name Canpotex may not sound familiar to you – but its business is something Saskatchewan residents know well: potash. Canpotex is the company that moves Saskatchewan’s potash to the world.

million tonnes of potash each year to West Coast terminals and beyond. To put that number in perspective, that amount of potash would fill up the Rogers Centre (SkyDome) in Toronto, Ontario seven times over!

Wholly owned by Saskatchewan potash producers Agrium, Mosaic and PotashCorp, Canpotex sells and delivers potash to approximately 35 offshore countries each year.

With great volumes comes great responsibility: Canpotex takes care of the province’s potash from the “first mile to the last mile”, tailoring its journey to ensure the utmost safety and product quality until it reaches its final destination overseas. Since potash mines in Saskatchewan are 1,600 kilometres from the nearest ocean, Canpotex built a large and efficient delivery network to move potash from the middle of Canada to the West Coast and ultimately to its overseas customers. This is made possible through a fleet of approximately 5,400 railcars, 17 dedicated ocean-going vessels, over 200 vessel voyages per

Many Canadians only know of Canpotex by the logo they see 170 times over while waiting for one of its trains to pass through various railroad crossings through its journey to its terminals. What they probably don’t know is that 1) those same railcars were customdesigned and built in Hamilton, Ontario to specifically transport potash; 2) they are some of the longest trains in Canada; and 3) they transport approximately 10 48 PotashWorks 2016

year, ownership in two deep-water port terminal facilities (Neptune Terminals in Vancouver, B.C. and Portland Terminals in Portland, OR), and a world-class operation headquartered in Saskatoon to coordinate every part of the potash journey from mine site, across rail, how it is loaded onto vessels, and finally exchanged into the hands of our offshore customers. Locally, Canpotex conducts maintenance of its railcars in a state-of-the-art railcar facility near Lanigan, Saskatchewan. Every railcar is regularly inspected, repaired and washed for the safe and timely transportation of Saskatchewan potash. This facility opened in 2013 and cost approximately C$60 million to construct, which provided construction and long-term job opportunities right in our home province. Canpotex does not only expertly handle, sell and deliver potash, but it has also invested over US$41 million in educa-

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tion programs to teach farmers in its markets how to use potash to improve crop results and produce more food. Reflective of its ongoing relationships with offshore customers, Canpotex works to educate farmers in developing countries on how to make the best use of potash to increase food production. These market development programs have operated in more than 25 countries throughout

Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Africa. Canpotex is always eager to share its story with the world, and particularly with its home country and province where it tends to be less well-known, which is one of the reasons why it, together with Canadian Pacific, recently donated C$1,025,000 to the City of Saskatoon. The donation contributed to the city’s revitalization of Kinsmen

Park by covering the costs of a new amusement ride, the Canpotex Express. As Canpotex’s largest single donation to Saskatoon, it will function as a reminder of the importance of potash to the province and the livelihood of local community members. This is another example of how Canpotex is investing in Saskatchewan’s success in Canada and abroad. u

Is Safety Your Strategic Advantage?

Companies serious about HIGH PERFORMANCE are serious about SAFETY. Regina | 498 Henderson Dr | 306. 525.0175 Saskatoon | 2606 Koyl Ave | 306.652.0907 f t in 50 PotashWorks 2016

We’ve always known soil has boundless potential. Remember that kid growing up, the one who saw the boundless potential in a little dirt and water? Well, she works with us at PotashCorp now — along with 5,000 others who still see soil’s potential. It’s our ongoing mission to give soils the nutrients they need. Because when soils are healthy, crop yields grow. Businesses grow. Economies grow. Community investments grow. See, what we’re really nourishing is human potential. And nothing could make us happier.

Responding to danger A recap of the 24th annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition By Tammy Schuster

rescuers competing in five events: fire fighting, first aid, proficiency, practical skills, and simulated surface and underground mine rescue problems.

Photo courtesy of the Saskatchewan Mining Association.

Exercises allow instructors to evaluate the effectiveness of their emergency response program and make necessary adjustments. The competition provides opportunities for teams working in the mining industry to test their skills, identify areas of improvement, and train in a safe and controlled environment.

A mine rescue team competes in the Underground Mock Mine event at the 2015 Emergency Response/ Mine Rescue Skills Competition.


as masks, spinal boards, ventilators, and 150-foot ropes fit with pulleys and harnesses. This might look like a rescue scene after a horrible disaster, but it’s actually part of a mock rescue event at EVRAZ Place in Regina, Saskatchewan. The 47th annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition took place on May 52 PotashWorks 2016

30, 2015, where 17 teams from mine sites across the province gathered to participate in a very important series of challenges. Organized by the Saskatchewan Mining Association, this mine rescue skills competition puts first responders to the test, with teams of underground and surface

Instead of performing under the pressure of a life-or-death scenario, teams perform under the pressure of competition. As an emergency responder, you have to react very quickly with very little information. One of the purposes of a recue skills competition is to practice speed and safety, and it’s also used to motivate participants to become comfortable with using emergency tools and procedures. The full-day event tests the mental and physical endurance using scenarios rescue workers can – and maybe have already – faced in their line of work. Responding at a moments notice to situations such as trapped or inured miners underground, chemical spills or fires, or an accident involving heavy industry machinery. Under the direction of team coordinators, rescue workers are given basic information to brief their teams before entering the mock mine. They are to locate and rescue missing workers and extinguish fires, while dealing with toxic

The overall winners of the 47th annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition are: OVERALL Surface Winner – PotashCorp Patience Lake | Runner Up – Mosaic Belle Plaine | Underground Winner – PotashCorp Lanigan | Runner Up – Mosaic Esterhazy K2

The individual event winners of the 47th annual Emergency Response Competition are: FIRST AID Surface Winner – PotashCorp Patience Lake Runner Up – AREVA Resources McClean Lake Underground Winner – Cameco McArthur River Runner Up – PotashCorp Lanigan

FIRE FIGHTING Surface Winner – Mosaic Belle Plaine Runner Up – Westmoreland Coal Estevan Underground Winner – Mosaic Esterhazy K2 Runner Up – PotashCorp Cory

PROFICIENCY Surface Winner – AREVA Resources McClean Lake Runner Up – Mosaic Belle Plaine Underground Winner – PotashCorp Lanigan Runner Up – Cameco McArthur River

PRACTICAL SKILLS Surface Winner – Cameco Key Lake Runner Up – Mosaic Belle Plaine Underground Winner – Cameco Cigar Lake Runner Up – PotashCorp Cory

SURFACE FIELD PROBLEM Surface Winner – PotashCorp Patience Lake Runner Up – Cameco Key Lake

UNDERGROUND MINE PROBLEM Underground Winner – Agrium Vanscoy Runner Up – Mosaic Esterhazy K2

gases or possible smoke inhalation. Responding to a rescue operation in an

among the team. A team that could one day be responsible for saving lives.

environment similar to what they face

This year the honour for overall surface

in their line of work helps build trust

winner was awarded to PotashCorp Pa-

100-410 22nd. Street East Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 5T6 (306)244-4888

tience Lake, the runner up was Mosaic Belle Plaine. The overall underground winner was awarded to PotashCorp Lanigan, and the runner up was Mosaic Esterhazy K2. u

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2016 PotashWorks 53

Russell-McCauley deposit still unsold; Status quo for industry By Melanie Franner dent of MPC, said at the time. “We believe the economies of scale provided with this opportunity will facilitate mine development.” A year later, the process to sell MPC and its assets is well underway and proceeding on schedule. In order to protect the confidentiality of parties interested in acquiring MPC, Fox is hesitant to disclose much more information about how the process is progressing. “The Government of Manitoba and MPC have embarked on a process to divest the potash interests of MPC, with the objective of soliciting Expressions of Interest from interested parties with the capacity to develop a potash mine,” he now says. “The divestiture process for MPC is ongoing. Our advisors, Micon International Limited, have received a number of Expressions of Interest from interested parties, which will be assessed, taking into consideration criteria such as industrial experience, capability, financial capacity, proposed exploration and resource evaluation, project development and marketing strategy, and expected contribution to the economy of the province of Manitoba.”


t’s been a year since Manitoba Potash Corp. (MPC) announced plans to “seek Expressions of Interest from potential developers” for the Russell-McCauley potash deposit. MPC, owned 100 per cent by the Manitoba government, became the sole owner of the deposit in July 2014, when the other partners opted out of the deal and MPC

54 PotashWorks 2016

The deposit itself has been estimated to have a 40-year lifespan with the potential to yield approximately two-million tonnes of potash per year. took advantage of its first rights of refusal. At the time, the acquisition was greeted as good news for the province’s potash industry. “Manitoba believes the potash in western Manitoba is viable with the consolidation of the conventionally minable potash resources,” John Fox, vice-presi-

The possibilities The Russell-McCauley potash deposit – if and when it becomes operational – could have a huge economic impact on both the surrounding area and the province itself. “As the mayor for the municipality of Russell Binscarth, which has a popula-

TP 23 23-33 W1


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Drillholes Penetrating Prairie Evaporite Interpreted Eastern Potash Edge

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Derkach is one among many within the municipality who would like to see the development of the Russell-McCauley deposit get underway as soon as possible.

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“We have looked at the impact of a single mine in Saskatchewan on municipalities, communities and the province, and applied the economic impact to our province and our communities,” says Derkach. “Over the life of the mine, the economic benefit is huge, to say the least, and the spin-off benefits of business, commerce and industry within this province would change – in a positive way – the future of all of our citizens.”




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Derkach and his team have done the research behind the Russell-McCauley project and are excited about the potential economic prospects.

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tion of approximately 2,500 residents, the development of this project is and has been of significant interest to the municipality and the communities within,” says Len Derkach. “As mayor, I have written to the premier and the minister responsible, asking a number of questions so as to ensure some level of preparedness in the event the project development proceeds. To date, we have received a letter of acknowledgement from the minister of mines.”

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Manitoba Potash Corporation (MPC) Manitoba-Saskatchewan Prairie Evaporite Edges

“In our opinion, as a municipality, this opportunity cannot be squandered,” he says. “We want to do everything we can in order to accommodate and service the development of this project.” As to when this development may occur, Derkach doesn’t know. And the government still isn’t talking. “We are not aware of the timelines for the decision but we know that a number of interests have been expressed,” concludes Derkach. “We want to ensure that shelving of this project is not an option and that the only acceptable path forward would be the development of this resource within Manitoba – for the benefit of Manitobans – for many years to come.” u 2016 PotashWorks 55

Ten ways mining executives can attract and retain women leaders By Bettie-Ann Heggie


s a senior vice-president at PotashCorp for more than a decade, I worked with some amazing executives. They fought hard to lower production costs, and then ensured the company wasn’t giving away their efficiencies by lowering prices. They were vigilant about safety and always sought ways to reduce their environmental footprint. They watched global events, analyzing the effect on their business, preparing for any potential crisis. They aimed to hire the best and the brightest, knowing that talent is critical to a company’s competitive position. Yet, our company never made much progress integrating women into the system. Since I retired in 2007, there has been a great deal of data released on the superior success achieved by companies with a greater number of women in management positions and on the board. Even when HR departments consider – and hire – women for jobs in all areas, companies increasingly cannot retain them for the long term. Here are the stats: Women are 50 per cent of the population, 50 per cent of employees, 60 per cent of university graduates, and 80 per cent of buying power. But women compose only two per cent of all CEOs, 14 per cent of executives, and 15 per cent of board members. What’s wrong? Do we need to fix the women or the system? First, we need to understand that women are not replicas of men. They are different, and therein lies their value. Still, in the corporate

56 PotashWorks 2016

world we expect women to look and act like men, and no one wants to come to work if they can’t be authentic. In August of 2014, a study from Michigan State University demonstrated that when applying for a job in a male-dominated field, women have a better chance if they describe themselves with masculine attributes such as assertive, independent and achievement-oriented. Those who emphasized traits often considered feminine, such as warmth, supportiveness and relationship building were unlikely to get hired. The Stanford Graduate School of Business had similar findings. They followed 132 women graduates over eight years, and concluded that women who displayed masculine traits in business, and who could dial these characteristics up and down depending on the situation, received more promotions. They not only surpassed other women, but also the men! To get those promotions, however, the women limited their display of masculine attributes and complemented them with more communal, typically feminine behaviour. These studies’ conclusions are no surprise to me because they are completely consistent with the way I worked my way up the ladder at PotashCorp, the world’s largest fertilizer company. When joining that male-dominated organization in 1981, under the “you have to hire a woman” program, I quickly recognized that I needed to present my ideas in a masculine way if I wanted them acknowledged at all. However, I couldn’t make that my modus operandi for long,

and I had to adeptly dial up traditionally feminine characteristics like kindness, inclusion, and attention to others in order to continue as an accepted member of the group. Societal bias reinforces the perception that people with masculine traits are good leaders and will get the job done; so women need to exhibit masculine attributes to be hired and promoted. Society also has a contradictory bias that women should sit politely and listen to others, which thwarts their contribution. Women who don’t do this are often labeled with the B-word. They are not liked, included, or given opportunities. This creates a ‘no win’ situation for women. To provide true value, women need a more inclusive company environment. As a senior mining official, you can help your company create a culture that appreciates gender differences and strengths. Here’s my top 10 list on how to do that: 1) Research shows that the more frequently a woman speaks up in meetings, the more her stock declines. Meanwhile, men who do the same are held in increasingly higher esteem. Women intuitively know this, so they sit on their hands, keep quiet, and suppress good ideas. If you don’t ask a woman for her opinion in a meeting, you could miss an important point. If you solicit her thoughts, you are sending a significant message to the men around the table, that ‘women are to be listened to and not dismissed or discounted’.

2) Women don’t apply for ‘stretch’ positions – positions that are often perfectly natural steps up – typically only applying for jobs for which they are overqualified. Unless you seek women out and encourage them, you may be missing the perfect candidate. Research also shows that when companies quit writing their job descriptions using exaggerated goals, more women apply and the company gets a more productive hire. 3) Research demonstrates that organizations tend to undervalue behindthe-scenes work most often done by women, such as avoiding a crisis or building a team. Instead, companies reward courageous risk-taking most often done by men. At the very least, openly thank the women for their collaborative skills and for being risk aware. They will feel included and appreciated, and it will encourage them to provide the balanced opinion that can help you avoid some serious sinkholes. 4)  Women will negotiate harder for others than for themselves; they are very ‘other-oriented’. No one will defend your company more than a woman. You want them on your side, but don’t take them for granted. The price for this loyalty is that you have to reciprocate with equal loyalty, to look out for them while they are looking out for others. But isn’t that how a good team works? 5) If you want to recruit women, consider how attractive your organization looks to them. If your company’s advertising is sexist, or if you have no women in senior positions, you are likely unappealing. If they can’t ‘see one’ they can’t ‘be one’. 6) Don’t assume women will leave because they are having a baby. If they feel acknowledged and respected, they will find ways to combine motherhood and careers. Research has indicated that unsatisfying working conditions, not the pull of mother-

In August of 2014, a study from Michigan State University demonstrated that when applying for a job in a male-dominated field, women have a better chance if they describe themselves with masculine attributes such as assertive, independent and achievement-oriented. Those who emphasized traits often considered feminine, such as warmth, supportiveness and relationship building were unlikely to get hired. hood, is a greater cause for women moving on from companies. It is hard to come to the office each day feeling like an outsider; make them feel included and they will stay. 7) Appreciate that women’s careers, especially in the modern corporate climate, may not be linear. They will do things differently from men, and that opens the door for innovation in our increasingly heterogeneous world. 8) Don’t assume women don’t want a difficult assignment because they have family responsibilities. Ask them. 9) If the men in your organization expect the women to tidy up the office, you are sounding a death knell for retaining women employees. You can help by setting an example. If a senior man cleans up the food after the next

lunch meeting, it will send an important message of shared responsibility to everyone. 10)Don’t apologize to women if you use foul language. Women want to be included, not singled out or identified as a social anomaly. Our economy depends upon you, our mining executives, to keep the sector healthy. Consider how much you’ll be helped by women whose contributions are proven to offer better protection on the downside, a more thorough process and greater concern for the stakeholder. By making some small changes, your company can get more talented women to the decision-making table. Our multifarious, unpredictable world requires diverse management techniques, and women are a natural resource that is ready, willing and able – and waiting. u

Your Aftermarket Specialist D1, 3911 Brandon Street SE Calgary, AB T2G 4A7

Phone: 403-236-2886 Fax: 403-225-8446 TFree: 866-248-2886 2016 PotashWorks 57

York Potash ready to mine the world’s largest, best-quality polyhalite By Michael Schwartz

age (some 260 million years ago) in the southern North Sea basin. Contributory factors were the location near the tropics at that time of the present day North Yorkshire crust of the earth, high temperatures and very low ground. The York Potash mine is to lie within an existing private farm and a commercial forestry block 3.5 kilometres south of the outskirts of Whitby, off the B1416 minor road, but with clear access to the A171 main road. In fact, to ensure that the agricultural and rural character of the area will not be compromised, any mining buildings will be screened and disguised within the landscape, largely sunk below surface and designed in agricultural style.

York Potash harbour facilities animation.

The mine will lie at the heart of the polyhalite deposit and away from known faulting, an aid to enhanced safety, mine longevity and operations. Few houses are near the proposed mine.

York Potash mine animation north.


ritain’s first potash mine in more than 40 years is set to exploit the thickest and highest-quality polyhalite resource anywhere in the world. Set under the historic county of North Yorkshire, the mine will secure the UK’s supply of polyhalite, boost the UK economy, and provide labour opportunities, not least in constructing a 37.5-kilometre mineral conveyor sys-

58 PotashWorks 2016

tem and a materials handling facility on Teesside capable of moving 20Mt/y of polyhalite.

What is it? UK potash resources occur predominantly along the North Yorkshire coast, stretching both inland and under the North Sea. The deposits lie within the Zechstein deposits of the late Permian

“Since receiving the major approvals for the mine and Mineral Transport System (MTS) at the end of June 2015, the company has been focused on finalizing the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and completing the tender process for appointing the major contractors,” says Gareth Edmunds, director of external affairs at York Potash. “Completion of these activities is targeted for the end of the year. It is anticipated that post the first raising of major funds in Q1 2016 that initial construction will commence that year, with the expected construction period to last around five years.”

Complex, but sympathetic planning applications On September 30, 2014, planning appli-

cations for the mine and MTS (Mineral Transport System), including the materials handling facility (MHF), were submitted to the relevant local authorities, namely the North York Moors National Park Authority (NYMNPA) and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (RCBC) in what is called a “straddling application�. The MHF planning application was submitted to RCBC only. At the RCBC Regulatory Committee on April 23, 2015, councillors unanimously resolved to grant permission for the York Potash mine and MTS planning application. Then, on June 30, 2015, members

Project overview as of July 2015.

2016 PotashWorks 59

also keen to source workers from the local area. Finally, the proposed development consent order for Harbour Facilities at Teesside has been accepted for examination by the planning inspectorate and a final decision is due to be made by the secretary of state for transport no later than summer 2016. The facilities are classified as nationally significant infrastructure as they would be handling over 10Mt/y, with the potential for this to increase to up to 20Mt/y.

York Potash polyhalite.

of the NYMNPA resolved to grant permission for the mine and MTS planning application at a special planning committee meeting. Also successful was the application for the MHF at Wilton, Teesside. In April 2015, Scarborough Borough Council granted approval for a new temporary park and ride facility and construction village. This site is located south of Whitby, adjacent to the A171 (Stainsacre Lane) and the temporary park and ride element is essential to coordinate and manage worker traffic to the mine site, as there is insufficient capacity at the existing Whitby Park & Ride. At the time of writing, the concept of a temporary workers’ village has always been a fallback/worst-case option; no contractor has been appointed, so some element of uncertainty does remain. York Potash estimates 2,500 workers will be needed at the construction stage; the workers’ village would provide flexibility so that local accommodation can be used without blocking existing tourism accommodation. The company is 60 PotashWorks 2016

As Gareth Edmunds explains, “The planning process was complex given the nature of the development and the location of it being within a national park. The company employed various expert consultants to guide it through the process, having withdrawn an earlier application. Although this extended the process, it proved to be the right approach as each of the approvals required were successfully gained.

Drilling, exploration and shaft-sinking Drilling has played a crucial part for York Potash. It was the 16,000 metres of exploratory boreholes drilled from the surface between July 2011 and August 2013, and the 4,200 metres of core successfully recovered along with detailed downhole wireline logging data that confirmed that the deposits of polyhalite in North Yorkshire are the thickest and highest-grade deposit anywhere in the world. The probable mineral reserve totals 250 Mt of 87.8 per cent polyhalite. Initial operations include the sinking of two shafts to the potash, 1,500 metres underground. Just a handful of companies can deliver shaft-sinking, ultimately comprising teams of trained local workers, outsourced local suppliers and, above all, the specialized personnel required by the former. This could be where a construction village would be necessary, dependent on which contractors are engaged and their methods of operation.

Polyhalite core.

Mining Shafts are likely to be sunk using conventional drill and blast techniques 1,520 metres down to the polyhalite production level with the shaft sump level being deeper (to put this into the context of British mining, the former British Coal Corporation did not sink shafts lower than 1,200 metres). The seam within the reserve area averages 25 metres in thickness and in some areas increases to over 50 metres where the highest mining cut is planned to be 40 metres. Independent geotechnical modelling carried out by mining consultants has confirmed that the polyhalite will be selfsupporting, providing pillar and roadway widths are as designed. It is, however, planned that rockbolts will be used to provide additional security in all longterm roadways and development areas. Mining will be carried out using conventional equipment in a room and pillarstyle layout. Rooms in the production areas are anticipated to be mined 12 metres wide and between five metres and 40-metres high, using continuous min-

JRB_Story_HP-Potashworks.qxp 10/26/15 1:56 P

ing techniques. Continuous miners can cut up to 15 metres in multiple lifts, but beyond this it becomes more economical to use a combination of continuous mining and blasting. York Potash has confirmed that at this stage it has engaged in a partnership framework with Joy Global with regard to the provision and maintenance of underground equipment. While still underground, the mineral will simply be sized underground to enable effective hoisting and conveying to the MHF at Teesside. Once at the MHF, there is no processing as such, with the mineral simply crushed and granulated into the final product form before being shipped from the port. Since all mining will be done in the polyhalite seam itself, there is no waste produced during the operation and all mineral mined becomes product. One other key aspect is subsidence. Graham Clarke, operations director at York Potash answered PotashWorks’ question, “The polyhalite horizon is very competent and there will be very limited, if any movement within this horizon. The strata above the polyhalite is also competent and it is envisaged that as a result, there will be little if any subsidence, and certainly no risk of damaging subsidence.” A subsidence-monitoring network will be established during construction and monitoring undertaken annually throughout the life of the operation. The subsidence monitoring and reporting is one of the planning conditions that have been agreed.

Transportation After mining, ore will be hoisted to the MTS, which joins the production shaft at approximately 350 metres underground, and then transported on a series of linked underground conveyor belts in a 37.5 kilometre tunnel at an average 25 metres below surface until the MHF is reached. The tunnel follows a stable geological sequence that naturally surfaces at Teesside and lies below the lo-

cal water table (the tunnel replaces the proposal for a slurry pipeline). The system will be constructed from either end of the route and via three intermediate access points intended for operational maintenance access, emergency egress and providing ventilation. As a further commitment to ensuring these buildings do not intrude into the landscape, the three access points will be disguised as modest agricultural buildings. Teesside itself would comprise plant and equipment necessary for granulation. Plant for the latter would measure 50-metres by 20-metres by 30-metres high, pelletising the polyhalite before transfer to storage facilities. On-site storage capacity would run to 700,000 t in a building up to 45-metres high, 500-metres long and 120-metres wide. Noise and dust mitigation would be employed.

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Shipping facilities will comprise: • c onveyor belts from MHF to quay; • t wo surge bins at the quay for storage; •d  ocking for up to two ships and space for ship-loading equipment; • a ssociated infrastructure, e.g. parking and a workshop; • a nd dredging to allow sufficient berth. Gareth Edmunds confirms a confident future for York Potash’s polyhalite. “The company already has a significant number of sales agreements in place with customers in North and South America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia. Once in full production, polyhalite will be sold to all the main fertilizer markets. The first polyhalite will be available from the time that the shafts intersect the polyhalite seam, which will be around four years into the main construction period.” York Potash will create over 1,000 direct jobs at full production. There is no doubt that because of the quality and quantity of the polyhalite, not to mention with the increasing importance of potash in general, that the company will become a global player in its field. u

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2016 PotashWorks 61

What next for Mesa’s Bounty potash project? By Michael Schwartz

decision satisfies a narrowly focused special interest group. The area is open to mineral entry, has no wilderness or road-less designations. However, the California Historic Trail is designated as a ‘high potential route segment’. Thirty miles to the west in Nevada, Newmont Mining is developing a hard rock gold mine on the trail and there it is also designated a ‘high-potential route segment’.


esa Exploration Corporation (TSX-V: MSA, OTCPK: MSAJF) recently announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, a unit of the Department of the Interior) had rejected its 336-square-kilometre Bounty potash project located on salt flats in western Utah. Mesa has appealed the decision with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA). In particular, the BLM cited land management concerns stemming from the California Historic Trail, a 168-yearold wagon trail that transects the project. The rejection prohibits any development for at least 16 kilometres on either side of the trail, described by Mesa as a buffer area unprecedented in the USA 62 PotashWorks 2016

and where, again according to Mesa, not even national parks have such a level of protection. For Mesa, the BLM decision essentially creates a de facto wilderness covering thousands of hectares of public, private, and Utah state land without input or consultation from federal, state, or county agencies – or the public. Foster Wilson has commented via a full statement on BLM’s action: “This restriction imposed on this large area by the BLM is unprecedented, unwarranted and, we believe, unlawful. The BLM is tasked with finding multiple uses for the public land that they administer, the mandate being the best use of the land for the benefit of the most people. This

“As observed in the field and in air photographs, the trail segment on the project has been obscured by wind, snow and rain over the decades and has also been driven on and crossed by modern vehicle traffic. This action by the BLM was taken to create a horizon-to-horizon withdrawal from development to preserve the view as experienced by the pioneers in the 1840s. Mesa believes that a low-impact potash mine can co-exist with the trail; the potash resource is a shallow brine aquifer and can move under the trail, similar to how groundwater can move in an aquifer. We plan to rigorously defend our potash prospecting applications, to develop the area, subject to further studies, into a profitable and environmentally sustainable potash mining operation, generating long-term federal and state royalties and muchneeded employment opportunities for the residents of the region.” The IBLA appeal process is estimated to take 12 months to be resolved; meanwhile Mesa will focus on advancing its Oatman gold project in Arizona and Belmont silver project in Nevada.

So why is Bounty so important? Of the 50 states in the USA, only three produce potash, a clear indication of the value of potash to America as a whole, particularly as the U.S. imports 85 per cent of its potash. One of these three states is Utah, which is now rated as the sixth most attractive jurisdiction for mineral exploration and development anywhere in the world, according to Canada’s leading public policy thinktank, The Fraser Institute. Mesa Exploration Corporation, while exploring a portfolio of metal properties in the western USA, is also developing four potash projects in Utah. All lie near operating potash mines and consist of nearly 300 square kilometres of exploration permit applications lodged with the BLM, namely White Cloud (142 square kilometres), Salt Wash (85 square kilometres) and Whipsaw (72 square kilometres). Mesa points out that, three kilometres to the south of White Cloud, Intrepid Potash’s Cane Creek mine produces 60,000 t/y of potash and 210,000 t/y of by-product salt annually (the potash is produced by Solution Mining and solar evaporation from two potash beds at depths of 914 metres to 1,371 metres). The mine has been in production for over 45 years. Solution Mining has the benefits of lower capital cost, shorter timeline to production and lower operating costs as compared to conventional potash operations.

The geology The Utah potash properties are underlain by a thick series of Mesozoic and

Paleozoic sedimentary rocks, which make up the Paradox Basin of the north central Colorado Plateau. The Paradox

Basin is a large sedimentary basin with a northwest-southeast long axis. Economic interest in this area has centered

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2016 PotashWorks 63

there are no surprises anticipated.

Of the 50 states in the USA, only three produce potash, a clear indication of the value of potash to America as a whole, particularly as the US imports 85 per cent of its potash. on oil and gas production from strata of Devonian, Mississippian and Pennsylvanian age. In addition, various government and private reports document these occurrences, the projects lying within “known potash deposit areas” as designated by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Regional subsidence in early Pennsylvanian time created a large sedimentary basin with a restricted marine environment, resulting in multiple thick deposits of evaporate minerals, including salt and potash. This Pennsylvanian stratigraphic unit is named the Paradox Member of the Hermosa Formation, which contains salt and potash and inter-bedded dolomite, shale, siltstone. There are 29 salt and potash horizons in the Paradox, of which several are potentially minable. Only one potash mine has been developed thus far, the Cane Creek Mine, about 9.6 kilometres southwest of Moab, Utah. It started as an underground mine in 1965, was converted to a solution mine in the early 1970s, and is still in production. At the Salt Wash project, the potash beds occur at depths of 1,066 metres to 2,621 metres, and 457 metres to 2,133 metres at the Whipsaw project. The Bounty potash project is a surface potash brine deposit located in the Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah, 240 kilometres west of Salt Lake City. The project is 24 kilometres north of the Wendover surface potash brine mine, which has been producing potash for 75 years and has an additional 125 years of reserves. Potash is produced at Wendover using brine collection ditches and solar evaporation ponds to concentrate naturally occurring brine, with 64 PotashWorks 2016

final processing in a simple flotation mill. The Wendover mine has an annual production of 100,000 t of potash and 200,000 t of magnesium chloride, with annual gross revenue of $65 million. Indications from drilling data suggest that the Bounty project is similar in size and grade to the Wendover mine.

Planning Foster Wilson is keen to stress the sympathetic attitude of the State of Utah when it comes to granting permission for extraction and water utilization. “The state is very pro-mining. Unfortunately, the lands at Bounty are under the jurisdiction of the BLM. The BLM in Utah has denied our project, but we are assembling majors who should be: mayors, county commissioners, congressmen and senators to rally support,” says Wilson. “Mesa, in fact, has the support of U.S. Senators Hatch, Lee and Heller, U.S. Congressmen Bishop and Amodei, several commissioners (from the three counties effected) and Mayor Carter of West Wendover; we are currently in consultation with these individuals and other interested parties to assist with our appeal of this action by the BLM.” In the case of Native Americans, Wilson confirmed to PotashWorks that Native Americans are supportive of the project, and so no special negotiations are needed.

Mining Mesa looks to the example of Intrepid Potash, which runs a similar operation 32 kilometres to the south and, as Wilson says, “We plan on doing exactly what they are doing, so there are no technical issues to overcome. Their site has been in operation for 50 years so

“There is no strip mining required, the brine being at one metre to three metres in depth. A system of ditches will collect the brine, which will be continuously pumped into unlined evaporation ponds, each getting smaller in size and higher grade through solar concentration, i.e. evaporation. “No mining equipment is required after the initial ditches and evaporation pond walls are constructed or dug; thereafter, seasonal paddle wheel scrapers will harvest dried salts from the final evaporation pond. There is no waste material. If dust is created, the previously mentioned magnesium chloride by-product can be used to control any dust.” Mesa lists several key attributes of surface potash brine operations: • low capital expenditure, exploration and operating costs; • simple milling process; • easier to secure mining permits; • no hard rock to blast or move as the host sand and clay formation is very easy to dig; • no mining staff or engineers, the operation requiring minimal production, maintenance and mill crews; • no fleet of haul trucks, loaders, maintenance or blasting equipment; • no shafts, open pits, underground workings, waste dumps or tailings; and • no crushing circuits, cyanide, explosives, compressors or ventilation systems. Once mining has concluded, the land will be restored by grading pond walls and ditch spoils back into the ditches they came from. “We believe that the trail has been sufficiently documented, acknowledged and preserved elsewhere and that the needs of the many outweigh the desire for preservation by the very, very, very few,” concludes Wilson. u

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Major Belarus developments roil international potash markets By Leonard Melman


n the midst of what many economics consider a substantial excess of supply over demand in the world’s potash markets, observers note that a rather surprising development has recently been announced. A Russian billionaire, Mikhail Gutseriev, has informed the media that he and China have worked out an agreement where China will financially support the construction of a new potash mine and processing complex at the Nezhinsky deposit in the country of Belarus, with plans to initiate production in 2020 at a rate of 1.8 million tonnes of potassium chloride per year.

production through 2029, thereby allowing for some certainty that all of the investors’ contributions will be safely recovered. Gutseriev plans to invest about US$250 million of his own funds into the project through the Slavkalyi Company, headquartered in Minsk, which he controls. Slavkalyi was created to develop and operate the sizeable Starobin potash deposit in Belarus, within which the Nezhinsky deposit is located. Most of the financing, however, will come from China in the form of a US$1.4 billion project financing loan by the China Development Bank (CDB) to be paid out over the next 14 years. CDB’s commitment is backed up by the Belarus government, which signed a memorandum to

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In order to attract sufficient numbers of investors, China announced they are guaranteeing to buy the complex’s entire

that effect this past May, and that government is further involved by requiring that potassium exports from Belarus to China be handled by the state trader, Belarus Potash Corp. Belarus has a significant history of potash mining thanks to geologically hosting sizeable potash deposits, which have been estimated to ultimately contain as much as one-billion tonnes of recoverable potassium chloride. Early development of potash began in the medieval period when the attributes of potassium ash (pot-ash) as a plant fertilizer became known. However, early recovery of potash involved direct application of heat with wood being the most

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available fuel. However, it took a great deal of wood to provide sufficient heat and the industry stagnated until modern potash mining began the mid-19th century Germany when deposits of natural potassium salts were discovered. This discovery allowed for the direct recovery of potassium chloride, and the resultant chemical fertilizers generated a boom in worldwide agricultural development. An international search for mineable deposits ensued and, ultimately, three geographic regions became dominant. These were Canada, Russia, and Belarus.

other international production, as well as shelving of many new planned mine developments for the time being. As if that were not enough with which to contend, China created yet another pricing crisis in March 2015 when they announced an offer to buy potash from Belarusian Potash Co. at a price of US$315 per tonne. The Belarus Potash Co. deal beat out Belarus`s Uralkali; Russia`s Belaruskali and the North American consortium of Canpotex, which represents industry giants PotashCorp of Saskatchewan, Agrium Inc.

and Mosaic Co., among others. In effect, this Chinese deal heightens the importance of Belarus in the international scheme of potash marketing. These new developments are not taking part in a vacuum at all, but rather are part of important ongoing changes within the world’s potash markets – and the spillover effect from those changes are having a direct effect on the potash industry not only in Belarus or Russia, but also close to home within the province of Saskatchewan as well. u

For many years, the world`s expanding population resulted in a huge excess of demand over supply and eventually prices for potassium chloride reached into the neighbourhood of US$1,000 per tonne. These high prices accelerated the search for sizeable deposits, which ultimately resulted in huge increments of new production, which had the effect of forcing prices downward. During recent years, the driving forces for the potash market centered on three different marketing arms. Russia handled their own production and distribution through their home-based firm Uralkali; North American production and marketing was handled by a consortium known as Canpotex; while Belorussian production and marketing operated through their host company, Belaruskali. Eventually, a working partnership between Uralkali and Belaruskali was established and they worked together to limit production in order to exert influence on potash prices. As a result of their market interventions and despite market forces which served to maintain steady demand while supply was rapidly expanding, potash prices held close to the low US$400 range in early 2013. At that time, the UralkaliBelaruskali price control mechanism was abandoned as each country decided to individually aggressively market their potash production. The resultant deals quickly drove the price of potash to near US$305 per tonne, and in the process, this decline forced a sharp pull-back in

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2016 PotashWorks 67

Ministry work in the Western Sahara Potash mining shines light on human rights issues By Tammy Schuster

corporate environmental, social and governance issues into their investment decisions. SHARE informs the congregation of areas where they could make a difference ethically. “It brings together investors with like interests and values so they can speak to companies with one voice, made stronger by their numbers.”

Sister Elizabeth Davis RSM, congregational leader, Sisters of Mercy Generalate, Newfoundland.


ow does a small congregation of nuns in Newfoundland take up a humanitarian cause in the Western Sahara in Africa? For the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland, it started by reviewing their investment portfolio.

“We have made investments on behalf of our congregation,” says Sister Elizabeth Davis. “We use our money wisely to care for our sisters, and to make differences in our ministries.” Davis, head of congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland says they use the returns from their investments to fund healthcare, care for sick, elderly and disadvantaged people, and provide education. “But as we were doing that we realized that even the way we invest our money is a way of ministry.” Davis says the congregation engaged Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), an organization providing services to help investors in68 PotashWorks 2016

It was this process that exposed the congregation to mining practices in the Western Sahara by PotashCorp and Agrium Inc., two companies in which they own shares. The Western Sahara, a small country in northwest Africa that borders Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania, is one of the few non-self-governing territories left in the world. Since 1975, most of the territory has been under Moroccan administration. “The Sahrawi people of Western Sahara have never had the right to decide the future of their land – to choose among independence, autonomy or integration with Morocco,” says Davis. She says there are continued reports of civil conflict, human rights violations, arbitrary arrest, torture, and denial of freedom of speech. In April 2015, the United Nations peacekeeping mission was renewed for yet another year. “We received assurances from both companies that they were being ethical in their treatment of people in the Western Sahara, and they are doing the best they can given the political circumstances there.” But, the congregation felt they needed to do more from an ethical point of view saying if a company is operating in a

high-conflict or high-risk area, it has a greater responsibility to conduct human rights due diligence. In motions made to both Agrium Inc. and PotashCorp at their 2015 annual general meetings, the congregation asked for an independent assessment of their human rights responsibilities in the work they do in the Western Sahara. The assessment should be based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the results of that independent assessment be made public. “We felt it was important our voices be heard not only by the executives, but by the shareholders,” she says. Davis says they didn’t expect their motion would be passed, but their goals were still met. “We wanted to make sure the shareholders were aware of this concern, and we wanted to impress upon the executives and staff of both companies how important this matter was,” she says. “We certainly achieved both those objectives.” She says those present at both meetings were respectful and attentive to their concerns. “They understood why we were concerned and they made commitments to continue the conversation with us.” Davis says many of the sisters at the congregation asked whether it would be wise to sell off their shares completely. “If we did that we would have no ability to influence the companies. Our shares give us a right to be at the table.” If it becomes obvious to the congregation that conversations aren’t leading

Photo credit:

port the local communities in Western Sahara. “If we had any thought that either of these companies were mistreating the people of the area directly, we would not stay with the company. That is not our issue with them,” she says.

Protestors in the Western Sahara.

to action, Davis says they would withdraw from the company. “We have done that before when we realized it was futile to continue the conversation.” PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. say they are working with the Sahrawi people. A representative from PotashCorp says 80 per cent of the people employed in the Western Sahara are locals.

“I have no doubt these statements are true,” she says. “The problem is the Sahrawi people still do not have the right to make their own decision. We believe strongly that people have the right to determine their own future. They are being deprived of that right, and that is the basis for our challenge to both companies.” Davis believes PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. are doing the best they can to sup-

We’re building so much more than buildings. When there’s a big job to do and lots of skilled labour needed to do it, it’s always best to work with the PROS. Only we have the training, safety record and sheer numbers to get the job done right. To us, it’s never just about building a power plant or office tower. We’re building careers and strong futures for families right here at home.

“Our issue is that the people of Western Sahara do not have the right to selfdetermination. As Canadians, we take for granted that this is our fundamental right.” She is hopeful with both PotashCorp and Agrium Inc. “We feel there is wisdom in continuing the conversations with them, and they seem to have an openness to carrying on those conversations with us.” Davis says this is a major shift in her congregation’s thinking, one she thinks they should have seen years ago. “Investing money is not only giving us resources to do our ministry work, but the very act of doing that is, in itself, a form of ministry.” u


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2016 PotashWorks 69

Safe solutions with Certified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals By Tonya Lambert

dler. “It was an idea that came up to solve a problem – moving heavy reels underground in tight spaces,” says owner Garry Clarke. “The Mobile Reel Handler is selfpropelled with a very tight turning radius. You simply drive up to the reel, pick it up and drive away. It can operate on level surfaces, inclines or declines. It speeds up the process of lifting these reels and makes it safer. There’s nothing like it anywhere else and we can build one for you in whatever size you need.”

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ertified Mining & Construction Sales & Rentals in Saskatoon is a unique, solutions-oriented company that sells, rents and recertifies equipment for the mining, construction, utilities and agricultural industries across North America. They stock only the best brands, including Thern, 3M, Vitali, Atlas Copco, Multiquip and Wacker Neuson.

transport the equipment to your job site ready-to-go within 24 hours, complete with paperwork and a maintenance program.

Innovative solutions

“We have a wide array of customers who rely on us for those niche-type products that no one else has. Everything we have is for rent and for sale,” notes Scott Frey, general manager. “We get lots of customers who will rent a piece of gear and then later come back to us and decide they want to buy it because their needs have changed or for other reasons.”

CMC is not like any other rental company. “We’re more of a solutions provider,” explains Frey. “We sit down with the customer and provide complete solutions to the complex problems they have. If a customer needs a unique piece of gear, we’ll find it or make it. As part of the Northern Strands Group of Companies, we have the ability to access expertise in myriad areas and we can use this expertise to develop and build a piece of gear from scratch to solve your problem. We’ve done this in many situations.”

CMC rents equipment on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Once rented, CMC will

An example of such an innovative solution is the company’s Mobile Reel Han-

70 PotashWorks 2016

CMC has a fully licensed mechanical shop where they service all makes and models of vehicles, heavy-duty machinery and underground equipment. In addition, they offer fleet mechanical services, including oil changes, inspections, tune-ups, mechanical work and rough terrain vehicle service. Emergency support is available 24-7. CMC offers a variety of other value-added services to help ensure their clients’ operation continues to run safely and smoothly. The company has developed a chain hoist and lever hoist exchange program, whereby used hoists are regularly exchanged for new ones to ensure they are always in safe working condition. Maintenance programs are also put in place for every item rented or sold with courtesy reminders sent out. When the tools are in being repaired and recertified, CMC supplies their clients with fully recertified replacement parts. Likewise, CMC will also retest and recertify older equipment to ensure it meets current safety regulations, supplying replacements while doing so. CMC has recertified equipment for mines, construction companies and other rental companies in need of their ser-

Chain hoist.

vices. CMC is the only equipment rental company in Saskatchewan that ensures all equipment is underground-ready at no extra cost to the client.

Safety first At CMC, your safety is their numberone priority. They know mining and construction are dangerous activities which, if done using improper procedures or faulty equipment, can have dire consequences. This is why CMC, a fully-accredited recertification facility, ensures every piece of equipment they rent has been stringently tested using pull testing done in massive hydraulic test beds. CMC will supply all recertified equipment with an official recertification certificate. “We recertify to the highest standard,” states Frey. “We make sure we consistently exceed customers’ expectations and also government regulations and even the manufacturer’s recommendations. We go above and beyond to ensure our customers don’t have any concerns when they get the equipment on site.” “When you’re dangling from the roof of a tall building or working thousands of feet underground, it’s critical the tools you use have been carefully tested and are certified to be mechanically sound,” says Clarke. “When you recertify equipment for mining or construction, you have to assume that someone’s life is depending on what you do because, as a rule, it is.” This is why at CMC, they ensure the equipment they sell and rent is not only capable of doing the job it was intended

to do, but 50 per cent more. CMC understands the cost to a customer if a site is shut down due to safety concerns. Every employee at CMC knows the current Occupational Health & Safety rules and regulations. They are also wellversed in Saskatchewan mining regulations along with those of other provinces and states. CMC maintains strong ties with mine inspectors and OH&S officers to ensure they are meeting and often exceeding current health and safety regulations. “We are ISNET-certified,” notes Frey, “which is a testament to our safety culture and our safe work standards. We also expect to receive our COR certification by mid-November. This summer, we signed on as a charter member of Mission Zero, further committing to workplace safety – the safety of our workers, the safety of our gear and the safety of our customers. We take safety very seriously. It’s a cornerstone of our everyday decision-making.” To ensure the equipment they rent is properly certified, CMC extensively questions clients to ascertain exactly where and how it will be used – the location of the site, the depth of the shaft and more. This is important because, as rules change, companies are often not aware of all the regulations governing safe usage. “Nothing leaves our shop without being certified for the site that it’s going to, so once the customer gets to the site they can start working with it,” states Frey. Competent user training can be provided for equipment being rented. “We will also train workers on

the safe use of the equipment either at our office or on the job site,” says Frey. CMC will go so far as to provide mines with engineered lift plans for lowering equipment safely down mine shafts.

Charitable endeavours CMC and the entire Northern Strands Group of Companies has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and has been supporting the Children’s Wish Foundation of Saskatchewan over the years, as well as a number of local events and sports teams. Last year, the Northern Strands Group of Companies helped grant one child’s wish to see the Super Bowl and, the year before, another child’s wish to visit Disney World. Just recently, the Northern Strands Group of Companies sponsored the Agrium Delisle Rodeo. Owner Garry Clarke feels strongly about the Northern Strands Group of Companies and its employees supporting the community. Clarke wants every employee to be proud of their fundraising efforts. “They volunteer their time to raise money by having BBQs and collecting scrap metal for recycling,” he says. CMC has recently moved to better serve the needs of their customers. “We are still in close proximity to Northern Strands and Fortis so we can share our expertise to benefit our clients,” says Frey. “Our new facility at 810 57th Street East consolidates our mechanical and testing sites under one roof. It’s been a great move for us, allowing us to be more efficient for our customers.” u 2016 PotashWorks 71

Riding the wave! By Darrin Kruger


he Saskatchewan Potash Council is an umbrella organization representing approximately 3,000 unionized potash workers from mines currently producing potash in the Saskatchewan potash mining industry. The council’s membership includes members from the United Steelworkers, Unifor, and the Rocanville Potash Employees Association. Our guiding principle remains unchanged; to build cooperation between our constituent unions and act as a communications vehicle enabling the bargaining of improved collective agreements and strengthening our collective capacity representing the health and economic well being of members working in the potash mining sector. There has been much change in the potash industry in the past few years. As growth continues, the demand for skilled trades and labour often outpaces availability of these workers. While the industry has seen this type of tremendous growth in the past decade, providing vast opportunities for workers and their communities, it hasn’t been 72 PotashWorks 2016

ONE VOICE FOR ALL POTASH WORKERS Est. 2008 without sacrifice. In an attempt to capitalize on the need to feed a growing global population, Saskatchewan’s potash mines have undergone significant expansions. These expansions have greatly improved the capabilities of the industry to respond to the growing demand it faces. While they provide economic benefits for the communities, businesses and contractors who support them, there is a downside as well. That downside was experienced late in 2013. Back then, the industry experienced market conditions that contributed to several hundred employees being

permanently laid off at more than one of our mines. That scenario is set to once again repeat itself on a much smaller scale as another industry player is about to downsize their workforce, contributed in no small part to market conditions. These scenarios, while certainly undesirable, were certainly predictable. As the need for potash around the globe continues, more and more players are entering the scene and trying to take a bite and get their share of the potash pie. As inventories grow and the market becomes over supplied on a global scale, production is

John Froelich – USW 189 killed by falling piece of drill steel while working in the shaft, Aug 1958; Roger Laberge – USW 189 fell through steps while working on head frame, 1962; Clarence Gallant – USW 189 fell out of sinking bucket and onto drill-hole plug at shaft bottom, 1963; Len Toth – Unifor 892 K1 u/g employee - crushed in man cage/skip when load shifted, 1963; John Farkas – Unifor - 892 load-out operator buried in railcar while loading, 1960’s; Albert Fortier – Unifor 892 - K1 u/g employee electrocution, 1965; Jack Campbell – Unifor 892 - K1 mill employee caught inside screw conveyor, 1966; Martin John Robert Strum – USW 7656 contractor 40’ fall from grating in mill, Feb 9, 1968;

William Glenn Camm - USW 7656 struck by ground fall, June 29, 1975;

Duncan Hainstock – UW 7656 crushed by mobile bridge unit u/g, Nov 19, 1985;

Tom Gallant – USW 7689 – contractor fall from height #2 shaft, 1975;

Lloyd Meier – Unifor 892 – K1 u/g electrician rollover in u/g pit, 1987;

George Suehsschlof – Unifor 892 – u/g electrician electrocution, 1976;

Brian Mohagen – USW 7656 struck low back brow u/g, Feb 22, 1991;

Brad Doerkesen – USW 7689 – u/g surveyor struck by ground fall, 1977;

Gil Gaudet – USW 7689 – mill mechanic fall from height, 1991;

Harold Sawyer – USW 189 pulled into ore bin when load shift while working on limit switch, 1978;

Ken Wiebe – USW 7458 – u/g electrician electrocution, 1991;

Kelly Duchek – Unifor 892 K1 Surface contractor – electrocution, 1979;

Ron Taylor – USW 7552 – mill operator prolonged exposure to asbestos, June 6, 1983;

Ted Munroe – USW 7552 – mill operator crushed when Bobcat tipped over railing in mill, Apr 16, 1980;

Kyle Minkawetz – USW 7656 contact with D7 Cat on tailings pile, May 24, 1994;

Eugene Robertson – USW 7656 fall in #1 shaft, Oct 27, 1980;

Barry Meyers – USW 7656 - contractor 120’ fall from beam in mill during construction, Sept 30, 1968;

Trevor E. Schlosser – USW 7656 caught in ribbon conditioner in the mill, June 1997; Troy Stadnick – USW 7458 – mill contractor burnt after falling into hot brine tank, 1997;

William Sharp – USW 7656 20’ fall from beam in mill during construction, Oct 30, 1968;

Clifford Dick – USW 7458 – mill contractor burnt after falling into hot brine tank, 1997; Lorne McMillan – USW 7458 – load-out operator heart attack, 1997;

Ray Zilkowsky – USW 189 fell while cleaning grizzly at u/g ore bin, 1968;

James Rotheker – USW 7458 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, 1999;

Frank Yonkie – USW 7458 – u/g supervisor crushed by rock fall, 1968;

Kim Ginther – USW 7689 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, 2001;

Edward George Harbidge – USW 7689 – contractor construction accident, Oct 17, 1968;

Daniel Ardell Schultz – Unifor 922 struck by ground fall, Sept 10, 2005;

Dennis Moldenhauer – USW 7689 – mill operator crushed by product dryer, 1969;

Dave Hallam – USW 7458 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, 1980;

Walter Radford – USW 7552 – load-out operator buried in product stockpile, May 17, 1970;

Peter Bahrey – USW 7458 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, 1980;

Edmond Fournier – USW 7552 – u/g operator crushed removing temp back support, June 17, 1970;

Brian Zoerb – USW 7552 – u/g operator electrocution, Nov 12, 1981;

Thomas Merritt – Unifor 892 – K2 mill operator buried in product when storage bin collapsed, 2009;

Glenn Jacob Friesen – Unifor 922 struck by ground fall, Feb 7, 1982;

Edward Artic – USW 7552 – mill electrician struck by falling sheave wheel, May 11, 2010;

Robert Gould – RPEA – u/g operator heart attack, 1983;

Clinton Walker – USW 7656 – u/g operator vehicle rollover, June 16, 2011;

Richard Hodge – USW 7656 mill exhaust fire, Nov 20, 1972;

Gordon Duff – USW 189 struck by rock bolt & debris while operating under-cutter, 1983;

Chris Reid – USW 7689 – u/g/ operator crushed by equipment, June 25, 2012;

Tom Jacobson – USW 7689 – load-out operator buried in product stockpile, 1973;

Edwin William Hoffer – USW 7552 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, Sept 16, 1984;

Earl Smith – Unifor 890 – K2 water inflow contractor heart attack, 2012;

Vern Lucas – USW 7689 – u/g mechanic trainee caught in rock crusher, 1974;

Ken McWhirter – USW 7689 – contractor fall from height at #2 shaft, 1984;

Andrew Hahn – USW 7552 – scaffolding contractor fall from height, July 13, 2013;

Barry Ehry – Unifor 922 struck by ground fall, Feb 5, 1975;

Gerry Dengler – USW 7656 struck by ground fall, April 20, 1985;

Jason Shulist – USW 7458 – u/g operator struck by ground fall, Feb 17, 2014;

Howard Street – RPEA – shaft man crushed when tanker rolled over him, 1971 Joseph Gallant – USW 7656 mill exhaust stack fire, Nov 20, 1972;

Robert Harold Tkach – Unifor 922 crushed when vehicle drove over unmarked ledge, Sept 7, 2008;

tributes of remembrance are displayed in 12 publications throughout the province every year on the National Day of Mourning.

Our guiding principle remains unchanged; to build cooperation between our constituent unions and act as a communications vehicle enabling the bargaining of improved collective agreements and strengthening our collective capacity representing the health and economic well being of members working in the potash mining sector. curtailed and workers and communities are impacted. The industry maintains that the market fundamentals remain strong long term; however, potash is a commodity and subject to the pitfalls of such market conditions in the short term. The potash council continues to strive for one of our main goals – making our workplaces safer for all workers. The group has been quite active for the past year working on suggesting changes to the mine regulations. While Saskatche-

wan has many very good regulations for the mining industry, the opportunity is there to make them better. It may come as a surprise to you, but the Saskatchewan mine regulations permit the burial of human waste in an underground mine. Each year at the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, the Saskatchewan Potash Council participates in a walk of remembrance and candle-lighting vigil in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the past year due to their work. As well,

Earlier in 2015, the potash council was invited to present at a chemical conference south of the border. The presentation focused on the success of the council and how other industry worker groups could use it as a model for success. The potash council’s formula for success is unique in that it represents over 3,000 individuals from four different employers, nine separate work sites, two different unions, and an employees’ association. Whatever it is, it seems to be a recipe for success! As the Saskatchewan Potash Council continues to grow its relationships with industry stakeholders, we will adapt to the conditions of the industry in which we are a part of. Darrin Kruger is the secretary/treasurer of the Saskatchewan Potash Council. u

one voice


for potash workers The Sask Potash Council is an umbrella organization representing approximately 3500 unionized potash workers from the currently producing potash mines in Saskatchewan. The Council’s membership includes members from the United Steelworkers (USW), Communication, Energy & Paperworkers (CEP), and from the Rocanville Potash Employee’s Association (RPEA). Our guiding principle is to build cooperation between our constituent unions; act as a communications vehicle enabling the bargaining of improved collective agreements and strengthening our collective capacity representing the health and economic well being of members working in the potash mining sector. It is important as a Council that we work together to face the challenges before us today and develop strategic plans that address the needs of our members and the communities in which they live, building a better tomorrow for our families. Working together to strengthen advocacy and improve legislation concerning workplace Health & Safety and Worker’s Compensation are key to dealing with these challenges. Collectively we are making a difference for our members and the communities in which they live.

Sask Potash Council – ONE VOICE FOR ALL POTASH WORKERS 74 PotashWorks 2016

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Joy Global introduces high-productivity continuous miner for salt and potash mines By Jez Leeming, Global Product Director – Room & Pillar/Entry Dev. Systems, Joy Global

capability of this machine to achieve up to a 28 per cent increase in production over the existing machines, depending on what haulage options and mine layouts are used,” Ziegler said, “making this Joy’s most productive drum miner ever.”


ince the first Joy continuous miner was introduced to an industrial minerals mine in the mid-1970s, Joy Global has been building on its history of underground mining innovation to cater to this growing global market. Initially built for the coal market, continuous miners started growing in popularity in the 1960s, and by the 1970s were the dominate production machines in the coal fields. With over 6,000 continuous miners shipped since 1948, Joy Global has led the mining industry in innovations for these machines, including the introduction of radio remote control and AC traction drive systems. The first Joy Heavy Miner series machine used in an industrial application was at a trona mine in the Western United States in the mid-1970s. Joy Global has since shipped more than 50 continuous miners to be used in industrial mineral applications, and today has miners working in potash, trona, gypsum and salt operations around the world. Joy revolutionized the industry further when it introduced the first single-operator continuous haulage system, the Joy Flexible Conveyor Train (FCT) in the late 1980s. This patented flexible conveyor permits truly continuous haulage and continuous miner operations without the 76 PotashWorks 2016

haulage delays typical with batch loading methods, optimizing productivity. Now, Joy Global has released its brandnew 12HM46 heavy-duty production continuous miner for use in salt, potash, gypsum, and trona mining. With a 20 per cent increase in mass from previous machines, the 12HM46 offers greater stability in cutting and has a brand-new uprated traction drive system, allowing up to a 23 per cent increase in sump force. “This machine has been specifically designed for the industrial minerals markets,” said Brian Ziegler, a product manager at Joy Global. “It has upgrades to all the major frames, pivot points, pins and bushings to increase service life and reduce total cost of ownership.” Three standard-operating height options are offered, with the low-height A model able to operate in seams as low as two metres, a mid-range B model, and the largest C model able to cut up to six metres high. Shear down force has been increased by 10 per cent from previous miners, and this is the first model targeted for industrial minerals to have the same capability to up-shear as down-shear. “Production modeling has shown the

The first 12HM46 miner will be introduced into a gypsum mine in early 2016 with subsequent machines targeted for salt and potash mines. It features the newest version of the Joy Faceboss operating system, which improves system availability through enhanced diagnostics and troubleshooting. “We’ve also introduced a new control system with vastly increased processing power,” Ziegler said, “allowing future upgrades in automation and control. The new system also allows WiFi access to monitor and troubleshoot the machine without interrupting production.” The new machine offers production rates up to 1,000 tonnes per hour. When used in a herringbone or multipass production system, coupled with continuous haulage like that provided by an FCT, outputs of over 8,000 tonnes per day are achievable. With roots dating back to 1884, Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Joy Global is a leading provider of advanced equipment, systems and direct services for the global mining industry. Built on a history of innovation, the company’s product lines include best-in-class brands: Joy, P&H and Montabert. For more information about Joy Global, including information on locations worldwide, visit u

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Supplying water to the potash industry

600 HP pumps inside the pump station.


otash mines require water. A lot of it. SaskWater excels at delivering a reliable supply of millions of cubic metres of water to the potash industry in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan’s Crown water utility supplies non-potable water to seven potash mines in the province. Three take water from the Saskatoon Southeast Water Supply System and two from the Saskatoon Non-Potable West system. Their two newest pump stations are on opposite shores of Buffalo Pound Lake and serve Mosaic Belle Plaine and K+S Potash Canada’s Legacy mine. Mosaic Belle Plaine is SaskWater’s biggest customer by water volume. Built in 2010, the Mosaic pump station pushes water through 18 kilometres of pipeline from the south side of Buffalo Pound Lake to the Mosaic Belle Plaine mine site. K+S Potash Canada’s water travels through 6.5 kilometres of pipeline from the new pump station on the north side of Buffalo Pound Lake to their Legacy mine site. The operations of pumping millions of cubic metres of water every year are essentially the same. 78 PotashWorks 2016

Inside the pump station.

“The pumps are designed based on the flow and pressure requirements to meet our customers’ operational needs. Flows can vary during their operation, and the pump station utilizes variable frequency drives to power the pumps, modulating pump speed, and thus flow,” says Darin Orb, manager of district operations at SaskWater. “This means of pumping is more energy efficient than running the pumps at full speed and modulating flow or ‘deadheading’ with a valve and effectively wasting energy.” SaskWater’s pump station that services Mosaic Belle Plaine operates with three main duty pumps and one standby pump for added reliability. The pumps are 900hp vertical turbine pumps that are powered by 4160-volt main services and variable frequency drives. The lake intake is a conventional open pipe intake that floods a wet well. Water is transferred across a mechanical screen that keeps fish and other debris from entering into the pump wells. An innovative system is integrated into the

pump station to allow the fish to return to the lake unharmed before the water is pumped to the mine, Orb explains. “In contrast, SaskWater’s pump station on the other side of Buffalo Pound Lake that services K+S Potash Canada has an entirely different style of intake,” says Chris Robart, manager, major projects. Robart was SaskWater’s project manager on the construction of both pump stations. The depth of water at the shoreline required different intake structures for the two pump stations. “A spur dyke is constructed into the lake with a concrete well and in-water barrel screens. These screens prevent fish and debris from entering the pump wells. The high-lift pumps operate the same as the ones in the other pump station, but are slightly smaller at 600hp.” The pump stations are entirely automated, which allows staff to be on-site daily focusing on maintenance and repairs. The stations are also monitored remotely 24 hours a day, seven days a week at SaskWater’s SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) facility in Regina.

SaskWater pump station on the north shore of Buffalo Pound Lake.

“SCADA monitors 240 points in the Mosaic pump station. Our staff can completely control the facility remotely from Regina if necessary,” Orb says, emphasizing the safety and reliability controls SaskWater has in place. “We move a lot of water through these pump stations to our potash mine customers,” Robart says. SaskWater’s non-potable water delivery to the pot-

SaskWater staff at the Buffalo Pound north pump station.

ash industry has grown from approximately 20 million cubic metres of water to 30 million cubic metres in recent years. “Providing reliable and dependable service is our number-one priority. The engineering and construction of the pump stations and pipelines to serve these mines was several years in the making and has, in part, contributed positively

to the mines’ successful operations and the province’s economy,” Robart concludes. SaskWater is Saskatchewan’s commercial Crown water utility, helping communities, First Nations and industry gain access to reliable and professional water and wastewater services. Contact SaskWater at 1-888-230-1111. Visit online at u

SaskWater and Potash. Growing Together. SaskWater is proud of our reputation for providing safe, reliable water services that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations. With staff in 14 locations in Saskatchewan, electronic monitoring 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, we ensure water is there when you need it. SaskWater, the clear choice for reliable and professional water and wastewater services in Saskatchewan.

2016 PotashWorks 79

Project development and testing key in process design in a new era of potash production By Timothy M. Cornish, Marketing Manager, Veolia Water Technologies

Pilot-scale testing for SOP at Veolia’s R&D Centre.


eolia is best known for treating municipal and industrial waters at installations all over the world. What is not so widely known is that Veolia has a specialized process equipment business unit that has supplied complete systems for the production of chemical fertilizers for more than 40 years. Veolia Water Technologies has applied its HPD® Crystallization technologies to crystallize fertilizer products from “A” to “P” (ammonium sulfate to potassium chloride). It all begins by understanding and listening to the needs of the client with the added value of extensive research and development. IC Potash, for example, partnered with Veolia at a very early stage of the Ochoa Mine Project’s development to refine a method of processing polyhalite ore dating back to the 1930s. The original method was developed by the United States Bureau of Mines to produce sulfate of potash (SOP) economically while maximizing the overall yield. As part of a feasibility study 80 PotashWorks 2016

towards a greenfield, 714,0400-ton-per-year facility in New Mexico, USA, the two companies sought to validate and refine the process. A series of bench and pilot-scale tests replicated the entire process in Veolia’s research centre, located in Plainfield, IL, a suburb of Chicago. The results were better than expected and proved the economics of a commercial system, as well as confirmed the purity requirements of the SOP market. “Veolia’s pilot scale testing capabilities are invaluable to both the client and Veolia. They provide the confidence that complex, capital projects will meet the commercial expectations of the client,” commented Don Boudreau, commercial manager for the fertilizer industry at Veolia. “It certainly minimizes the process risk with each unique feedstock.” At brownfield facilities, adding value through product recovery from waste products has also presented opportunities for clients to increase their revenues by recovering products from what was once considered waste. A European potash producer

contracted Veolia to design and build a crystallization plant to recover salable product from old tailings resulting from its beneficiation process. Utilizing Veolia’s HPD® Crystallization Technologies, nearly 750,000 tons per year of chemical and food-grade sodium chloride will be recovered from the new plant that will commence operation in late 2015. Additionally, up to 50,000 tons per year of potash will be produced by this system. Both bench and pilot-scale testing were performed to validate design parameters in the early stages of this project. Benchscale testing was used to develop critical design parameters for the full-scale commercial system. Testing was performed to confirm solubility, verify boiling point rise of the brine, confirm purity objectives, and evaluate fouling tendencies of the process fluids. Subsequent pilot-scale testing produced more than 100 kilograms of product to be used as samples for the client’s marketing efforts. Veolia is focused on providing environmentally friendly solutions for industrial projects. The full-scale commercial process was designed as a closed-loop system that generates no liquid waste and recovers water that can be reused in other plant processes. Overall, the system represents a significant reduction in waste volumes and an additional source of revenue for facility. “Much of the success of these projects begins in the early

HPD® Salt Crystallizers will produce purified sodium chloride from tailings.

stages of their development,” continues Boudreau. “Listening to the client and integrating their needs into the development phase ensures that expectations are met during the design phase and ultimately through the achievement of the Veolia process guarantees.” u


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Overcoming challenges JNE Welding works with Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies to assemble crystallizers for K+S’ Legacy project


n November of 2013, JNE Welding was very proud to be awarded the opportunity to assemble two crystallizers for Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, which would ultimately be installed at the new K+S Legacy project. These vessels were the largest in diameter that JNE Welding had fabricated to date, resulting in some very unique logistical challenges. The material of construction was also unique, requiring highly specialized weld procedures to be developed. A contract quality plan was developed for the project that incorporated rigorous non-destructive examination to ensure the utmost level of quality was maintained. These are challenges that JNE Welding thrives on. We started to receive prefabricated components in July of 2014, and by November,

the first vessel was ready for shipment. The second vessel was delivered just two months later. Both vessels were on time and on budget, and had zero lost-time incidents. Projects such as this aren’t executed by chance. They take many months of careful planning and coordination to ensure smooth production with minimal bottlenecks. Every lift is scheduled with the intent of maximizing production on the workface, resulting in the most expeditious delivery possible. All the planning in the world won’t translate into success without the right people to execute. JNE’s people are aligned and committed to the success of its customers. Over JNE’s 35 years in business, we

Mining Support

have built extensive expertise in custom fabrication supporting the potash industry in Saskatchewan. As a result of the success of the shop fabrication, JNE Welding, along with Tron, was invited to participate in the site assembly of four evaporators. Another opportunity with unique challenges. At JNE, we place great value on project partnerships such as the one we established during this work for Veolia Water. It is important that the companies who contract JNE trust that their specialized projects will be managed and delivered with an understanding of the expectations of the vendor, as well as the end user. We very much look forward to future projects with Veolia Water. u

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Experience you can count on. Carson Energy Services, now AECOM, has set up shop in the middle of potash country, building an 85,000-square foot facility on 22 acres on Highway 1 East near White City, Saskatchewan, Canada, to attract the attention of new and existing potash clientele. The small town roots of this company remain the same, with loyalty, hard work and safety at the top of our priority list. We are now owned by AECOM, which is a premier, fully integrated

professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public and private-sector clients. With one stop shopping, AECOM is ready to meet and exceed your business requirements. When it comes to delivering projects on time, on budget, and with the highest degree of safety and quality, you can count on AECOM to get it done.


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On the move Premay Equipment L.P. transports crystallizer vessel to K+S Potash Legacy mine site


he Regina office of Premay Equipment L.P. was chosen by Veolia Water Solutions to

tallizer vessel from JNE Welding in Sas-

manage the transportation of their crys-

has moved these large vessels in Sas-

katoon to the K+S Potash Legacy mine site. This is the third time that Premay

This is the third time that Premay has moved these large vessels in Saskatchewan and is proud to be part of a “made in Saskatchewan” solution. katchewan and is proud to be part of a “made in Saskatchewan” solution. The pre-planning of these moves starts many months ahead of the actual transport, working with the vendor, JNE Welding, the initial transport configuration is developed with sufficient wheels to meet pavement loadings, the routing selected, and then submissions are made to the province, municipalities, counties, utility companies, and any other stakeholders. Bridge structures are checked for capacity, overhead lines are measured, and a coordinated plan developed. The actual move from JNE Welding to K+S Potash’s Legacy mine takes three days, an entourage of prime movers, push trucks, pilot trucks, utility-wire lifting services traveling slowly down a designated route, working within the requirements of their provincial permit to travel. Moves like this do impact the motoring public, at Premay we mitigate this in part by using media to post our route, and our crews work hard to minimize delays and manage traffic flow around the load. The safety of the transport crew and the motoring public is always our numberone goal. u

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Fortis: Your partner in providing mining solutions By Karen Cowan


ortis is building a name for itself by innovating like no other mining company in Canada.

ed to complete all aspects of a job under one roof or through its affiliation with its parent company, Northern Strands.

What began as a fabrication and machining business as part of its parent company, Northern Strands, Fortis has evolved to become a remarkable turnkey operation serving the mining industry.

The company’s first milestone project was in 2009 at the PotashCorp Cory mine, where Fortis employees de-roped and re-roped the entire mine shaft. Fortis played a significant role in upgrading hoisting arrangement and capacity from 35 to 50 tonnes.

Fortis develops procedures to safely perform hazardous/high-risk work, designs and builds customized equipment to perform work safely, solves problems, manages budgets and provides project management. Fortis is unique because it has access to the specific skill sets need86 PotashWorks 2016

“It was a big job,” owner Garry Clarke says, adding there was urgency to complete the project because the mine was not operating during the upgrade and losing production time. Fortis tackled

the specialized work no one else in the country was interested in doing – from developing the equipment that allowed the job to be completed safely, to creating and implementing the procedures. Fortis is intrinsically involved in one of Saskatchewan’s most prolific resources: potash. The company has mining contracts at nearly every potash mine in the province. Fortis’ next big project is at PotashCorp’s Scissors Creek, which is the new mine shaft location near Rocanville. Working in a mine shaft 3,600 feet deep, employees will install ropes, conveyances and guides starting in August this year.

The manufacturing division is known for its ability to build quick solutions to address a problem. If you can dream it for your mine site, Fortis can build it. If you have a problem, the fabrication division can create a solution. Fortis has six divisions that operate in conjunction with each other. From a uranium mine at McArthur River, to gold mines in Northern British Columbia and Manitoba, the mining division is made up of crews doing various underground or surface work at site, from construction to site rehabilitation. Fortis has worked to repair mine shafts that were caving in, installed structural steel, poured concrete liners and installed electrical cables through boreholes. The company has also done presinking work, belt conveyors upgrades and hydro-electric dam refurbishment. The manufacturing division includes a

machine shop and a fabrication shop. One of the machine shop’s major activities is producing mine attachments exclusively for Northern Strands. Fortis installs and changes out these mine attachments located at every rope termination. The fabrication shop builds and produces custom steel products, such as grout buckets, standalone reeling machines, shaft brackets, shaft steel, spreader beams, monorails, and man and material baskets in its CWB-certified welding shop. The manufacturing division is known for its ability to build quick solutions to address a problem. If you can dream it for

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your mine site, Fortis can build it. If you have a problem, the fabrication division can create a solution. Solutions created by Fortis are apparent in mines today. For example, over a decade ago, a mining company was having an issue with a cable snapping when it was tightened because the workers didn’t know how much weight was being applied. Fortis created a safe solution that is now so entrenched in everyday mine work, it is overlooked as modern innovation. The solution allows the cable to be properly tensioned without jamming, and includes a weigh scale to indicate when the rope has reached the desired tension. Clarke recently saw the product on site and innocently asked the unknowing workers what they thought of it. The response? The chorus of employees raved about the product. It was a subtle reminder to Clarke of his company’s innovation and relevance in the industry. “We find a problem and make the equipment to fix it. Years later, it’s still there,” Clarke says. Fortis has dozens of examples of unique products. For example, its mobile reel handler – a machine that can be driven underground in a mine shaft, and has the power to lift the reels of wire rope and move them around in the shaft area – is in constant demand. Mine sites across the province often experience similar problems. It’s not un88 PotashWorks 2016

common for Fortis to create a piece of equipment for one site, only for it to have mass appeal with other companies. The concept doesn’t stop at the first draft either; Fortis is continually improving its prototypes to accommodate the needs of the industry. Everything created at Fortis, which sits in the heart of Saskatoon’s industrial area, is stringently tested using massive hydraulic test beds to ensure the equipment meets safety factors and will not fail. As Clarke puts it, workers using rigging, such as slings, can rest easy knowing every sling used for hoisting equipment is carefully tested to ensure safety standards are met. Prior to the unique product designs being sent to the manufacturing division, the engineering and drafting department create and refine the plans. The work includes the drafting for equipment used for material and personnel handling and lifting devices. They also provide drafting for plant and shaft layouts, as well as developing critical lift plans. Often, a machinery manufacturer or a mine site does not have the manpower to reassemble a piece of equipment in a mine after it’s taken apart on surface and sent underground. That’s where the mechanical division steps in. Fortis sends highly qualified tradespeople to the site to disassemble and reassemble equipment for the mining company. In

addition, Fortis’ tradespeople will perform overhaul and repair services on surface and underground for customers. Health and safety is a priority throughout Fortis. The company is continually working to exceed the expectations of the customer and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) regulations. Fortis has a reputation for writing detailed job procedures for dangerous work, making safety the number-one priority. It places a high priority on training its workers and auditing itself to ensure continuous improvement in safety procedures followed both in the warehouse and at a site. Several years ago, Fortis undertook the initiative to obtain ISO Certifications in Health & Safety (18001), Quality (9001) and Environmental (14001) management. There were no clear rules for planning for safety and quality, and there were no systems in place. ISO enabled Fortis to spell out its procedures to audit whether or not it was meeting the standards it had set. This meant not just meeting, but exceeding, minimum standards for health and safety, quality and environment. It is important to Fortis to manage the company’s environmental impact. Clarke says, “We are always looking to improve the site environment and leave it better than it was before.” The landscape of trained workers has shifted in the last six months. Skilled la-

bourers from other projects, industries, and provinces which have slowed down are here and looking for work. Experienced tradespeople are choosing to stay in Saskatchewan after their contract jobs are finished. “It was brutal before,” Clarke says, adding it’s a completely different scenario today. “People like it here and want to stay working here.” This wealth of skilled workers in Saskatchewan gives Fortis the opportunity to hire the best.

season. Jared was a talented young football player before he was involved in a car crash that claimed the life of his friend and left Jared quadriplegic. As the recipient of a wish, Jared chose to make the now difficult trip to Phoenix to see the Super Bowl live – in memory of his friend, lost too soon, and honouring his own dream to go. Fortis is privileged to have been involved with Jared and his family’s journey and is working to provide future opportunities to enrich the

lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions. As Fortis continues its commitment to local causes, it is maintaining its reputation on a larger scale. An emerging privately owned company, Fortis is leaving its footprint in the mining industry through quality workmanship, cuttingedge innovation and a commitment to health, safety, environment and community. u

Fortis employs a plethora of skilled workers, ranging from heavy-duty mechanics, mechanical technicians, millwrights, machinists, welders, structural and mechanical engineers to highly skilled miners, business administrators and health and safety trained personnel. These employees bring plenty of experience from previous jobs. Clarke says, “We have the right people in place onsite and in the office.” Fortis is steadily adding aboriginal employees to its workforce. Aboriginal employees with strong leadership qualities are playing a significant role in recruitment, while Fortis’ revered working environment does its job with worker retention. Fortis works to continually build its relationships with the aboriginal community as well, collaborating with aboriginal-owned and run companies. Fortis has a remarkable commitment to the community. Year-long campaigns at the office focus on raising money to make one child’s wish come true through company barbecues, bottle drives and even selling scrap materials from the shop. Fortis is proud to support the Children’s Wish Foundation alongside its sister company Certified Mining & Construction Sales and Rentals, and its parent company Northern Strands. In 2015, the Northern Strands Group of Companies employees helped grant the first-ever Super Bowl wish in Saskatchewan through the Children’s Wish Foundation by sending Jared and his family to the most anticipated NFL event of the

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2016 PotashWorks 89

CCDF – A Metis success story


askatchewan continues to grow and so does the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF). The fund has grown to become a significant player making a major impact on economic development in the province. It currently boasts an equity base in excess of $28 million with loan receivables of over $15 million. “We are experiencing a tremendous year at CCDF,” says Roland Duplessis, chief executive officer. “CCDF is projected to write close to $5 million in volume between our Regina and Saskatoon locations. This will help leverage approximately $5 million from conventional and developmental lenders. In addition, our Metis clients will contribute over $1 million in client cash equity. The end result is significant employment and wealth creation for Metis people in the province.” The fund was established in 1997 through an agreement between the Metis Society of Saskatchewan Inc. and the Province of Saskatchewan in an effort to create an economically independent and self-sustaining Metis community, while contributing to the greater economic environment. As equity providers in economic development, CCDF has improved the economic circumstances

of Saskatchewan Metis by providing funding for community development initiatives and support for Metis entrepreneurs with equity and loan contributions. In 2014, Northern Resource Group conducted a socioeconomic impact study and based it on CCDF’s investments over a 15-year period between 1998 and 2013. The effect was a $660 million socioeconomic development contribution to the province of Saskatchewan. These investments clearly show a profound effect on the Metis and Saskatchewan’s economy. The work has resulted in improved living standards, rising employment and increased educational opportunities, along with other benefits in culture, sports and recreation. “CCDF has provided professional service for its clients through equity contributions, these contributions leverage money from term lenders to complete their projects.” Duplessis adds, “We are equally committed to helping not only Metis-owned companies, but also Metis regions, locals and Metis communities to help realize their dream of business ownership. But we can’t do it alone. We need the assistance of industry as they are the ones that hold the opportunities. It is through partnership building,

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procurement research and capacity assessment that we will continue to make in-roads for the Metis, in particular the energy and resource sectors.” The Clarence Campeau Development Fund has housed the Metis Energy and Resource Program (MERP) since 2010. The program has its origins with the federal government through a federal initiative called Major Resource and Energy Development (MRED). The project was a three-year pilot designed to improve and increase aboriginal involvement in the energy and resource sectors across Canada. From this came CCDF’s MERP program, and they have never looked back, as stated by Steve Danners, director of the Metis Energy and Resource Program. “MERP’s start came from a federal government initiative called MRED, we realized it was a three-year pilot and there was a good chance that it would not be renewed,” explains Danners, who adds that they saw the value in the program and it allowed CCDF clients to access larger amounts of equity and just as important, it provided an opportunity for Metis communities and businesses to participate in the energy and resource sectors that may not have been available previously. CCDF, recognizing the need and value of the program has continued to support the program financially. The result is that the program is experiencing its strongest year with volume expected to exceed $3 million in 2015. CCDF also houses the Metis Economic Development Sector, an initiative that acts as a conduit of information between industry, government and entrepreneurs, while assisting in the creation of viable Metis-owned businesses. It has created and maintains the first-ever

Saskatchewan Metis Business Directory, which advocates on behalf of Metisowned businesses to industry, government and private-sector businesses. Fostering business opportunities is the primary goal of the Metis Economic Development Sector. In addition, through the Metis Economic Development Sector, CCDF is currently partnering up with the provincial government on a Capacity Assessment Program. The program is designed to assess the economic strengths of each applicant as it pertains to economic development, with the report to be completed by the fall of 2015. All Metis organizations in Saskatchewan were invited to participate, and the uptake was phenomenal. “CCDF wants to know exactly what our communities have for capacity and then address any deficiencies,” says Roland. “We want to transition from assessment to development and put our communities in a position where they can deal and negotiate with industry on projects that

affect their region and take advantage of the economic opportunity that comes with that.” As well as the capacity assessment initiative, CCDF has spearheaded a second procurement study to be completed in fall 2015. “Procurement is a moving target,” says Roland. “Our last study in 2012 was not flattering for industry when it came to procurement and the Metis. We felt it was time to update that study and find out if things have improved. Once this report is complete, we will disburse it out to government and industry; we already have had many requests asking if the report is available, people want to see what it contains.” It is important for CCDF to keep up with the procurement processes so that information can be passed back to Metis business owners, especially in the potash sector where Metis have often been underrepresented. The last word goes to Mr. Danners as he

talks about the fund moving forward. “Potash and the oil/gas sectors have slowed in Saskatchewan, but the Metis have weathered the storm well. Companies have been forced to reallocate human resources and liquidate some equipment, but in most cases, this has actually made them more profitable. CCDF’s write offs are well under two per cent; our entrepreneurs are working and paying their bills,” he says. “We won’t stand still when it comes to assisting Metis people, we have to continue to move forward and grow along with our clients and the province. It is important for CCDF and its staff that the Metis continue to procure contracts for business start-up and expansion leading to job creation, increased revenue, and increased profits. As was demonstrated in the socioeconomic impact study in 2014, CCDF has had a major impact on not only improving economic conditions for Metis, but also the entire province of Saskatchewan.” u

Métis Energy and Resource Program This program is intended to increase the involvement of Métis entrepreneurs in the Energy and Resource sectors. Are you looking for business opportunities in the Energy and Resource sector?

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CIMS takes leadership role with First Nations Job Readiness & Apprenticeship Program tical challenges and higher costs, and with over 400,000 aboriginal people in Canada between the ages of 16-25 looking for career opportunities, it was a natural progression to develop a recruitment plan to access this valuable local resource. Mark Arcand, vice chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, agrees. “The key ingredients are simple; we have a workforce, but we also have a committed partner like CIMS,” Arcand said. “They reached out to us and those are the types of people that we want to partner with. They value our values. And when you have partners like that, it’s meaningful.” Millie Thunder of the Little Pine First Nation is now a pipefitter apprentice employed in CIMS pipe fabrication shop in Saskatoon working toward her Red Seal.


n June 2015, a group of 10 new apprentices joined the pipefitting industry following their successful graduation from the 2015 Pipefitter Job Readiness Program. But this class was special – these 10 students were part of a First Nations pre-apprenticeship training program. Sponsored by CIMS, the Ministry of Economy and the Gabriel Dumont Institute, and in conjunction with the UA of Saskatchewan Industry Joint Training Board, the Saskatoon Tribal Council and the Saskatchewan Building Trades, the program seeks to provide the necessary hands-on training, support, coaching and mentorship to ensure graduates are equipped to succeed in the industry. One of the graduates of this program was Millie Thunder. “I know I needed a career change and I

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didn’t know what I wanted to do. There was a recruitment for this pipefitting program and I decided to check it out and see what it was all about,” said Thunder, who is a member of the Little Pine First Nation and was the only female student enrolled in the program. “I had no idea what pipefitting was. I used to sit behind a desk, so I didn’t even know a monkey wrench from a pipe wrench to a torque wrench; it was all new to me. So I thought I’m going to give it a try and see where it leads.” The genesis of this program happened during the 2014 construction season when CIMS experienced substantial shortages of local trade craft labour and had to rely on labour forces from outside the Saskatchewan borders to fill project labour requirements. An increase in non-local workers can lead to logis-

Many of Canada’s key natural resources are on or near traditional First Nations lands and generally this is where skilled trades are needed and labour shortages have been identified. CIMS is convinced that investing in building trades training for local First Nations neighbours results in a win-win situation: providing wellpaid employment and strengthening local First Nations’ economies, as well as helping to keep project costs down by creating a stable local labour supply. As a major employer of building trades in Saskatchewan, the company also believes it has a responsibility to ensure greater accessibility to educational opportunities for First Nations youth in Saskatchewan. CIMS has committed to supporting cohorts of First Nations individuals from initial training through to provincially recognized Red Seal journeyperson status. “We want more companies to do what CIMS is doing because what we’re see-

Many of Canada’s key natural resources are on or near traditional First Nations lands and generally this is where skilled trades are needed and labour shortages have been identified. ing is CIMS is leading the way by doing what they are doing,” said Arcand. “We are excited to create opportunities and empower these young aboriginal men and women to acquire the indemand knowledge and skills that will enable them to attain a happy, safe and prosperous future for them and their families,” said Todd Verbeke, CIMS Saskatchewan general manager. “It’s very much a partnership between industry, the students, the education system and the government.” Engagement of First Nations youth is a collaborative effort where industry, training and service providers and the First Nations communities all have an important role to play. CIMS continues to refine its First Nations Engagement Initiative to help further reduce barriers to entry into trades training and to support completion of programs like this one. By working together, a significant mutually beneficial, long-term and farreaching positive impact can be made.

At CIMS we strive to make a difference to the communities we work in. We work closely with Mark Arcand at the Saskatchewan Tribal Council and employ aboriginal apprentices in our shop.

cent Canadian owned and operated. For over 20 years, CIMS has specialized in industrial construction, maintenance and pipe fabrication. Throughout Western Canada, CIMS provides services for the largest plant turnarounds and com-

plex industrial projects in the oil & gas, mining & industrial, pulp & paper, and power generation sectors. CIMS consistently achieves the highest standards of safety, quality, and service for our valued customers. u

Making a difference in the communities where we work.

Upon completing the job-readiness program, seven out of 10 graduates were employed by CIMS at Agrium Vanscoy. Millie Thunder is one of them, working as an apprentice pipefitter at the CIMS fabrication facility in Saskatoon, Sask. “It’s given me a lot of confidence and it’s also given me the drive to work towards my Red Seal in pipefitting. My kids said that they’re pretty proud of me and I’m glad that at least I can be a role model to them.”

Engaging First Nations  Consulting Community Leaders Maximizing Local Content  Supporting Local Causes

CIMS Limited Partnership is 100 per 2016 PotashWorks 93

Plan your next holiday event or business meeting at one of Saskatchewan’s foremost gaming destinations


hroughout the province of Saskatchewan, you will find six unique gaming and entertainment destinations owned by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). SIGA is a First Nations-owned-and-operated non-profit organization that gives 100 per cent of its revenue back into the community. SIGA’s vision is to deliver sustainable net income and employment opportunities to support First Nations development in Saskatchewan. Since starting in the 1990’s, SIGA has grown to be the largest First Nations employer of First Nations people in Canada. Entertainment and gaming may be a primary focus of their operations, but they also provide state-of-the-art meeting rooms that can be utilized for any type of business gathering or event.

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All six of their destinations scattered across the province feature event facilities along with professional and experienced staff to offer guests a memorable experience. Whether you are planning a meeting for 30 business executives, a conference for up to 500, or a gala dinner, SIGA has the resources and production knowledge to make your event run smoothly. The professionals at SIGA casinos treat every detail as a VIP event. Their event centres feature the perfect space for effective collaboration in a creative, fun and professional environment for conferences, annual meetings, awards banquets, weddings, Christmas parties, and more. From the elegance of formal-plated dining service to hand-crafted hors d’oeuvres for

SIGA’s 2015 multi-business Christmas parties Planning for your next great holiday party? SIGA casinos is the place to be! Great entertainment, served with scrumptious food and fun – all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. Book your tables today! Living Sky Casino, Swift Current – (306) 778-5759 November 27-28, 2015, featuring All You Need Is Love – A tribute to The Beatles.

Bear Claw Casino & Hotel near Carlyle – (306) 577-4577 December 11-12, 2015, featuring All You Need Is Love – A tribute to The Beatles.

Gold Eagle Casino, North Battleford – (306) 446-3833 December 4, 2015, featuring comedian Tim Nutt.

Painted Hand Casino, Yorkton – (306) 786-6777 December 18-19, 2015, featuring Shake, Rattle & Roll with The Rowdymen.

Dakota Dunes Casino near Saskatoon – (306) 667-6400 December 4-5, 2015, featuring Bonnie Kilroe “DIVAS”.

Living Sky Casino, Swift Current – (306) 778-5759 December 18-19, 2015, featuring Ventriloquist Damien James.

parties of any size, their executive chef’s gourmet menus can be customized to suit any budget or occasion. Each SIGA casino also offers an ingenious way to celebrate the holidays, catering to businesses of all sizes. For individual seat pricing you can reserve space for your staff holiday party that includes a first-class meal, live entertainment, gaming, themed decorations, and more. All your holiday staff planning can be done with a simple phone call. u

Plan your next meeting with us We have the professional services, resources, and production knowledge to make your next event a success. Call: (306) 667-7121

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2016 PotashWorks 95

Safety as an investment in uncertain economic times By Collin Pullar


hile the economic environment in Saskatchewan has been relatively strong, there are many definite signals on the global front that may cause companies and investors to have the odd restless night. As net exporters of major commodities, such as oil, uranium, coal, and of course, potash, Saskatchewan mining companies are sensitive to the financial implications of global market fluctuations. The rest of the provincial economy has also not been completely immune to the sustained drop in oil prices, as well as the softened housing and consumer markets. As company leaders watch this external environment, they find themselves taking closer stock of their businesses; considering how their company adapts and prepares for what may be a bumpy ride. This is an opportunity for business leaders to evaluate what their business needs are, and what to focus on most, in order to prioritize their investment dollars. This is a time when decisions are made re-

garding what is essential to operational success and what can be put off, delayed, or denied as a luxury to their business. Investors are also carefully considering their options in terms of providing (or withholding) the capital needed by mining companies to construct the infrastructure and systems required to supply customers with their product. In these times, risk and the ability for companies to manage risk becomes as critical as ever. Investors and business leaders are looking for the confidence of safety by methodically identifying well-managed operations. The Saskatchewan mining sector has made significant advances in safety as a principle risk-mitigation tool to control avoidable losses, whether that is in production, company reputation, environmental or human impact. From a financial perspective, safety reduces the potential volatility as strong safety management allows for managers to more

The most active land company in the potash business.


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reliably predict its productivity outflows over long periods. In the construction industry, more and more business customers and consumers are viewing safety as something that adds value to their purchases. In the June 6, 2015 edition of The Economist, the article “Walking the Walk” argues that environmental and human safety is increasingly being seen as good for business, and central to how firms do business, as safety becomes “simply a proxy for good management”. Builders that are methodical in their approach to safety are more likely to be methodical in their approach to product quality and other aspects of their management. When mining companies procure construction work for their sites, these merits add further value and predictability to an otherwise riskier business. So, in uncertain economic times, does safety fall to the wayside as a lower priority? Or does a company embrace safety management as a value-added proposition that has direct benefit to bottom-line issues like long-term profits, reputation, and retention of highvalue employees? If you look to the top Saskatchewan leaders in mining and construction for a sign, it is definitely the latter. Collin Pullar is the president of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association – An industry-driven and funded enterprise serving over 9,900 commercial, industrial, and residential construction member companies in Saskatchewan. Its mission is to provide high-quality, nationally recognized safety training and advice to construction employers and employees leading to reduced human and financial losses associated with injuries. u

Training an apprentice is good business By the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission to become involved at the high school level by offering placements for students, or give them the chance to visit your job site.


pprenticeship makes good business sense.

In the skilled trades, it is good business to hire apprentices, and to utilize the skills and services of companies who use the apprenticeship model. Apprenticeship training primarily occurs on the job, as a journeyperson or mentor passes down knowledge to an apprentice. Once a year, the apprentice is scheduled for technical training at a training provider contracted by Saskatchewan Apprenticeship. This provides the theoretical underpinnings to support what the apprentice has learned on the job. Employing apprentices has many benefits to a business, adding to deliverables and the bottom line. There are some misconceptions about apprenticeship. Some employers see apprentices as taking too much of their time or money, and fear the risk of losing the apprentice once he or she becomes a journeyperson. The greater risk, however, is not properly training the next generation of your workforce. Hiring an apprentice, or supporting the training and certification of an existing employee, means a better return on your

investment. For every $1 an employer invests in an apprentice, the average return is $1.47. This number was generated through a cost-benefit model from a study the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum conducted with about 800 employers across 21 trades. Training an apprentice is less expensive than hiring from abroad if you are growing your labour force. The cost of hiring a temporary foreign worker can be anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per year, per person. Compare that to an apprentice – employers indicate that the benefit of training the apprentice exceeds the costs by the end of the second year. Costs are low to train an apprentice – a small registration fee, and the training time on the job. When hiring an apprentice, even if that person doesn’t have on-the-job trade experience, consider hiring someone who has completed the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship program, a high school Apprenticeship or Career and Work Exploration credit, or a pre-trades training course. These programs allow youth to explore career options in the trades so that they understand the job and the expectations that go along with it. To recruit highly engaged and interested people, there is also the opportunity

Training an apprentice means higher productivity and fewer mistakes. The statistics show that employers estimate that a journeyperson trained within the company is 29 per cent more productive than a journeyperson trained elsewhere. Employers also said by training their own workforce, they see reduced risk of skill shortages, increased potential for career advancement of the person in the company, greater overall productivity, and fewer mistakes. Apprenticeship also creates a sustainable workforce cycle. As an employer, consider encouraging experienced tradespeople to challenge the journeyperson exam. Achieving the credential provides the skilled tradesperson with recognition of his or her efforts and the ability to train the next generation. When hiring skilled trades services, ask – do they employ journeypersons? Do they hire apprentices? The certification ensures the knowledge level of the skilled tradesperson. Available tax credits and government grants for apprentices and employers can make hiring an apprentice more affordable. More information can be found at employers-tax-credits-for-employers/. The process of signing up an apprentice is fast and easy. Check out to find out how. If you have questions, we are happy to help. Together, we can continue to grow Saskatchewan’s next skilled trades workforce. Saskatchewan Apprenticeship manages the apprenticeship and trade certification system in Saskatchewan. u 2016 PotashWorks 97

Considerations when choosing your standby rescue coverage


t’s understandable that companies these days need to squeeze budgets and consider the bottom line even when dealing with safety. However, a trend of contracting to the lowest bid when hiring on-site rescue and standby coverage may not always pay off when it comes to liability. The following are some suggestions on what to consider when qualifying potential rescue coverage suppliers. 1. How long has this company been providing this type of service? 2. Who have they worked for in the past? Is the scope of work similar to what you require? Ask for references. 3. Is the company adequately insured? 4. Does the service also include the specialized equipment that may be required to affect a rescue and rapid medical care onsite? Does the equipment meet minimum standards, such as NFPA, NIOSH or CSA for rescue?

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5. Are the staff providing the rescue service cross trained to provide assistance with industrial clinical care situations, such as eye injuries, suspension trauma, burns or hazardous materials? Having crosstrained rescuers can be a more costeffective approach. 6. Is the company able to perform on-site consultations prior to work to ensure that rescue teams are equipped properly for your specific job site? 7. Is the company a member in good standing with associations and regulatory bodies pertaining to their scope of work, such as COR, WCB, ISN, ComplyWorks, etc.? 8. Is the company able and qualified to recommend, supply, and train your people on safety/rescue equipment that you may be required to purchase for long-term use? 9. Is the company capable of providing

training to your ERT people while onsite? In some cases you can have your ERT people work alongside contracted rescue teams and refresh or upgrade technical skills. 10. Does the company have the resources in both equipment and personnel to provide backups in case of equipment failure, additional equipment required, or personnel that require change out due to illness or other unforeseen issues? We hope these few points will help you in your search for professional and capable rescue coverage.

For more information, contact Trans-Care Rescue Ltd., 225 Service Road West, Langham SK, S0K 2L0 Toll Free: 1-800-71RESCU, Phone: 306-283-4496, Email: u

Trans-Care Rescue Ltd. 225 Service Road West Langham SK S0K 2L0 1-800-71RESCU Ph: (306) 283-4496 Fax: (306) 283-4456 E-mail: Website:

Trans-Care Rescue Ltd. has been providing professional training, equipment and standby rescue services to the potash industry in Western Canada since 1981.

We specialize in confined space entry and rescue, high angle rescue, tower rescue, gas monitoring, medical standby rescue services.

Male depression hidden and undiagnosed


ental health has come to the forefront of workplace health priorities with the publication of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This standard, while not legislation, sets a workplace expectation for mental illness training, mental health policies, and a commitment to awareness in our Canadian workplaces. One of the primary motivations for this standard was to start to remove costly stigma associated with mental illness. Why is stigma costly? Stigma prevents people from seeking help. Every day a worker that goes untreated increases risk and cost to the workplace. Men more than women will state stigma and 100 PotashWorks 2016

shame keeps them from seeking treatment. Mental Illness, depression, and stress can affect men differently than it does women. When depression occurs in men, it may be masked by unhealthy coping behaviour. Men can work hard to hide their mental health struggles. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), stigma is a result of negative stereotypes around mental illness that continue to be reinforced in the media, which often depict the mentally ill as violent, strange and unpredictable. In the workplace, employees view colleagues living with mental health conditions with suspicion,

and question their capabilities, which can result in these employees being overlooked for promotions. An Ipsos Reid study found that 79 per cent of North American workers think people would hide the fact that they had a mental illness from their employers in order to avoid hurting potential career opportunities. Men are more reluctant than women to share their mental health struggles, even among their closest family and friends. As long as stigma is prevalent, men will avoid, delay and even decline help for personal and emotional health issues. This will lead to increased time away from work, increased chance of co-mor-

bid conditions, and increased risk of permanent disability, accidents, and injuries at work. Male depression is often undiagnosed and can have devastating consequences when it goes untreated for many years. With 30 per cent or more of Canadians struggling with mental health, it is fair to conclude that mental illness among safety-sensitive employees is a serious safety risk. Men tend to use different coping skills than women. Behaviour, such as spending a lot of time at work, gaming, being online, watching porn or sports can indicate a need to escape current feelings. Risky behaviour, such as alcohol or substance abuse, violence, anger and irritability can all be symptomatic of mental health struggles, depression and anxiety. These behaviours again pose a serious safety risk for male workers. High-profile men have come forward like former Toronto Maple Leaf Ron Ellis and TSN personality Michael Landsberg. These men have been very vocal

An Ipsos Reid study found that 79 per cent of North American workers think people would hide the fact that they had a mental illness from their employers in order to avoid hurting potential career opportunities. Men are more reluctant than women to share their mental health struggles, even among their closest family and friends. about their struggles with mental illness and the powerful role stigma played when they were struggling to get help. Famous NHL player and native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Wade Belak, took his life in 2011. Many say he never shared his struggle, even with those closest to him. Wellpoint offers a variety of programs and consultations that can help the workplace promote safety and health programs that comply with the new Mental Health Standard. As a company committed to workplace health and safety, we believe in this standard

and know that its recommendations are critical to the success of a healthy and productive workforce. Wellpoint currently offers mental health counselling in our Regina office. For more information, please contact Judith Plotkin, MSW, vice-president, national sales and business development, at or visit: English/issues/workplace/nationalstandard. q-and-a-tsns-michael-landsberg-on-thedeep-hole-of-depression u

wellpoint On Site • After Hours Services • Same Day Appointments Fit for Work Medicals Drug & Alcohol Testing Disability Management Industrial Fire and Medics

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Boilermakers build partnerships



n the road again�. This is the song lyric that most Boilermakers immediately think of when they get off the phone from the union hiring hall. Boilermakers from Local 555 travel across Canada to work on construction sites throughout the year. Potash plants, along with other types of mining, power production, pulp & paper, oil & gas, as well as various chemical plants throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario have employed Local 555 boilermakers since they were built and graciously continue to do so today. The construction industry is a very competitive market; therefore Local 555 must offer consistent safety training in order

to provide the client and contractor with job-ready workers to maintain its competitive edge. Redundant safety training is costly and time consuming; Local 555 continues to work towards eliminating these unproductive expenses. The boilermakers union has mandated for every member to attain specific safety training to meet, and in some cases, exceed the provincial OH&S regulations in order to reduce the time and money allotted for on-site training, and in-turn reduce the overall cost of the project. Along with consistent safety training, members have access to the union training facilities to take upgrading courses, such as supervisory training courses, rigging courses and welding courses. Although most people think of a boil-

ermaker as a welder/fitter, some rarely think of a boilermaker for rigging or power rigging. The boilermakers union


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prides itself with being the best riggers around. What makes us the best? Our diversity. Boilermakers don’t consistently hoist and rig the same thing over and over. Boilermakers have to work through issues of extremely tight spaces, extremely heavy and irregular-shaped loads, most are delicate, with not always the room for a crane. In most cases, boilermakers have to use two cranes, called tandem lifting, to complete the lifts. Boilermakers throughout their apprenticeship take excessive amounts of training on hoisting and rigging in order to safely execute proper techniques on the job site. The union also offers a master rigger course to its members as another means of honing and upgrading their hoisting and rigging skills. So remember, when passing by a potash plant, a gas plant, a power plant, an oil refinery, a tank farm, a mine or a fertil-

izer plant, boilermakers were there and the large equipment standing did not get there by accident. It got there with a vi-

sion and proper planning, in order for the professional tradespeople, such as the boilermakers, to complete it. u

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 555 SUPPLYING SKILLED LABOUR TO SASKATCHEWAN, MANITOBA, & N.W. ONTARIO Providing Apprenticeship opportunities in the Boilermaker + Welder Trades.

Training the Youth for Tomorrow Emile Gareau Business Manager

Local 555

Proud Tradesmen Since 1954

SK Office: 306-949-4452 | MB Office: 204-987-9200 | ON Office: 807-623-8186 2016 PotashWorks 103

Frogs, fish, and hard hats? CanNorth is no fish out of water when it comes to providing environmental support for the potash industry


ctive construction zones aren’t the typical environment where you might imagine finding a biologist. Nonetheless, the biologists and environmental scientists at Canada North Environmental Services (CanNorth) have built a reputation for being as familiar with the rumble of rock trucks and track hoes as they are with the quiet of a remote northern forest. Entirely owned by Kitsaki Management, the business arm of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, CanNorth is known for its ability to deliver timely and cost-effective professional services without compromising safety or quality. This mandate is supported by CanNorth’s recent achievement of the Enform Certificate of Recognition (COR), as well as its maintenance of ISO 9001 and 14001 (quality management and environmental management and stewardship) and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) certifications.

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CanNorth has over 30 years of experience providing a full range of environmental services to support any project from the pre-feasibility stage through to decommissioning. Reducing potential project-environment conflicts begins in the project design phase with the completion of a baseline inventory and effects assessment, which is carefully scoped to fit project needs. As the largest Saskatchewanowned environmental consulting firm, CanNorth boasts a highly-trained, interdisciplinary team of scientists. Whether project scoping has identified the need for wildlife or plant species at risk surveys, habitat or soil inventories, wetland classification and mapping, aquatic habitat and fisheries assessments, hydrological monitoring and modelling, Heritage Resource Impact Assessments (HRIA), or mapping/geographic information system (GIS) services, CanNorth

has the in-house capability to complete the project. Although CanNorth strives to provide mitigation strategies to avoid or minimize project effects, the development of compensation plans to offset habitat loss (e.g., wetlands, fish) is also within CanNorth expertise. During the construction phase, CanNorth provides environmental monitoring services to ensure appropriate environmental protection. Armed with their knowledge of the local environment, environmental regulations, construction processes, and, of course, the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), a typical day for a CanNorth environmental monitor starts off with at-

tending a toolbox talk with a construction crew to identify possible safety and environmental issues. This might be followed by a search and rescue mission for frogs, fish, or other wildlife, and then the implementation of migratory bird deterrents or other sensitive species mitigation. Another day might include water/ soil quality or hydrological monitoring, regulatory liaison and permit applications or renewals, or heritage resources mitigation.

ect and environment peak during the construction phase, the services CanNorth provides don’t end at the ribboncutting ceremony. CanNorth designs and implements operational monitoring programs often required under provincial or federal legislation and assists clients during the decommissioning and reclamation process, providing vegetation or aquatic restoration recommendations, environmental site assessments, or long-term monitoring programs.

Although interactions between the proj-

The potash industry provides an es-

sential element for the continued sustainability of food production around the globe, while balancing an essential element to any business’ success — environmental responsibility. With CanNorth’s extensive environmental experience, which is integrated with world standard management systems, the team at CanNorth has made it their business to support potash and mining companies at every stage of the project as the industry balances its need for environmental protection with economic development. u


Canada North Environmental Services Limited Partnership 211 Wheeler Street, Saskatoon, SK S7P 0A4 T: (306) 652-4432 • F:(306) 652-4431 E: •

An aboriginal-owned consulting firm providing cost-effective professional environmental services in: • Environmental Impact Assessment

• Hydrology

• Environmental Baseline Studies

• Species-at-Risk Surveys

• Project Permitting and Approvals • Construction Monitoring

• Habitat Restoration and Compensation Planning

• Aquatic and Fish Studies

• Mapping Services

• Aquatic Toxicology

• Heritage Resources Impact Assessments

• Water Quality Investigations

• Specialty Socio-Economic Services

• Wildlife, Vegetation, and Soil Assessments

Specializing in the mining industry 2016 PotashWorks 105

Nearly $280,000 raised for food hampers donated to fire evacuees in Northern Saskatchewan

Kitsaki Management and PotashCorp spearheaded a relief effort to provide 5,000 food hampers to fire evacuees in Northern Saskatchewan earlier this year.


he year 2015 will go down in Saskatchewan history as one of the worst years ever for forest fires. Not only were there huge fires throughout the North, but many were close to populated areas, forcing the evacuation of as many as 13,000 people from 30 different communities.

stocked when the time came for people to return home. PotashCorp and Kitsaki Management responded by spearheading a relief effort to provide 5,000 food hampers to affected communities. This was a massive undertaking that succeeded with the help of a number of companies and agencies.

Northerners were forced out of their homes for weeks, living in temporary shelters in communities throughout Saskatchewan and even Alberta. This created a difficult resettlement challenge, given that some communities lost power, and grocery stores were short-

Kitsaki Management is a business owned by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. It called upon some of its subsidiaries, including Northern Resource Trucking (NRT), which delivered the hampers.

106 PotashWorks 2016

They were filled with non-perishable

items, such as soups, canned vegetables, pasta, powdered milk and other items that people could use while local services, such as grocery stores, were getting ready to re-open. “The fire evacuations created a unique local food security challenge,” said Jochen Tilk, PotashCorp president and CEO. “Thousands of northerners had no time to plan ahead before they left their homes. Power outages in some areas meant refrigerators were off and food was spoiled. We were happy to be part of a team that helped people get re-established at home.”

said Arnie Arnott, president and CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross.

Kitsaki Management, PotashCorp, and Saskatchewan Blue Cross contributed $50,000 each towards the program to assist over 30 communities. Additional donations raised the total contributed to nearly $280,000, while the program cost $265,000. The additional money raised was donated to the Food Banks of Saskatchewan. “It is wonderful to be a part of a team that made a difference for so many families. Much of the food was actually delivered door-to-door by volunteers and was greatly appreciated by the evacuees trying to get settled into their own homes again,” said Russell Roberts, chief executive officer of Kitsaki. The program was initiated by PotashCorp and Kitsaki, but it received a huge boost when Blue Cross also decided to make a donation of $50,000. “The forest fire situation this summer was devastating for residents of Northern Saskatchewan with many forced to leave their homes without warning,”

Natasha Gillert, communications coordinator for Kitsaki Management, played a key role in organizing the hamper project. She grew up in Pinehouse Lake and La Ronge and saw her sister taking in more than 20 people in her Prince Albert home when their home communities were evacuated. To figure out how many hampers would be needed for each community, Kitsaki contacted community leaders to figure out who was evacuated and how many were in each family. Once the numbers were agreed upon and the food was ordered, there was the challenge of physically filling the hampers. The Regina Food Bank provided its specialized food-packing facility and access to its volunteer workforce to get the hampers packed on a tight deadline. “From the north to the south, everyone pulled together to respond,” said Steve Compton, executive director of the Regina Food Bank and interim head of the Food Banks of Saskatchewan. “The response from our volunteers was amazing. We were very proud to be involved with this initiative.”

Pinehouse was one of the communities that received hampers and Mayor Mike Natomagan said they made a real difference in the lives of the community members. “We were in a bad situation,” he says. “We were in absolutely dire need… We were out of power for about seven days. So the people who came home, they had to clean up and were left with nothing. These gifts were greatly appreciated by a lot of our families.” Mike stayed in the community during the fires to provide assistance to the workers. He says his throat and eyes were sore from working in the smoke, and they all missed their families. Now we are home and feel a lot of gratefulness. Oh man, what a great, great relief, when people could come home.” Some of the other major donators to the program included the United Steelworkers Humanity Fund, Lions Club, CIBC, First Nations Bank of Canada, MNP LLP, RBC Dominion, SaskPower, SaskTel, Trimac, Procon Mining and SGEU. PotashCorp and Kitsaki thank all the donors. Their assistance was greatly appreciated by many communities when they needed it most. u 2016 PotashWorks 107

The Spirit of Saskatchewan Banding together to support northern communities in need


he summer of 2015 has been a challenging one for those living in northern Saskatchewan. While much of the country was enjoying typical lazy summer days at the beach or cottage, we were fighting fires. Our province’s northern communities were being evacuated; thousands of evacuees were flooding into southern cities, while families waited anxiously to find out whether or not they would have homes and cottages to return to.

held their breath, sending wishes and prayers for relief.

Although wildfires are a normal part of the lifecycle of a forest, this year’s long weeks of hot, dry weather and lessthan-average rainfall combined to make a veritable tinderbox of our beloved Boreal Shield. A haze hung over the province as each day seemed to bring news of new blazes, extensive damage, and a building uncertainty. The entire country

One of the most thoughtful relief efforts began in a meeting between PotashCorp executives and Kitsaki’s Russell Roberts. After emergency evacuation, services being cut off, and homes being abandoned for weeks, evacuees would be returning to freezers and refrigerators full of spoiled food. A food hamper project began, and generated an over-

108 PotashWorks 2016

But let the summer of 2015 also be known as a time when the people of Saskatchewan were challenged, and rose to that challenge with strength and grace. The province literally swelled with the support of firefighters and military personnel from across the country, and as cities swelled with evacuees, so too did the generous hearts of their citizens. whelming amount of support from local businesses and individuals. “Kitsaki, Northern Resource Trucking, Athabasca Catering and CanNorth are all businesses with close ties to the North,” said Natasha Gillert, communications coordinator at Kitsaki. “We knew that when the 13,000 evacuees

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But let the summer of 2015 also be known as a time when the people of Saskatchewan were challenged, and rose to that challenge with strength and grace. The province literally swelled with the support of firefighters and military personnel from across the country, and as cities swelled with evacuees, so too did the generous hearts of their citizens. includes those among the first to return home, homes suffering from power outages, etc., particularly Montreal Lake, Timber Bay, Weyakwin, Ramsey Bay, and Pinehouse Lake. In communities that had partial evacuations, such as Elders, children, pregnant women, and people with respiratory illnesses, hampers were given based on the prioritized needs of individual families.

returned home, their food would have gone bad. We also knew the evacuees would have incurred additional costs to get out of town so quickly and to try to sustain their families in other communities.” More than $265,000 was donated to the project, not including the cost of delivery and man-hours provided by countless volunteers. In the end, 5,000 hampers were assembled at the Regina Food Bank with the help of volunteers from Athabasca Catering, Kitsaki, CanNorth Environmental, and the Church of Laterday Saints, among others. Northern Resource Trucking donated their trucks to pick up and deliver the hampers to communities as evacuees were returning home. “The delivery alone cost almost $40,000,” said Dave McIlmoyl, president of Northern Resource Trucking. “When you’re dealing with remote communities, everything is exponentially more expensive and more difficult to 110 PotashWorks 2016

execute. We were more than happy to donate our time and resources to this project. These communities are home to the families of many of our employees and the employees of our customers.” Hampers were delivered with priority to those with the greatest need. This

“While there were many great volunteers to help with the evacuation, there are always extra costs [for evacuees],” Gillert explains when asked why this project was so necessary. “Many people in Northern Saskatchewan would not have had this additional money. So we knew any extra help we could provide in the way of food to get them started again was going to be appreciated, and it was!” Thank you so much to everyone who donated time, money, and hard work to making this project a success. This is the spirit of Saskatchewan at its best! u

Helping the potash industry mine more efficiently Goodman Steel Ltd. By Shelley Chase


oodman Steel Ltd. has provided a multitude of services to the mining industry since the 1960’s. Located in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, we are in very close proximity to both PotashCorp Rocanville and the Mosaic mines at Esterhazy. Along with providing services for the potash industry, we serve public utilities, highways, agriculture, the local community, and numerous other entities and sectors. With over 50 years of experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the mining industry. We have been able to fabricate enhancements that have increased efficiency and safety for potash employees and companies, such as tooling and de-watering. We believe strongly that sitting down with our customers and review drawings collaboratively has given us the ability to highlight alternative options for their projects in order to best meet their needs. We welcome any opportunity to go onsite to assess needs or requirements for a project. With our current facilities, we have over 18,000 square feet of work area and employ over 60 staff members in a variety of trades and specializations. We actively encourage youth in trades with apprenticeship credits and schol-

arships. Our shops include a modern CNC-equipped machine shop, a fabrication shop, a painting and blasting area, as well as a mechanics shop. Our well-equipped painting and blasting facility allows us to complete any project to our customers’ specifications. If paint doesn’t meet our customers’ needs, tile lining is also available for our fabricated products. Incorporating the six-axis CNC Robotic Beam Line to our fabrication line of equipment has enhanced our capability for working on larger projects and providing finer detailing to our customers. It also allows us to complete our appointed tasks in a fraction of the time required for more conventional methods. Our fabrication facility specializes in tanks, pressure piping, chute-work, structural steel, stainless steel and aluminum welding. In our machine shop, Goodman Steel Ltd. manufactures quick change UBOT miner tooling; this significantly decreases downtime when it comes to switching out parts, which in turn saves revenue for any company utilizing this product. Not only does it decrease downtime, but significantly reduces safety concerns and issues. With the

implementation of a bolt-on base, miner tooling has become less labour intensive – fewer hands are required to make the change-out, resulting in less disruption to workflow. In addition to the UBOT, Goodman Steel Ltd. exclusively manufactures one of the most aggressive and efficient trim chains in the industry. This product, which has been on the Goodman Steel production line for over 15 years, provides durability and longevity. It has been known to cut one million tons before needing to be replaced. Our mechanical shop and skilled mechanics have been repairing National pumps for over 25 years. Our mechanics also have the experience and the skills to repair centrifugal pumps, such as Warman and Weir pumps. As the potash industry grows, Goodman Steel Ltd. has their sights set on growth as well. Investing in our facilities and people is also an investment in the growth of our local economy. Goodman Steel Ltd. is located in Rocanville, Saskatchewan and can be reached by phone at (306) 645-2040, or by fax, (306) 645-2140. Please visit our website at u 2016 PotashWorks 111

SRC: Photo courtesy of SRC.

Meeting the challenges of potash processing


ith a growing global population, the demand for fertilizers is resulting in a search for new potash deposits around the world. Innovative analytical and processing methods are in demand to meet the challenges of separating the valuable minerals from the new ore types. The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has performed analytical work on ores from deposits found in North America, Europe, Africa and South America. Many of these deposits contain ore types, such as sylvinite, kainite, carnallite, langbeinite and polyhalite. Specialized processing is required to treat the different minerals in the ore to produce a variety of products. In Saskatchewan, the ore is commonly sylvinite, composed primarily of coarsely grained sylvite and halite minerals. Mu112 PotashWorks 2016

riate of potash (MOP) is the major product. Fine-grained sylvinite with high-level insolubles and anhydrite are found in Europe and South America and normally require special processing to make commercial grade MOP. Carnallite ore also can be found in Saskatchewan, but to a lesser extent than sylvinite. The carnallite ore is processed to produce MOP, as well as magnesium chloride byproducts. Langbinite is found in New Mexico and can be processed to produce potassium and magnesium sulphates. Polyhalite found in Mexico, Belarus and the United Kingdom is normally processed to produce potassium sulphate (SOP) and magnesium byproducts. In east Africa, the ore may consist of multiple layers of sylvinite, kainite and carnallite. These layers may be mined separately and used to produce different products. The sylvinite and carnallite are processed to

Photo courtesy of SRC.

Compact granular potash from SRC’s geoanalytical laboratories.

SRC’s Qemscan equipment.

produce MOP, or potassium chloride feed for SOP. The kainite is processed to produce leonite product and SOP. As all deposits require specialized processing to treat the different minerals, more robust mineral processing and metallurgical testing technology

Photo courtesy of SRC.

is quickly emerging as a critical service needed in potash mining around the world. Mineral processing and metallurgical testing is one of SRC’s worldrenowned services offered to the mining industry. To help clients maximize the value of their deposits, SRC uses its extensive experience to continuously improve and develop processes and analyses for emerging, unique deposits. SRC services provide customized process testing, optimization and design from lab scale to pilot scale for pre-feasibility, feasibility and engineering studies. These include sample preparation and analysis, employing a potash assay package – which is ISO 17025 accredited. SRC has also developed internal potash standards that are used by the industry around the world.

SRC’s XRF machine.

provide critical mineralogy information, such as mineral identification, distribution and liberation size. X-ray diffraction is used to identify specific minerals, particularly clay minerals, which affect mineral recovery. X-ray fluorescence provides quantitative analysis of all the minerals associated with the deposit. The information gained from this analysis is essential for designing mineral

SRC’s Advanced Microanalysis Centre™ includes QEMSCAN® services along with X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence technologies critical to analyzing these deposits. QEMSCAN® can

processing in the most effective way, to maximize recovery and minimize tailings and waste water. The Saskatchewan Research Council is Canada’s leading provider of applied research, development and demonstration and technology commercialization. To learn more about how SRC supports the mining industry, visit, or email u

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2016 PotashWorks 113

45 years and five divisions strong Northern Strands is growing with Saskatchewan By Paul Sinkewicz That respect for technical knowledge permeates the culture of Northern Strands. When owner Clarke speaks about the company’s co-founders, such as his long-time friend and mentor Larry Mote, it is with a tone of reverence. When that group banded together in 1970 to serve the needs of Saskatchewan’s burgeoning potash mining industry, each brought years of experience to the table. Right from the start, Northern Strands had secured the rights to distribute France’s Arcelor Mittal mining rope in North America.

Mine wire rope and attachments.


ining and construction – two of the heavyweights of the Saskatchewan economy – rely on largely unseen, critical systems to function properly. Northern Strands is a key supplier of those systems. Like the bones, sinew and muscle of a body, wire rope, fittings and riggings are the moving parts that make industry work. They keep underground treasure like potash flowing to the surface, and help hoist construction materials skyward as buildings take shape. With health and safety in mind, Northern Strands has been supplying the industry since 1970, evolving into five major divisions that offer needed tools and technical knowledge in mine hoisting and attachments, general rigging, engineered fall protection, suspended access and training. Owner Garry Clarke insists his team 114 PotashWorks 2016

members have a technical base of knowledge to properly assist their customers, right down to the staff working the order desk in the Saskatoon and Regina offices. Clarke says he doesn’t want to just sell product, but provide technical knowledge that will give his clients what they need to get their work done. “The motto is ‘exceed their expectations.’” “When clients ask our sales staff for a product, we are going to politely interrogate them to make sure they are getting what they need,” says Clarke. “You might find out you are missing something. Maybe it will be something like not having the correct factor of safety for a particular job. So for example, if you are hauling workers, you need a 10:1 factor of safety. They will know that and help you get what you need. These are trained rigging people who could probably teach rigging courses themselves. They know the right questions to ask.”

Mote had done so well selling that by the mid-’70s he was the sole owner of the firm. He began to expand the product line to include wire rope and rigging, and eventually the attachments used on the ends of the ropes. Tracking the firm’s sales soon required a map of the world, not just Saskatchewan, as Northern Strands supplied mines and dams from Colorado to Yellowknife and Timmins to Mongolia. “He [Mote] really knew his customers and had good relationships with them,” Clarke says. By the early 1980s, Mote spotted new opportunities in areas related to hoisting, and set out to further diversify the product line and expand his customer base. That was instrumental in helping Northern Strands weather a downturn in the economy. Things began to pick up and in the early 1990s they started to sell a variety of warehouse products, such as chains, rigging, slings and shackles. In 1998, Mote and his son and partner, Darrell, began to look for someone to come on board to promote these warehouse products. That’s when Clarke

found his home at Northern Strands. He had been working for mining service companies all over Saskatchewan, but was looking to settle into Saskatoon with his young family. His career had already included installing and servicing Northern Strands ropes in working mines, so he was well versed in their products. Clarke added his own extensive knowledge to the small four-person team, using it to bring new opportunities to the firm. The company was soon rehabilitating and refurbishing attachments and fittings to meet the demand of an expanding mining industry. When that side of the business took off, it spurred an expansion of the office and the installation of a showroom in their original Millar Avenue location. “We went great guns, because at the same time all this was happening, the rules governing mining were getting stricter,” says Clarke, “…rules about fall protection, rules about mining attachments being recertified. So we watched those new regulations and focused our energy on meeting those new needs. Whenever I went out to the mines, I would buy any surplus gear I could find,” says Clarke. Items such as mining attachments and small hoists gave him a chance to rehabilitate and resell equipment, and it was a deep understanding of provincial regulations that was the key. By diverting equipment previously destined for the garbage bin, Northern Strands was saving money for its cus-

tomers, who no longer had to buy new or send items overseas for recertification. Today, Northern Strands is still a leader in supplying major ropes and attachments to mines around the world. The years between 1998 and 2001 marked significant change at Northern Strands. Many new opportunities presented themselves, and Mote and Clarke were quick to take advantage of them. Clarke began buying into the firm at that time, believing there was a great opportunity at hand. “We really knew what the rules were, because of Larry, and we really dug into things,” says Clarke. “We talked to the mine inspectors; we went through the Occupational Health and Safety

(OH&S) Act and we knew that stuff inside and out.” They started exchange programs for the mines, guiding them through the implementation of scheduled replacement programs and work plans. Northern Strands even began helping mines write up the procedures that would guide their maintenance programs into the future. “In the old days, there were no written procedures,” says Clarke. “Mining requires them now. The great thing about a lot of the people that work here is that we’ve been all over. We’ve worked in places like Ontario where modern operational and safety regulations came in earlier than Saskatchewan. So what we’ve done as a company is adopted the best of the rules and we use them.” By 2001, Northern Strands had started a successful branch in Regina, and it was becoming clear the company would need more focused expertise as it grew. “When you’re first building something like this, you need multi-skilled people,” says Clarke. “But you get to a point where your focus has to change and you go out and get the people who can concentrate on the one area they really know well.” Clarke began bringing in people to specialize in swing stages, mining attach2016 PotashWorks 115

Engineered fall protection.

ments, warehouse operations and engineered fall protection. Another leap forward came when Northern Strands began fabricating many of the products it used to buy from overseas to resell. By making them here in Saskatchewan, Clarke could ensure they would meet customer needs. “We seriously try to listen to our customers and find out what they are looking for. When you watch them and realize something is a real pain for them, it’s an opportunity for us.” In 2006, the firm bought its new 18,000-square-foot. building on Millar Avenue, and expanded its manufacturing ability, including bringing in more highly talented staff. “It really helped us a lot,” Clarke says. “It gave us the room we needed for manufacturing, storage and, of course, better customer access.” In 2007, Northern Strands started the engineered fall protection division, recognizing an industry need for working safely on rooftops. “Overseas, this was quite a common thing, so we did some research and got our suppliers to come over here and train us. That was one of our major expansions, into fall protection and life lines.” It was around this time that provincial regulations became more robust to keep workers safe when working at height. 116 PotashWorks 2016

“When we started into all this, you could hook onto anything you could find, but then OH&S started questioning industry methods and requiring certification of anchor points, regular inspections and pull testing.” Northern Strands started providing the anchoring products and services other companies didn’t want to be burdened with from both a technical and liability point of view. When suspended access rules changed so companies couldn’t just build their own suspended stages for working at height, Clarke recognized another opportunity, and Northern Strands began supplying suspended access companies with equipment. “In the course of probably two years, I found the guys I needed, and bought all the right equipment, and we started to take those jobs. It just grew from there,” he says. The suspended access division now offers training, rentals and equipment installations. “We’re very likely the largest suspended access supplier in Western Canada, and are really well respected.” With a commitment to safety already embedded in the culture of the company, it was logical for Northern Strands to parlay its expertise into a training division. Its fully certified training staff know the

latest OH&S regulations, and can educate workers in fall arrest, tugger safety, first aid and CPR, wirelock socketing and rigging. The training seminars are offered either on-site or at Northern Strands’ facilities. “The industry did lots of wrong things with rigging in the old days. There is no excuse for that in this day and age,” says Clarke. “Nowadays, you have a critical lift plan, a rigging plan. We didn’t have it back then.” The company is a member of the COR (Certificate of Recognition) program, which provides Northern Strands with an effective safety and health management system. Safety has always been the cornerstone of Northern Strands. It was important for Northern Strands to become a COR member and show that they not only talk the talk – they walk the walk. As a mature company, Northern Strands has a strong sense of corporate social responsibility and has been supporting children’s wish charities over the years, as well as local 4-H programs. When the company makes a donation, Clarke insists it be one of the other team members that make the presentation because they are all integral to the donation. “I want them to know it’s not just me as the owner; it’s the company. We did this. We are making this province a better place.” u

Terminating a contract Making the best of a bad situation By Bruce Harrison, Lawyer, McKercher LLP Saskatoon

expressly defining potential triggers for termination in their contract if they are concerned about a possible performance risk. For example, if a contractor has a spotty safety record or an owner has a history of missed payments, then their counterparty may want to be able to exit quickly at the first sign of trouble. Similarly, if a contractor’s performance is based on one key individual or a head contractor is reliant on one client or project, then contracting parties may want the option to terminate if that key element disappears. It is worthwhile including contract terms to address these risks at the outset of the contract rather than kicking yourself later.


espite everyone’s best intentions, contracts to supply goods or services often don’t work out. Whether it be a result of missed deadlines, safety issues, a decrease in capital spending, or abandonment of the contract, parties will at some point find themselves in a position where the best option is to go their separate ways. However, uncertainty around costs and liabilities can lead to litigation or reluctance to terminate despite the toxic relationship. There are a few items which parties should consider including in their contracts to facilitate an amicable separation. There are two ways to terminate a contract: for cause or for convenience (without cause). Termination for cause typically requires a major breach of the contract, not just minor performance or payment issues. It can occur following one major event, such as the insolvency of a party or a significant fraud, safety or environmental violation. It may also occur for persistent minor breaches or a party’s unwillingness to correct a default or make a payment upon receiving notice. In the latter scenario, a party should be given a reasonable amount of time to cure a default, as judges recognize the need to maintain relationships and are more likely to be sympathetic to a party that was victim to a quick trigger finger, unless they had anticipated and prepared for that scenario. Parties should consider

The main difference between termination for cause and termination for convenience is the amount of money paid at the time of termination. A contractor whose contract is terminated without cause is generally entitled to all of its costs reasonably incurred prior to, and as a result of the termination (i.e. demobilization costs and the cost of material deliveries that cannot be cancelled). The contractor may also be entitled to “consequential losses” like their expected profits during the remainder of the contract, or missing out on other contracting opportunities in reliance upon continued performance of the work. Owners may also seek their consequential losses resulting from a contractor’s termination without cause, such as delayed production, extended project administration costs, more expensive replacement contractors, etc. To avoid the potential for open-ended liability, parties should consider a term in their contract to limit consequential losses resulting from the termination and focus on the out-of-pocket costs relating directly to the work. You may also consider using liquidated damages as a pre-estimate of termination cost, such as a “break fee” to cover off obvious transitional costs. The amount may not be perfect, but it provides certainty to the parties on the costs of termination. To aid in transitioning the work, termination should be effective immediately and there should be no more amounts payable other than for work performed prior to the effective date. Exiting contractors should take all steps to protect completed work and store incomplete work from the elements. If the parties are open to it, they should consider assignment of supply and subcontracts to avoid delays and mitigate losses – though this is often difficult to achieve at the time of termination. Including an option for subcontract assignment at contract formation is likely easier then negotiating it after things have gone awry. u 2016 PotashWorks 117

Potash industry slow down

View of inside of tank (corroded surface). Please note, the images were taken at a lithium mine and the coating used was KALPOXY® 568 from Kalenborn Abresist.


he mining industry as a whole has seen considerable slow down in the past few years. From precious metals to commodities like copper, coal and oil sands, the potash miners have not been spared. The industry has seen several of the greenfield projects scaled back or put on hold, and brownfield projects curtailed or delayed to address the oversupply in the market. During this period, successful potash mines have looked internally to improve processes and efficiencies, while at the same time assessing the health of the assets (i.e. process/production equipment, piping, etc.)

118 PotashWorks 2016

Unlike most other mines, potash operations are typically built for the long haul as it’s not uncommon to take 30 to 40 years to mine a potash deposit. Because of the abrasive, but mostly corrosive nature of the potash, much of the equipment is protected right from the time the mine is built. Over time, some of that equipment will require re-lining of its wear-resistant protection or recoating of its corrosion-protection lining. However, not all types of linings are easy to apply in the field. Elastomers and paints often require very specific atmospheric conditions (i.e. temperature and moisture), making them challenging and costly to apply.

View of outside of tank.

Kalenborn Abresist Corporation specializes in the manufacturing and installation of many of the linings and coatings used by the potash industry. An increasing number of clients are relying on Kalenborn Abresist’s new KALPOXY® line of corrosion protection, particularly the 100 per cent solid epoxy coating, used for halting the effects of corrosion on unprotected equipment.

Coated tank and mixing blades.

Requiring minimal surface prep, KALPOXY can be sprayed directly onto corroded, and even wet surfaces, making it very practical and advantageous when larger equipment like tanks and clarifiers require protection. Unlike elastomers, KALPOXY atmospherically cures and therefore does not require specific humidity and temperature levels in order to achieve proper adhesion. Its ease of use makes it a popular choice for maintenance departments and contractors. Quality products, however, are only as good as their installation. Improper diagnosis of the problem leads to a poor choice of protection and a poor choice of lining can often lead to improper installation. Kalenborn Abresist’s field service teams pride themselves on doing it right, all the time. The installation specialists travel North America and Mexico to refurbish and renew a variety of production equipment in use today. Efficient, diligent and experienced, the KAC (Kalenborn Abresist Corporation) field service professionals are counted on time and time again during critical shut down. Whether your project is under strict safety protocols or timelines, the Kalenborn Abresist field service teams ensure that the specifically chosen lining/coating is installed correctly, without fail. u

View of corroded mixer blades and shaft.

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Kalenborn Abresist 5541 North State Road 13, Urbana, IN 46990 Toll Free: 800-348-0717 • Fax: 888-348-0717 E-mail: 2016 PotashWorks 119

Moose Jaw – Building its future Industry – driving the local economy Potash mining generates significant economic spin-off to the city. Mosaic Potash mine at Belle Plaine, along with the $4.25B K+S Potash Legacy mine, currently under construction 58 kilometres north of the city, requires the workforce, products and services supplied locally. The Legacy mine is on track to open later in 2016, creating a great deal of interest from people wanting to secure one of the 300 full-time operational jobs. CP’s new rail line to the new K+S Legacy Potash mine (August 2015).


he city is surrounded by some of the most fertile land on the planet, and when combined with the vast reserves of high-quality potash nearby, this is driving the strong local economy. Moose Jaw continues to see significant business expansion, has a thriving downtown district, on-going housing development and booming tourist trade.

“It’s exciting. There are all kinds of activity happening,” says Deb Higgins, mayor of Moose Jaw. “It’s what some might call astounding growth.” The city has a number of projects currently under construction, including the regional hospital, Brightwater Senior Living, Civic Centre Plaza, West Park, Creekstone, and Westheath subdivisions, a new hotel, and more. A lot of new businesses have opened or will be opening soon in the city’s Grayson Business Park. Higgins believes part of the city’s success has resulted from a change in community attitude. “For many years we didn’t fully appreciate what the city had to offer investors, developers, tourists, and our residents. Now we do!” Tourism has leveraged the city’s rich history, creating unique attractions to draw more visitors. Downtown business owner Yvette Moore says, “We have an unusual number of historic homes and buildings in this community – it’s what makes the community really unique.” Grand murals painted on downtown buildings depict Moose Jaw’s early history, as showcased on the trolley car tour. Moose Jaw’s infamous underground tunnels were restored, attracting thousands of tourists year round. The community also tapped into the hot mineral-rich waters lying in ancient sea-beds deep below the city. “Moose Jaw has all the amenities of a larger city, but still retains a small-town feel and lifestyle. It’s really is a gem of a community,” says Verna Alford, owner of the Grant Hall Hotel, who has spent years restoring the building to its original grandeur. 120 PotashWorks 2016

Within the city, international investment companies are considering the new industrial park as an ideal site for heavy industrial. “Moose Jaw has been identified as a good location because of its many competitive advantages: proximity to two national rail lines, highways, natural gas pipelines, transmission lines, water, waste water treatment plant, and workforce,” says Deb Thorn, economic development officer for the City of Moose Jaw. Moose Jaw’s value-added agricultural sector has experienced significant growth with the construction of the new AgroCorp facility and recent expansion of Simpson Seeds, both wellrecognized global suppliers. Colin Topham of AgroCorp, says, “We have been very pleased with our decision to locate here. Moose Jaw’s got a great community feel to it, but at the same time there’s a lot of economic development on the go – it’s definitely got the feel of a city that’s growing.” Business leaders say the work being done by the City to improve its service delivery is playing a critical role in attracting more investment. Its Development Application Review Team (DART) has representatives from Engineering/Public Works, Planning, Parks, Legal, Fire, Health and Economic Development; DART meets face-to-face with developers on larger or more complex projects to ensure they stay on track and to build strong working relationships. Moose Jaw is definitely “open for business”. The City of Moose Jaw offers a five-year property tax phase-in for commercial and industrial investment. Moose Jaw hopes to attract more industry to the city, as well as entice local businesses to expand. For more information, contact Deb Thorn at Economic Development Services for the City of Moose Jaw, by email,, or by phone, (306) 693-7332 (office) or (306) 690-9713 (cell). Visit them online at u

The cost of downtime Xtended Hydraulics & Machine


n the mining world, it’s not hard to put a cost to downtime, so anything you can do as a supplier to help reduce downtime will make you their new best friend. It’s that kind of partnership approach we take with all our customers after several years of working in the field with mining companies that they have come to know us as the problem solvers. One of our customers came to us a few years back and said they are having trouble with their air cylinders in their loading pocket and flop gate; it didn’t seem to matter what they bought or who repaired them, three months was the most life they could get between changeovers. Since we have worked with them for years improving the quality of the hydraulic cylinders they use underground, they wanted to know what we could do to improve the life of the air cylinders. So the challenge was set. We went underground to see what was happening and how they were being used. We spent a couple of days on site then came back to the shop with a couple of the failed cylinders, did the usual teardown reports, and started making some obvious improvements; the air supply needed better filters and dryers, and we also looked at the design and tried some stuff in the shop. We pretty much

changed everything on the cylinder from tube material and thickness of the tube, the rod and endcaps, and changed how the cushion works. Most of all, we got Hercules involved to determine the best possible seal configuration and material type. After we finished our in-house testing and prototypes, we built a new cylinder from the ground up. After completion, we helped with the install of the new cylinders, as we had seen opportunity for improvement on some of the mounting brackets as well. These cylinders were removed from service about two months ago after being in service for over two years. They were pulled not because they stopped working, but because they had some extra time this summer during a shut down and wanted to see how the cylinders looked internally. So they installed the spare set we built and returned the first ones to us for a teardown report. The cylinders almost looked new, some seal wear and some shaft damage, but we think they could have easily gotten another year of service from the cylinder had it not been pulled. Needless to say, we have a very happy customer, and are now working on another improvement project for them. The mines we deal with know our qual-

ity and dedication to service. The cylinders we build and repair for our mining customers will outlast our competition hands down, as we have spent a lot of time developing what material will work in different applications, just as Hercules has spent a lot of time working with us finding out the seals that will suit those materials in every different mining operation. Just because one application works in one mine does not mean it will work in the next one, even if it is only a few miles down the road. Even something as simple as changing recommended seal specs, or where and how they are mounted in the cylinder, and sometimes just changing the location of the piston seal can change the life of the cylinder. We also have our own hard chrome tanks, as the chrome shafting you buy off the shelf usually has .0002-inch thickness of chrome. With our tanks, we usually chrome to .005-inches thick, but have gone as much as .040-inches for a special high-wear application. One trick we do in certain applications is we chrome the inside of the cylinder tube, as this will increase the lift of the tube, the seals, and even the pistol. Being able to offer all the services in-house makes for faster turnaround times, better quality, and a more reliable end product. If you have a problem, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We do large and smallscale projects and we specialize in hydraulic cylinders. We have a full machine shop, fabrication shop, industrial mechanics and portable milling equipment. We look for opportunities to help our customers improve their efficiency and value of their equipment investment by solving reoccurring issues to make their equipment last longer. We offer a partnership approach with unmatched customer satisfaction and service. u 2016 PotashWorks 121

Esterhazy – Come grow with us


sterhazy is a prosperous, growing industrial and agricultural community in the east central part of Saskatchewan, nestled between the Kaposvar and Qu’Appelle Valleys. Close to 3,000 people work, raise families, and retire in town. We are known as the potash capital due to the rich reserves located in the area. Mosaic Potash has three mines near Esterhazy and there is also a PotashCorp mine just south of the town.

received national recognition for their physical education program. Esterhazy High School, grades six to 12, provides a strong academic background for its students. Students consistently place well in the national math contest. Post-secondary education and training in the trades etc. are provided by Parkland College without having to leave home.


To reflect our optimism, growth and development, town council developed the new tagline, “Esterhazy, come grow with us”. This is reflected in the areas of our youth, healthcare, growth and development, recreation, businesses, heritage, and people.

Most healthcare needs are met right here in town by a dentist, doctors, medical clinic, a hospital, nursing home, and the Maple Street Manor, a private personal care home. The hospital houses healthcare providers in the areas of mental and public health, homecare and physiotherapy. We are currently fundraising to build a new hospital and have received terrific support from the community and surrounding area. A holistic approach to wellness is provided by others, which include an optometrist, chiropractor, massage therapists, iridologists, reiki practitioner, chartered herbalist, and reflexologists.


Growth and Development

We have an excellent K to Grade 5 elementary school, P.J. Gillen, which has

A quick drive around town and one will see the effects of the boom in the potash

Esterhazy is a major service centre for the area offering more than 80 categories of local and national franchise businesses, serving a trading area of well over 10,000 people. It is also a major centre for public services including healthcare and education.

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industry with new construction within residential, commercial and industrial areas. The Town of Esterhazy developed the Sylvite subdivision, attractive residential lots, as well as the Margaret Court subdivision of spacious lots for mobile and modular homes. Private developers provide a variety of housing options by developing new subdivisions. Town council is very interested in working developers to address our growing housing needs. A thriving commercial area at the east entrance to town boasts two new hotels and a restaurant. The town created commercial lots in this very desirable location, offering high visibility with easy access to Highway 22. New and expanding businesses in the industrial sector offer a high level of expertise and secondary support, services and supplies for any size business, including mining, oil and gas, and agriculture. For more information on available residential and commercial lots, please click the site selector tab on the town’s website,

Recreation Our regional park is enjoyed all year round. Walk the nature trails in the summer and cross-country ski them in the winter. Golf nine holes (no tee times required on week days), then cool off in the modern, licensed clubhouse, or take a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool. Esterhazy Arena, with its artificial ice, is a busy place in the winter for our hockey, skating and curling clubs. Recreational programing is on the rise to meet the recreational needs of young families who want more variety, like a workshop on gingerbread houses, after school drop-in, monthly crafts, and regular family movie nights.


cross-country skiing, soccer, cycling, karate, dance, gymnastics, snowmobiling, horseback riding, quilting, just to name a few. Other clubs include the Boy Scouts, Wildlife Federation, Gun Club, and 4-H Clubs.

There are many service clubs for the area: Lions, Knights of Columbus, and the Royal Canadian Legion, just to name a few. Meet new people through the recreational clubs offering a variety of activities, such as yoga, walking, golf,

If you require more detailed information, please contact the town office and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please phone 306-745-3942, email, or go online at u

phitheater. A five-minute drive south of town brings you to Kaposvar Church, built in 1906 and designated as a national historic event.

Professionalism in Project suPPort

Businesses A number of services are available, including accountants, law firms, SGI insurance agents, investment brokerages, banking with a 24-hour ATM access, a credit union, public library, post office, a weekly newspaper, a volunteer fire department, an RCMP detachment, municipal airport and taxi service. Esterhazy offers a satisfying blend of locally owned businesses and national franchises, such as Shop Easy, Big Way Foods, Subway, TJ’s Pizza, North American Lumber, Home Hardware, Fountain Tire, Wolseley, H & R Block, The Source, Sears, Your Dollar Store, The Bargain! Shop, Rexall, Esso, PetroCanada, Merit Ford, to name a few, providing everything from farm, automotive, recreational to personal products.

Heritage The Esterhazy Museum, built in 1910, is one of the historical focal points along with the Flour Mill, a national historic site built in 1907. The development and impact of the potash industry is explained with the help of interactive displays found in the Saskatchewan Potash Interpretive Centre, built in 2007, and the only one of its kind in Western Canada. The Historical Park also boasts a newly refurbished skateboard park and am-

Frontline’s team of professional engineers and construction managers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your project, from concept development through to operations. We understand agribusiness’ needs and expectations, and work with you to develop a project plan that ensures we meet those goals. Our project toolkit provides the structure and oversight needed to guarantee your vision becomes reality.

Feasibility and Engineering Design Services • Process optimization and flow design • Cost estimates and construction schedules • Regulatory permitting and licensing • Public funding documentation • 2D and 3D design and drafting • Electrical hazardous area classification

Construction and Project Management Services • Contract administration • Planning, scheduling and coordination • Tendering, procurement and expediting • Cost control and financial reporting • Site quality inspections and quantity surveying • Site supervision and safety programs • Commissioning planning and execution

1729 Ontario Avenue Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S9 306.956.3350

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New strategic partnerships help push West River Conveyors to the next level

West River recently designed this drive and take-up unit in an easy bolt-together design. The drive, built completely to customer specifications, was equipped with a custom discharge chute and area guarding around the complete unit.


est River Conveyors has been a leader in customdesigned conveyor systems and components since the company was founded in 1981. Recently, West River established two new strategic partnerships that have helped the company gain market share in the North American conveyor equipment manufacturing market. This past May, West River partnered with Cobra America/Depreux, a supplier of conveyor belts for the mining, tunneling, quarry and heavy-duty processing industries. As an exclusive distributor of the Firemaster PVG conveyor belt, West River has the ability to include belt into conveyor package pricing, offering the best possible deal to its 124 PotashWorks 2016

customers. The Firemaster PVG belt is MSHA-approved, has higher mechanical corrosion resistance than many other belts, has a more robust carcass and excellent fastener holding ability. Pete Savage, VP international sales for West River and lead manager for the partnership, said “partnering with such a reputable company that is one of the largest manufacturers of conveyor belting in the world is a huge win for us. We’ve been looking for a belt supplier that will allow us to offer customers competitive pricing and quality belt. With Depreux, that is just what we’ve gotten.” West River has already put the partnership to good use, selling more than 20,000 feet of belt over the past few months.

In addition to the Cobra American/ Depreux partnership, West River also recently partnered with the Belcon/ Regis Group, a field services contractor for bulk material processing and handling equipment. This group specializes in conveyor belt maintenance, splicing, repair, installation, and more. In addition to their field service expertise, Belcon/ Regis also sells and distributes conveyor component products and equipment. The Belcon/Regis Group recently began selling West River’s hydraulic take-up units to their customers. This partnership evolved from an order placed by Belcon/Regis for one of their customers. The order, completed with quality workmanship and outstanding service, led Belcon/Regis to seek a partnership with

West River’s custom electric constant-tension winch built to customer specifications.

West River to be a supplier of conveyor take-up units. The partnership, which began in early summer, has been a success for both companies. West River representatives have used resources available to expand and grow the business. In January of 2015, West River Conveyors entered into an international program offered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to assist businesses in Virginia with international expansion. That program has allowed for West River to gain exposure in markets outside of the United States, and working in conjunction with Applied Industrial Technologies Canada, West River landed their first large conveyor equipment project in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Joe Street, VP sales and co-owner of West River Conveyors, said, “With the ever-changing mining market, it became inevitable for our business to expand our reach. In addition to our participation in the international VALET program and strategic partnerships, we hired a sales manager to cover the Western United States market. His expertise has been an asset to our organization.”

As a small conveyor manufacturing company and a little fish in a big sea, expansion and strategic partnerships were necessary. The need to provide customers with quality products and value were at the top of West River’s list over the past year. West River is moving in a positive direction for both customers and employees. West River remains committed to providing quality conveyor systems and equipment to the mining industry, including belt drives, tail sections, take-up units,

winches, belt storage units, starters, power packs, special design and fabrication, and much more. In addition to complete conveyor packages and equipment, West River also stocks components available for purchase immediately, including sprockets, belt rollers, bearings, pulleys, fluid couplings, bull gears, backstops, chains, and much more. West River’s products are made on-site in their almost 100,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility in Oakwood, Virginia. u

West River’s custom steel channel stringer conveyor, designed specifically for a potash mine in the Western United States. The conveyor included added Cobra 2-ply, 440PIW conveyor belt.

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How to extract best value from electrical equipment By Tyler Klassen, P.Eng., Littelfuse Startco


f electricity is the lifeblood of mining, then distributing that energy where it is needed is vital. Electrical distribution equipment, such as switchgear, portable power distribution centres, and electrical substations are custom designed and built for each mine location. Special considerations designing equipment for potash mining are required as a potash mine presents a harsh environment and specific application challenges. Procuring such equipment is different than ordering standard industrial products, because miners are relying on engineering and application expertise as much as they are buying a set of features. Equipment selection should not be based simply on price; a host of critical engineering and reli-

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ability factors can mean the difference between productive uptime and costly downtime. Imperfectly designed solutions with a low initial price may have hidden costs. In a survey of primarily Canadian mining and oil sands professionals, 70 per cent of respondents estimated that hidden costs typically add 10 to 30 per cent to the purchase price of their power distribution equipment. Consider the story of a potash mine that received equipment with cable connectors mounted in an area where the loader would strike the equipment when pushing it into position. Maintenance workers had to move the connectors, which involved cutting a new hole, drilling and tapping holes for mounting

screws, and sourcing plates to cover the original openings. This added an unexpected $8,000 to the cost of the equipment, mostly due to labour. Another example is an open-pit mine whose operators learned its new power distribution centre was built to U.S. standards rather than Canadian CSA standards. The inspector would not approve it and the $250,000 substation ended up in the scrapyard. Traditionally, purchasers will either look at purchase price only, or they may use a tool called total cost of ownership (TCO) to evaluate competing project bids. The idea is to go beyond price and capture costs related to maintenance and reliability. While it is a step in the

right direction, this approach is not fully adequate for custom electrical equipment. To help customers make a fully informed decision when procuring custom equipment, a new model called Best Value Purchasing is recommended. This model has been successfully used in a number of different industries outside of mining to select suppliers on highly engineered products or projects. The best value model asks mine engineers and managers to rate vendors on factors such as on-time delivery, engineering expertise, facilities, and industry expertise. The team weighs each factor and then adjusts bids mathematically to provide a more realistic estimate of true cost.

Best value looks at 11 critical factors 1. Capital equipment cost. Price is just the start. 2. Design experience. Equipment must meet load and application demands and integrate with existing systems. Some low-cost vendors may recommend a cookie-cutter solution that misses important requirements. 3. S chedule. What’s the vendor’s track record for on-time delivery? Lost production and idle workers are particularly costly in a mine.

4. Installation and commissioning. Lowquality equipment may require days of rework because it is out of specification, defective or is unsuited to actual conditions. 5. Maintenance. Often a sub-optimal design costs more over the long term. 6. Downtime. What’s the vendor’s reputation for supplying highly reliable equipment? Equipment failure and associated loss of power could interrupt mission-critical functions. 7. E nergy savings. Ensure that the vendor understands that the design should be engineered specifically for the application. Using improperly sized transformers or other equipment may affect efficiency. Energy costs impact mine profitability. 8. Innovation. Some vendors go beyond the basics by incorporating components that reduce maintenance and improve processes. As the equipment will be in service for decades, it is important to take advantage of new technologies whenever possible. 9. Quality. State-of-the-art manufacturing, component selection, smart engineering, and competent fully trained assembly staff all contribute to quality. 10. Customer support. Will the vendor be

able to come onsite? Will the vendor respond quickly to questions and issues? Many years later will the vendor still have the drawings? 11. Safety. Vendors should not cut corners by leaving out design features that protect workers from electric shock and arc flash. A failure in this regard would have catastrophic costs in lawsuits, fines, and downtime. Using a best value model, mine managers may avoid costly surprises. Littelfuse Startco offers a white paper on best value purchasing at Tyler Klassen, P. Eng. is the sales engineering manager of custom products at Littelfuse Startco, where he works with system designers, integrators, and end users around the world to find solutions for protection relay and custom-engineeredproduct applications. He started with Littelfuse Startco in 1996 and has many years of experience supporting the electrical distribution needs of mining and oil & gas operations. He holds a B.Sc in electrical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. He can be reached by email at, or by telephone at 306-657-1972. u 2016 PotashWorks 127

Enhancing mine safety with load cells Here’s what you need to know about measuring weight or force with load cells, load pins, and tension links Standard load cells and tension links are typically used if the system is standard or an engineer can adapt the system to an off-the-shelf item. This tends to occur in applications where there’s some system design flexibility in the early stages of design. Most load cells, load pins, and tension links are custom designed when they must be adapted to fit existing systems. However, designers should consider the potential for custom load cell solutions even for new designs where their use enhances the overall system integrity, safety, or performance.


n industries from mining and manufacturing to construction, transportation, and agriculture, the need to weigh or measure inputs, outputs, and applied force has grown in recent decades to improve production safety and control costs. “Design engineers are responding as complex systems such as mine lift equipment, construction cranes, industrial tanks, grain silos, and locomotives, which may have lacked weight or force sensing capability in the past, are being upgraded to include load cells, load pins, and tension links,” says Riley Phillips, a mechanical designer at Massload, a Saskatoon, Canada-based manufacturer of quality load cells and weighing systems. “These sophisticated weight and force-sensing devices can help to maximize production load efficiency, while offering some of the enhanced safety features that are increasingly required by regulation, such as automatic shutdown if a load exceeds capacity.” Here’s a quick look at measuring weight or force with load cells, load pins, and

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tension links (also known as tension cells).

The basics A load cell is a transducer that changes force into a measureable electrical output. There are many varieties of load cells, of which strain gauges are the most common. Load cells can range from a versatile single-ended shear beam, which can be used in weighing applications such as blenders, hoppers, and floor scales, to a double-ended shear beam, which can be used in applications such as tank weighing and large capacity platforms. “Load pins and tension links are subcategories of load cells,” explains Phillips. “Load pins can be substituted anywhere there is a pin and there’s a need to know the shear force on it. Tension links are a type of strain gauge transducer that measures force in tension applications such as wire rope, chains, and pulleys. These are often used in lifting, pulling, and winching applications, such as for cranes and mine lift equipment.”

How to avoid pitfalls Planning a superior weighing system or retrofitting an old one on existing equipment can present challenges to even veteran design engineers. Bringing in your weighing system vendor during the planning stage can allow you to improve safety and control costs while meeting specific code requirements. “A lot of issues need to be considered,” says Larry van den Berghe, president and CEO at Massload, which has refined its custom design flow over the past decade. “It is important to look at the design process upfront to ensure reliability and manufacturability while controlling costs.” “For instance, fit is critical on load pins because they normally have to interface with tight tolerances,” adds Phillips. “Depending on where the load is applied, if the supports, loading area, pin diameter, or other factors are off, the load pin may not work as expected.” To avoid pitfalls, insist on a regulatoryapproved quality management system that traces the load cell manufacture at

Custom-load pins.

each critical step from start to finish and request a design flow checklist from the weighing system vendor to ensure that critical steps are not omitted. “CAD modelling is not always straightforward, and sometimes you have to think beyond software’s presentation,” adds Phillips. “A stress concentration in the CAD modelling may look artificially high in one area, but may be masking a stress pattern in another area. You need accurate data on stress patterns throughout the component.” Ask the weighing system vendor to validate the output of their load cell component against simulated real-world conditions. This validation could be achieved through a digital photo of the test set up for enhanced accountability. The design specifications, loading, testing, and application must be aligned, explains Phillips. “It’s critical to get accurate CAD modelling and test data because that’s how the product will act, but it must be backed up by actual testing,” he states. “A mistake as simple as using the wrong supporting restraints could artificially strengthen load pin CAD results, and if real-world testing doesn’t catch it, the component may not have its stated capacity.” To ensure output stability, engineers also need to know how the load cell output may vary depending on material strain over time, according to Phillips. Conducting a creep test to determine

Tension link.

how stable the output is over time can also be important. Because the accuracy of any load cell is only as good as its calibration, it is vital that the reference cells in any testing system be traceable to a trusted standard such as that of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). To guarantee that your supplier complies with the Verified Conformity Assessment Program (VCAP), a program implemented by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, it is also a good idea to ask for a copy of the VCAP auditor’s report. “When warranted, it’s advisable for a vendor to cross-check their results against an independent, third-party engineering firm as an added layer of reliability and quality assurance,” adds Phillips.

Tension link kit.

“Even details, such as putting scribe lines on where to place components can ease manufacturing,” says Phillips. “When these sorts of details are overlooked, they can require the manufacturer to rebuild a load pin or load cell before it’s done right.” Details such as the types of bolts used should not be overlooked. “The customer may require a countersunk bolt arrangement to hold lids on if they’ve found that during operation bolt heads have been knocked off because they’re close to walls or equipment,” he explains. The right weigh system vendor partner will also consider finer points that will affect field performance and maintenance.

The right vendor partner will also pay attention to small details that will streamline manufacture of the weigh system component, such as bonding, grounding, sealing, and gauge selection to ensure lasting performance and resistance to water intrusion.

“It’s important to include loading direction arrows because once a product like a load pin is sealed and symmetrical, the customer won’t know which way to place it in their equipment otherwise,” explains Phillips. “To enhance field performance, it’s also necessary to specify the right type of connector, whether hard-wired, wireless, or quick disconnect.”

Phillips notes the importance of knowing the correct location where load cells, load pins, or tension links are supported “because if you over-support a load cell it won’t have the output you’d expect.” Placement of internal electronic components, such as bondable or trimmable resisters, can also affect device performance, he says.

As design engineers respond to the growing need to weigh or measure inputs, outputs, and applied force to improve production safety and control costs, working and consulting with the right vendor partner can be a critical choice in designing weigh systems with the optimum load cells, load pins, or tension links. u 2016 PotashWorks 129

Comairco Saskatoon – Proud to support its local industries


eing the largest air compressor distributor in Canada, and always tuned into the needs of its specific regional industries throughout the country, Comairco understands the importance of building durable customer relations. Our team is composed of certified local technicians, who understand the challenges faced by the diverse industrial sectors in Saskatchewan. Ever since the branch opened in 2002, Comairco Saskatoon has built a stellar reputation, by being available and supportive in addressing these challenges with its expertise in service

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advices, sales, installation, and 24/7 technical support. The Comairco advantage also means having a vast inventory of parts and equipment accessible at all times, ensuring that the service personnel can repair your air compressor and get you back in operation without delay, regardless of what the problem may be. As an industrial equipment supplier for over 40 years who offers a wide range of services, Comairco has built a dependable expertise in refurbishing and reconditioning air ends.

Air end refurbishing and reconditioning: benefit from increased reliability The compression unit is the heart of your compressor, and unlike most of the other components, it is specific to your equipment, and not always readily available on the market. While their durability generally varies from one manufacturer to another, all compression units eventually degrade. However, they can be refurbished as part of a preventative maintenance program designed to help manage unforeseen costs for repairs, and unscheduled interruptions in your operations.

Some serious advantages to consider When you choose to have your air end reconditioned, the first step is to determine its level of weathering, by reviewing your maintenance history, as well as using prognosticative analysis or performing a thorough inspection in our state-of-the-art workshops. Certified Comairco technicians regularly employ all three of these methods in order to formulate a precise and informed diagnosis.

The Comairco advantage also means having a vast inventory of parts and equipment accessible at all times, ensuring that the service personnel can repair your air compressor and get you back in operation without delay, regardless of what the problem may be.

Upgrading your air end will keep your compressor performing like new for many more years to come, and in the vast majority of cases, this maintenance is financially more manageable than the complete replacement of your equipment. Your air end reconditioning may also be combined with a convenient protection plan, as well as qualifying for our exchange program. Comairco also has a diverse fleet of top-notch air compressors readily available for lease, in order for your company to maintain an optimal level of yield in its operation, and thus, under any circumstances. Above all else, Comairco means 45 years of air compressor expertise, thousands of satisfied customers throughout North America, one of the largest inventories of parts, and a team of more than 150 dedicated employees at your service. Comairco offers complete air compression solutions, customized in accordance to the demands of your industrial needs, with the aid of a mobile service department, several cuttingedge workshops, as well as a large fleet of rental equipment, an industrial engineering department, and of course, a technical support team. We invite you to contact us at any time for further information on any of our services, or for an estimate based on an evaluation of your needs. u 2016 PotashWorks 131

Value-added services By Krystal Simpson

Gallery module painted and underside spray foamed by Park Derochie.


ith close to 60 years of experience, Park Derochie’s highly skilled, wellorganized workforce has continuously provided high-quality services across Canada. Since its expansion into Saskatchewan in 2010, Park Derochie Coatings (Saskatchewan) Inc. has become an industry leader and an integral part of the Saskatchewan potash industry. Park Derochie Saskatchewan offers a variety of services from shop and field coatings to fireproofing and mechanical 132 PotashWorks 2016

insulation in both new construction and maintenance. The company also applies polyurethane spray foam insulation and are proud to be an approved applicator of BASF spray foam products.

Polyurethane spray foam insulation applications Spray foam is an excellent insulator that can be used in a variety of applications. In the potash industry, it is commonly used on roofs and walls, as well as the undersides of galleries or modules. Its

superior air and vapour barriers allow for precise temperature and moisture control while transporting and storing potash. Spray foam’s seamless finish also has the ability to seal cracks and holes, fixing leaky roofs while providing insulation.

Why use spray foam insulation? Walltite®, a BASF spray foam insulation used by Park Derochie, provides thermal insulation and is durable and sustain-

able long-term. This spray-applied foam withstands wind pressure, helps manage moisture movement and reduces the risk of condensation, mould, ice damming, and spalling. Polyurethane spray foam adheres to virtually any surface and won’t sag or settle leaving cold spots. With proper maintenance, spray foam can last a lifetime, renewing with touch ups as needed throughout the years and rarely requiring a total redo. Traditional tar and gravel roofing requires replacement every 20 to 25 years and comes with potential problems like blistering from trapped moisture.

Why Park Derochie? Conveniently located Park Derochie’s Saskatoon location and the recent addition of a new location in Regina provide a combined 25,000 square feet of shop space and 45 acres of land, providing temperature-controlled environments for spraying and curing year round. Multiple locations allow for quick and easy mobilization of equipment and manpower to clients throughout the province.

Custom scheduling and reporting Park Derochie has, for several years, built relationships on transparency. Our proprietary time database management system benefits clients, as budgets are developed and daily timekeeping measures track progress against daily costs. We believe that this method is a shared risk method that creates trusting partnerships. One call – One contractor It is Park Derochie’s goal to continually provide our clients with beneficial, efficient, economic products and services, ensuring long-term serviceability for the client. Our “One Call – One Contractor” motto speaks to our unique ability to provide a combination of services. For example, galleries/modules can be blasted, painted, and partially insulated in one of our shops before being shipped out to site, where the remaining insulation is done, or the entire project can be completed on site if required. The further benefit of a single project manager along with custom scheduling and reporting allows our clients valuable time and cost savings.

Spray-foam roof insulation by Park Derochie.

Inclusive workforce Park Derochie is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. We respect and value the diverse backgrounds and traditions of all employees and the rich diversity of the communities in which we operate. To support the growing needs of our clients and surrounding communities, we are proud to have a long-serving workforce with diverse cultural backgrounds, are engaged with numerous aboriginal communities in Saskatchewan, and have entered into a workforce training and labour utilization agreement with Pasqua First Nation. Proven partners Park Derochie is known for providing highly trained people, expertise, quality, safety and value to all of its clients, demonstrating time and again a well-earned reputation for being “proven partners since 1956”. u 2016 PotashWorks 133

Faster bulk load out Superior Technologies Weighing and Controls Inc.


uperior Technologies Weighing and Controls Inc. was founded in 1976. Based in Winnipeg, Man. and privately owned, Superior Technologies has worked their way to being one of the most recognizable names in the scale and automation industry. Holding the ISO 9001:2008 certification and employing a fleet of Measurement Canada-certified technicians and inspectors, Superior Technologies has helped companies all over the globe. With customers all across Canada, the United States, Peru, Egypt, Australia and China, they have a firm grip on the industry and continue to grow every year. This Winnipeg company’s involvement

in the potash industry has been a game changer since the introduction of its innovative bulk weighing systems, reducing to mere minutes the loading of an entire rail car, within 99.9 per cent accuracy. Prior to its arrival, workers at potash mines could start the loading, leave for a coffee break, and still have time to wait upon their return. This is a thing of the past. Initially conceived for the grain industry, Superiors’ bulk weighing systems adapted to a higher-density commodity like potash. Many of Superiors’ bulk weighers that are currently in the field have not needed to be serviced since their installation, proving that the “superior”

Potash bulkweigher.


T: 306-651-1272 E: 134 PotashWorks 2016

TRONPOWER.COM An English River First Nation Company

design, adaptability, and construction make them the one of the best on the market. This equates to many hours and dollars saved on downtime. The physical bulk weigher itself is not the only key to Superiors’ success within the potash industry; they also developed the necessary controls to operate the sophisticated systems. The controls are just as, or possibly even more important than the physical structure. From the actuation of the gates to the proper outflow of product, everything is timed to perfection. Superior Technologies has one of the largest in-house teams of engineers and technical staff among Canadian weighing/process control systems companies. Their personnel include engineering staff, as well as highly experienced scale technologists and technicians. A few examples of some of the process systems developed by Superior are the WinCBS (a full-featured, easy-to-use

Initially conceived for the grain industry, Superiors’ bulk weighing systems adapted to a higher-density commodity like potash. Many of Superiors’ bulk weighers that are currently in the field have not needed to be serviced since their installation, proving that the “superior” design, adaptability, and construction make them the one of the best on the market. This equates to many hours and dollars saved on downtime. PC/PLC-based automated concrete batching system developed for the Microsoft Windows™ operating system) and the QWICC™ (Quality Windowed Intelligent Commodity Controller) system, a multi-tasking real-time Windows-based HMI (human machine interface) controlling package for controlling grain elevator facilities with multiple bulk weighers and truck scales. Any number of QWICC™ workstations may be interfaced via a fast ethernet connection to a programmable logic control-

ler (PLC) to handle all receiving, audit/ transfer, shipping, blending and cleaning tasks. Not only does Superior Technologies specialize in the design, fabrication, installation, automation, and servicing of its bulk weighers, they also offer a wide selection of scale products ranging from analytical balances to truck scales. This complete offering makes Superior “superior” among scale and automation companies across Canada. u

Quality You Can Measure. Engineered Weighing & Automation Systems

Legal for Trade Bulk Loadout Rail Scales 1673 Dugald Rd, Winnipeg, MB l 204-661-6482 2016 PotashWorks 135

Starting from sketches A new automated potash storage and reclaim facility


aking a huge concept from a sketch on a paper to a fully completed project can be a challenging endeavour. But for Flyer Electric, challenges like these are exactly the kinds of jobs the company likes to take on. “We like the tough jobs,” says Terry Tessier, CEO of Flyer Electric. “Remote work areas, congested sites, complex installations, and helping bring projects from an idea to reality – whatever the situation, we like the challenge of coming up with solutions.” Recently, Flyer Electric was commissioned for the design, engineering, construction, and pre-commissioning of a new automated potash storage and reclaim facility in eastern Saskatchewan.

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“It was a massive project,” says Tessier. “Starting from a concept on paper, we were responsible for the entire electrical and automation design-build on the project.” Communication was key. During all phases of the project, it was necessary to coordinate with the structural, civil, and mechanical trades and design teams to ensure a professional installation. The entire project was governed by strict specifications for the harshest environment, as well as an in-depth quality control and assurance program developed specifically for the project. The scope of work was huge: three-phase power distribution systems, building and area lighting systems, small power systems, emergency lighting system/

UPS power supply, cable tray systems, grounding and bonding, high-voltage cable installation and splicing, automation system, multiple conveyor systems, PLC controls, duct reclaim system, ultrasonic product monitoring systems, and fire alarm system. Flyer Electric developed functional descriptions for the complete system, including all safeties required – document development detailed specifically for PLC programming and quality control system throughout each step of the process, complete with ITP and signoffs. In addition, it was an all stainless-steel construction, which made the construction a little more challenging, but the life span was longer. “The end result is the system functioned

the way it was intended,” says Tessier. “It is a completely automated system that doesn’t need an on-site operator. It’s run remotely. Even reclaiming the material after was all automated.” Saskatchewan-based Flyer Electric has completed a wide range of design, construction and maintenance projects at many commercial and industrial sites across the province. “We’ve recently celebrated 30 years, and a lot of our success stems from the fact that we not only aim to exceed our client’s expectations in everything we do, but we also embrace and excel at the more challenging and difficult jobs.” Flyer Electric is proud to be 100 per cent Saskatchewan owned, based in

Saskatchewan, and serving Saskatchewan. We are known for delivering time and time again, exactly what our clients need, from design to construction, and everything in between. Some recent projects include extensive work at underground potash and uranium mines ranging from complex control system upgrades to everyday routine maintenance, numerous fire

Flyer Electric has been providing a wide range of industrial electrical services in Saskatchewan for over 30 years. We’re known as being the electrical contractor who can get the job done right in even the most challenging conditions.

alarm, security, and CCTV installations at mines, power plants and large industrial sites throughout Saskatchewan and reenergizing decommissioned mines. Flyer Electric is proud to be part of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) and is COR certified and registered with ISNetworld. Visit them online at u

We provide a full range of industrial electrical services, including: • Electrical, instrumentation, and automation design • Industrial electrical construction and maintenance • Automation and controls integration • Fire Alarm system installation • Testing, troubleshooting, and repair of all electrical and control systems

• Data, f ibre optics communication systems • Industrial lighting solutions 2016 PotashWorks 137

50 years of partnerships in Saskatchewan potash

Ladder chain.


t is said that the success of a business can be measured by its time in the industry and Saskatchewan’s Bit Service is a superb example of this fact. In 1965, Ted Scheuermann and his partners founded Bit Service Company Ltd. in Esterhazy at the inception of the Saskatchewan potash industry. Bit Service initially provided a bit re-sharpening service and it didn’t take long to find other areas of need in the industry and to expand into working with suppliers and customers to fill those needs. This included following the potash industry to the Saskatoon area where they opened their head office in 1967. Bit Service soon formed relationships which continue to this day with long-established mining manufacturers like Cincinnati Mine Machinery Co., The Bowdil Company, McSweeney’s Inc. and Sandvik Mining and Construction. The experienced and knowledgeable personnel at Bit Service work with mine

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staff and management to help eliminate problems they face with mine consumables and to maximize production. From the design stage, aided with 3D modelling software, through production and warehousing they continually fulfill

customer needs. Constantly striving to innovate and improve on the products they service and provide, Bit Service has been able to bring several new products to the potash industry, which have been met with great success. The two- and four-rotor boring machines have long been the primary mining machines in the conventional Saskatchewan potash mining market. Instrumen-


of employers think apprentices nail it! *Apprenticeship & Employer Satisfaction Survey Report – 2013



Cover cap with sprocket.

tal in the cutting and production of the ore are the radial bits on the front of the machine. Bit Service saw a need for an upgraded and purpose-built product in this area. Closely working with Sandvik Mining and Construction over a decade ago, they developed a prototype which blended the well-designed and failureresistant forging that Bit Service had been producing for years in the Esterhazy area, with the high-quality carbide inserts Sandvik is known for. Over the course of hundreds of prototypes, employing several different carbide grades and profiles, as well as dozens of braze formulas and procedures, a finished bit was refined and put into production. To this date, it is the most prominent and well-received bit in use in our province’s potash industry. In recent years, through a partnership with Cincinnati Mine Machinery, Bit Service helped develop a new and greatly improved ladder-style conveyor chain for potash boring machines. This product has been a great success and has helped customers see increased machine availability and reduced maintenance costs. A new purpose-built trim chain was designed and produced by this same partnership and has proven to 140 PotashWorks 2016

be a strong performer on two- and fourrotor boring machines. Additional refinements made or driven by Bit Service in the area of trim chains, sprockets, trim chain guides and conveying systems have literally put them in the forefront for the cutting and conveying of potash ore. With their in-house heavy fabrication and welding, Bit Service is well

positioned to be a leader in supplying new and refurbished cutting assemblies. They have developed and refined countless boring machine tooling sets, heads for continuous miners and roadheaders, as well as undercutter bars. Customer service and satisfaction has always been the primary goal and their extensive warehouse stock is an illustration of this. Due to constantly changing customer needs resulting from machine alterations and geological differences, Bit Service works closely with mines to stock what they need in quantities to maintain maximum productivity. These partnerships are strong and Bit Service looks forward to continuing them for many decades to come. u

Wolseley Industrial Canada Inc. Looking towards the future in PVF product supply chain quickly and efficiently, while keeping track of our own performance and delivery timelines,” says Jason Santha, branch area manager for Saskatchewan. “It’s a valuable service that our customers have relied on, and we want to continue providing this to them consistently.”


t’s hard to believe that it has been one year since Wolseley Industrial Canada purchased Goodman Industrial in Esterhazy, Sask. And, what a busy year it has been. The name may have changed, but what hasn’t changed is the same attention to customer service built on a foundation of what made Goodman into a great company. Since then, Wolseley Industrial has been working diligently on ensuring our service levels are top notch. “We have a dedicated team of inside and outside sales people, shippers/receivers, and delivery truck drivers that are ready and eager to assist our customers with their pipe, valve and fitting requirements,” says Michelle Shire, PVF sales manager, adding that it doesn’t end with just these products. “We are also a major supplier of ground support

items (such as rock bolts, DYWIDAG bar, resin), trim chain, miner tooling, AM50 and Marietta miner parts, National pump parts, paint and specialized coatings.” If you need it, Wolseley will find it, expedite it so that it meets your timeline, and deliver it to you packaged the way you like it. Our motto is “Trust earned through performance”. Wolseley Industrial also has a second location in Saskatoon to assist our Esterhazy office. Our location at 3422 Millar Avenue acts as a hub for distribution of our products to our clients in Central Saskatchewan. “Because we run our own delivery truck service weekly from Esterhazy to Saskatoon, it really gives us great flexibility in marshalling our customer’s material

Another value-added program Wolseley Industrial has is with the implementation of a web-based quality management system. The QMS system will track product and supplier non-conformances, such as a sub-standard service or product issues. These occurrences are logged in our system, tracked and monitored until there is corrective action and future preventative action. Wolseley Industrial is actively working on ISO 18001 designation. Wolseley Industrial’s capabilities include: • Experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated team members • 24/7 sales personnel, service and support • Extensive project expediting, documentation, change management, project management, and post-order management expertise • Logistics • Inventory management programs geared to customized local requirements • An industry-leading across-Canada distribution network with on-theground supply capability from Wolseley Industrial’s highly trained and experienced teams. From day-to-day supply to major projects, we are committed to your success. Our goal is to be your best local distributor with trust earned through performance. u 2016 PotashWorks 141

Fabric structure ideal for storing potash Customizable, quick-to-install fabric buildings resist corrosion, wind, and cold

Exterior of Ag Partners, LLC of Albert City, Iowa.


odern farming practices require using fertilizer – like potash – to condition the soil. Potash is critical to food production – it’s used as a fertilizer for everything from wheat to cotton to pineapples. Since potash is a sea salt, it must be kept away from moisture at all times, so it’s extremely hard to store. Fabric structures by Legacy Building Solutions are ideal for bulk fertilizer storage, especially potash, because they are exceptionally versatile, climate-responsive, and perfectly suited for its particular storage conditions. 142 PotashWorks 2016

“Hands down, fabric buildings are the best long-term option for potash storage,” said Paul Smith, sales and project design manager at Legacy Building Solutions, “because they offer so many advantages over other building types. They can be fully customizable, and they can be installed in one-third of the time as compared to a traditional building. [Editor’s note: the steel is mostly recycled – as is all steel – but the fabric is not]. In addition, their parts last much longer and are much easier to maintain, which drastically reduces lifecycle costs.

About half of all potash in the world comes from regions in Canada with harsh winters, heavy snows and strong winds. Legacy’s fabric structures are well suited to these conditions, as they are engineered to withstand high winds and snow loads as required by local building codes. They are also engineered to carry conveyor loads. In the face of these conditions, fabric storage structures maintain a dry environment for storage. When potash gets wet, it either dissolves or solidifies into unusable blocks. Even worse, when potash comes into contact with moisture,

such as conveyors, cranes and conditioners can be mounted to the building frame for the most efficient operation when receiving and reclaiming granular or prilled fertilizer.

Interior of Ag Partners, LLC of Alberta City, Iowa.

the caustic substance can cause buildings to rust and corrode. Architectural fabric is a great material for potash storage, because it’s extremely resistant to corrosion. Legacy uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fabrics for the design and manufacture of its structures, and offers optional flame retardant fabric. With proper ventilation, fabric structures “sweat” less than buildings made of more conductive materials, such as steel. Adding fabric liners on the interior can further seal buildings from the inside out and isolate potash from steel structures – preventing corrosion before it starts.

Large-scale fertilizer operations require abundant clear span space – including separated bays to store various types of fertilizer before mixing, as well as room for receiving, load-out, material handling and segregation. Semi trucks, loaders, portable hoppers and other large equipment are further accommodated with wide portals and jack beams able to support any type of door for easy access, reclamation and transloading. Using a concrete foundation with stem wall increases storage capacity and maximizes the land available for construction. In most cases, equipment

Wider, taller, unique roof-line shape, high snow and/or wind loads, seismic and collateral loads are standard capabilities for Legacy’s custom, application-driven designs. Ancillary equipment loads, such as conveyors, cranes and fire suppression are all viable in a Legacy-designed structure. The building’s operational needs are met with steel-frame finish choices, including factory-applied primers, hot dip galvanized, powder coated or specialty coatings. Another advantage of fabric structures for potash storage is that they are constructed more rapidly than traditional buildings, allowing for quicker occupation and profit. “A fabric potash storage building, whether two to 15 football fields in size, will beat conventional construction schedules, yet be designed to take on all elements,” said Jim Kumpula, general manager of Legacy Building Solutions Canada. “Potash storage in a fabric building compresses the construction schedule, saving time and costs.” u

Even without insulation, fabric structures better maintain the inside temperature. They are generally up to 20 degrees cooler on a hot day, which prevents condensation that could drip on stored potash and ruin it. In addition, Legacy has the design and structural engineering expertise to supply buildings that meet the most demanding mine site environmental and performance requirements. Its custom fabric structures combine lightweight architectural fabrics with solid steel frames that can sustain clear span widths over 300 feet. Mining products and operations have plenty of room to maneuver inside a fabric storage building.

The liner of the Farmers Coop Society fertilizer storage building in Sanborn, Iowa.

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Delivering a higher standard


t Fednav, we aim to be the carrier of choice. Shippers of dry bulk are reassured to know we move about 25 million tonnes of cargo annually and that we are committed to delivering the highest standard of safety, reliability, self-sufficiency, and sustainability, thereby providing a high-quality solution in the business of ocean trade. Here are five reasons why our customers count on us to fulfill their transportation needs. 1. Our modern fleet delivers cargo reliably and safely  Our fleet of Handysize, Handymax, and Supramax bulk carriers trade worldwide. Of the close to 100 bulk carriers we operate, we own half. An additional 18 ships are currently on order, of which 12 will be owned by Fednav; all built to the highest standards.

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With an average age of just under nine years, our fleet provides the peace of mind that comes with modern ships designed for the needs of today’s shipper. 2. Ship management and operational excellence means our shippers can sleep at night Our Rightship ratings say so much. Out of roughly 18,000 bulk carriers currently in service worldwide, only 34 vessels currently have a fivestar rating on both the risk and environmental side—and, at the time of writing, eight of these vessels are owned by Fednav. With welltrained crews on our ships, and the expertise of ship-management firms known for their technical excellence and emphasis on safety, we offer crews and cargo the highest level of safety.

3. Our expertise in specialized markets offers operational efficiency and competitive rates Together, ships and operational employees offer you reliability and efficiency of the highest calibre. Our staff members have in-depth knowledge of our customers’ preferences, while our ships are designed to meet the needs of those customers. With the largest ice-class fleet in the world, most of our vessels are built to navigate in a variety of operating environments and ice conditions, and our numerous Handies are suited to trade in the St. Lawrence Great Lakes System, where we are the leading international user. 4. We partner with our clients for the long term, offering flexible scheduling and versatile tonnage capacities From the ship operator at our head-

quarters to our cargo superintendent at the dock, we always aim to work with our customers using a long-term view. We are aware that our partners have evolving needs, which is why they choose to stay with us year after year, decade after decade. They know we’ll work with them to find mutually agreeable solutions. Our financial stability is a solid assurance that we will be here for years to come. 5. We care about the environment As a founding member of Green Marine, the environmental certification program for the North American marine industry, we take to heart the reduction of our industry’s environmental impact. All our newly owned vessels will receive the CLEAN notation from DNV GL, the world’s largest ship and offshore classification society, and meet MARPOL’s new Energy Efficiency Design Index. Fednav – Delivering a higher standard for over 70 years. u


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The Westpro advantage in potash processing best-performing equipment on site. Another of Westpro’s larger units currently in commission is Westpro’s 42-metre (138-foot) diameter elevated high-capacity potash slimes thickener at a PotashCorp facility in Saskatchewan. Industry-leading potash processing expertise forms a major component of the Westpro advantage, as showcased by the excellent performance delivered by the company’s equipment in the industry. Westpro’s conventional flotation cells have been operating reliably in a key part of the potash processing flowsheet at both Mosaic and PotashCorp process plants in Saskatchewan and at SQM in Chile. Site engineers at Mosaic Colonsay are particularly pleased with the size reduction performance of a seven-foot diameter Westpro Rod Mill with the mill discharge particle size distribution in agreement with the design intent. Supplied as a customized package, including a rod charger, the superior performance of this mill represents another triumph of Westpro’s process system and mechanical design capabilities. Propeller assembly for Westpro’s AS108VBH-6 attrition scrubber at the Westpro shop. The AS108VBH-6 is one of the largest attrition scrubbers in the world.


estpro Machinery Inc. is an innovative Canadian mineral processing technology company with over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of a comprehensive range of mineralprocessing equipment and turnkey process systems. When you buy Westpro, you get the benefits of our quality and customer-focused approach to equipment and process design. We call this the Westpro advantage. The Westpro advantage has been ap146 PotashWorks 2016

plied to the potash sector with great success, with the company’s equipment operating in potash processing plants around the world. Westpro’s capabilities in the industry range from the pilot scale to the largest commercial plant scale. The two 165-cubic-metre capacity Westpro AS108VBH-6 six-cell attrition scrubbers installed at Agrium Vanscoy are among the largest attrition scrubbers in operation in Saskatchewan, and indeed the world. As the process ramps up to full capacity, plant personnel have declared the scrubbers to be among the

The flexibility to custom-configure each machine or process system to deliver optimal performance in the customer’s particular application is provided by Westpro’s integrated engineering capabilities, supported by a talented multidisciplinary team of engineers. This customer-centric approach extends to Westpro’s service division, with available services such as equipment installation, commissioning, reconditioning, spare-parts and process consulting, ensuring that customers are delivered a complete process technology solution. Investing in continuous improvement and R&D is another key differentiator for Westpro. The company recognizes

WestPro RM712 seven-inch-by-12-inch rod mill at Mosaic’s Colonsay process plant in Saskatchewan.

the importance of developing innovative solutions to help boost customers’ bottom lines, particularly in the current challenging commodities market. Westpro’s high-capacity (HC) thickener customers have benefited from savings in power and maintenance costs, in addition to enhanced dewatering performance due to innovations such as Westpro’s new generation hydraulic thickener drives and optimized feedwells designed using CFD technology. In the past year, Westpro has added a direct driven model to its line of rotary dryers to offer our customers

Westpro’s 300-cubic-foot conventional flotation cells on-site at a Mosaic processing plant in Saskatchewan.

a low-maintenance option for dusty applications, such as sulphate of potash (SOP) drying. No discussion regarding Westpro is complete without a mention of quality, the hallmark of Westpro products for the past 30 years. Every Westpro machine is designed to be robust, delivering long-life and low cost of ownership in the challenging environments of mineral processing plants. The principles of quality, innovation, customization, and the application of mineral processing expertise form the

cornerstones of the company’s philosophy, and are reflected in the performance of every Westpro machine. With satisfied customers in over 20 countries around the globe and equipment installations in the potash producing centres of Canada, Russia and Chile, Westpro is ideally positioned to assist you with your potash processing technology needs. Discover the Westpro advantage. Contact us today by email at, by phone at 250-549-6710, or visit us at u

Westpro’s seven-foot-diameter direct-drive rotary dryer, developed for the potash industry.

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Your cost-effective energy services solution Tartan Canada Corporation


artan Canada Corporation (Tartan) has been providing safe, high-quality, cost-effective industrial energy services within Western Canada since 1953 to the energy, utilities, and processing sectors. Our services include plant and field maintenance, shutdowns, construction, and fabrication. LML Industrial Contractors Ltd. (LML), A Division of Tartan Canada Corporation, provides quality, cost-effective union solutions for plant maintenance, shutdowns and construction projects. LML offers highly skilled supervision, safety, quality assurance and control, administration, document control, materials, equipment and procurement management, along with planning, scheduling and cost-control services. LML has been proudly serving the refining, power and potash sectors in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Plant & field maintenance: • Routine, preventive and breakdown maintenance • Sustaining capital and expense support (management of change) • Subcontractor management • Pre-commissioning and start-up support 148 PotashWorks 2016

Shutdown, turnaround, outage (STO): •T  urnkey STO provider •P  lant equipment installation & repair – Boilers/furnaces/exchangers – Tower retrays and repairs – Pressure vessels/precipitators/ tanks – General piping assemblies and valves – Tank repairs and modifications • Bundle pulling • Regulatory compliance Insulating & scaffolding: • Tank/boiler/vessel/heat exchanger • Insulating and cladding • Industrial piping insulating and cladding •E  rection and dismantle of industrial scaffolding • I nternal scaffolding for boilers/tanks/ towers •S  wing stage erection Construction: •B  rownfield & greenfield facilities and offsite construction – Mechanical piping and structural steel (stickbuilt, prefabrication and modular) – Compressors/separators/dehydration units

–M  etre stations/skids/line heaters – I n-situ facility and well pad construction –P  ipelines up to 16-inch diameters • Tank off-sites/tank batteries and gathering systems –T  ank installation, repairs and modifications –C  ommissioning & start-up support Whenever possible, LML promotes direct and in-direct employment opportunities for local residents, aboriginal First Nations, and subcontractor businesses. LML has a longstanding tradition and ongoing commitment to support the local community, our charitable donations program has benefitted a large number of organizations throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. The LML advantage: • Consistent and dedicated approach to safety excellence • Deliver high-quality cost-effective services • Customer focused – flexible and adaptable • Ability to deliver • Experienced union building trades and supervision u

Customizable waste and recycling collection Dynamic Disposal By Lindsay Alliban


ynamic Disposal is a family-owned-and-operated business. Dynamic Disposal provides first-rate disposal services and provides progressive waste and recycling solutions across southern Saskatchewan. We offer customizable disposal and recycling services, and we are a small-town business with big dreams. Dynamic Disposal is working together with our clients to offer new services for proper recycling, and proper disposal of waste. Since offering a variety of disposal bins to the oilfield for many years, Dynamic Disposal is still adapting to the ongoing changes in the oilfield, and expanding into the agriculture and municipal world. With increased safety and recycling requirements, we have continued the evolution of our company and disposal bins. We have improved our disposal bins with safety features and accessibility for our wide variety of customers, ranging from drilling rigs, oilfield batteries, urban municipalities and landfills. We have also jumped headfirst into

offering Single Stream Recycling. Single Stream Recycling is a new process in which all recyclable materials, such as plastics, tin, paper and cardboard, are all collected in one container, we then take materials to a facility which sorts the items to be reused in new products. This new process is reducing waste costs for municipalities, landfills, and companies across Saskatchewan. Waste or recycling collection, our company is happy to work with you to customize your disposal services. Battery bins, construction bins, scrap metal bins, general waste bins, and recycling bins – we have it all. Call today for more information, 1-306-672-3062. We are an adaptable business looking to provide you with easy and reliable service. Facebook: u

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Modernize lubricant storage and handling practices


n today’s harsh economic climate, and with the ever-increasing demands and expectations on equipment, the old saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” is more relevant than ever. What is more difficult today is saving those pennies and dollars, and the importance of world-class maintenance is paramount. Lubrication storage, handling, and dispensing is often overlooked, but it is critical to a successful maintenance program. Correct storage and handling can lead to real savings. The return on investment, often referred to as ROI, can be immediate with reduced equipment failures leading to increased production up-time. Those pennies can be turned into dollars, or even thousands of dollars quickly. Applied Industrial Technologies can give you direction to get on the road to a world-class lube room. Whether you have three lubricants or 30, our lubrica-

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tion specialists will help guide you on your way. A few quick changes in your lube program can lead to improved work areas, safer conditions, cleaner lubricants, lower equipment maintenance cost, improved production, and more. Today’s modern lube dispensary provides an easy method for the identification of lubricants, easy and quick dispensing, and delivery of lube products and minimizing the risk of contaminants by dispensing in a clean, controlled environment. New technologies in clean modern dispensaries ensure quick and efficient transfer of both bulk and measured product and help to realize savings not only directly with the equipment, but as well by lowering costs associated with the delivery and selection of lubricants to cover all of your needs. Applied Industrial Technologies has a dedicated team of specialists with training and background that can help to select the right lubrication method, product, and

Oil-safe dispensing components.

system to meet your needs to help improve your maintenance program. We can also help you to design and incorporate dedicated lubrication delivery systems and general dispensaries, helping to lower maintenance and ownership costs in any facility. Call your local Applied Industrial Technologies location today. Our lubrication group has the experience and service capabilities to help you realize those savings in a quick and efficient manner. Allow us help you to start saving those pennies and dollars today. u

Carson Energy Services is now AECOM


hings have changed for Carson Energy Services in a great way. In 2012, Carson Energy founder and Saskatchewan Order of Merit winner Ron Carson announced his decision to sell the company to Flint Field Services Limited, which then merged with URS a short while later. The merger of URS, an engineering firm, with Flint, a well-established oil and gas company, was a great way to offer our existing clients the same service they’d come to expect and to see new clients introduced to us through AECOM. We could now provide our customers with a scope of work that they’ve never seen from us before. We can build a bridge, install telephone lines, design an airport, or lay a pipeline. Then, in late 2014, AECOM announced its merger with URS. In just four years, Carson Energy had experienced many name changes, yet the same personnel remained. These adjustments afforded Carson Energy the opportunity to improve its services, while remaining true to its roots and making excellent additions to staff, particularly in regards to project planning and innovation, strengthening the company’s relationships with clients and vendors.

AECOM is proud of Carson Energy’s 40 years of experience in Saskatchewan, which produces 90 per cent of Canada’s total potash output, and approximately 50 per cent of the world’s supply. AECOM is an avid supporter of potash growth and expansion in Saskatchewan, demonstrated through its exceptional relationships with its own industry clients and local offices. Clients can expect AECOM to deliver exceptional customer service while exceeding business expectations. We offer construction and expansion programs that are second to none and assist from planning stages through the finished build, regardless of time constraints. AECOM’s ability to support projects across their full lifecycles continues to grow, and we look forward to ensuring that our footprint in Saskatchewan stays as strong as the legacy of Carson Energy Services and its namesake, Ron Carson. Make sure your next project is done right, on time, and in the safest way possible. Contact 1.306.779.2200 to find an AECOM location near you. u

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Full-service mining solutions Tetra Tech Inc.


etra Tech has established a reputation for cost-effective mining expertise and innovation.

The firm’s quality services exceed expectations in today’s demanding market without compromising experience, safety, or integrity.

Experience Tetra Tech’s employees worldwide provide our client with unsurpassed depth and breadth of technical resources and 152 PotashWorks 2016

experience. Our team of engineers, geologists, scientists, and other technical staff solve the most complex design, operational, process, and performance challenges in the industry for projects around the world.

Safety Tetra Tech maintains an exceptional safety record by fully integrating health and safety into all levels and operations of the organization. We implement a health and safety management system

and provide the programs, resources, and tools necessary to support safety integration companywide. Every project is evaluated at all stages to protect the well-being of our employees and the communities and environments in which we work.

Integrity Tetra Tech is committed to business practices that adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct. Quality and mutual respect are the underpin-

nings of our ethics-first approach, which has yielded multitudes of repeat clients who place great confidence in us.

Services for the complete mine lifecycle Exploration • Land acquisition support • Due diligence • Permitting • Baseline studies • Construction and drilling management • Resource evaluations • Corporate social responsibility Pre-Development • Land acquisition support • Scoping studies • Preliminary economic assessments • Baseline studies • Process engineering • Water and wastewater treatment • Feasibility studies • Facility engineering design • Permitting strategy • Corporate social responsibility • Mine engineering design (open-cut and underground) Project Permitting and Approvals • Operating and reclamation permit applications • Baseline studies • Stakeholder consultation and engagement • Environmental and social impact assessments • Corporate social responsibility

• Regulatory compliance management • Brownfield expansions • Corporate social responsibility Reclamation, Remediation, and Closure • Closure plan development • Lifecycle analysis and planning • Reclamation estimation (ARO, LOM, financial assurance) • Alternatives analysis and feasibility studies

• Closure permitting • Environmental and social impact assessments • Engineering, procurement, and construction management • Divestiture strategies • Corporate social responsibility For more information, contact Joe Moser P.Eng., manager of business development, at (306) 649-1580, or by email, u

Full-service mining solutions Construction • Engineering, procurement, and construction management • Regulatory compliance management • Quality assurance and quality control • Engineer of record services • Corporate social responsibility Operations • Facility commissioning • Continuing engineering support • Water and wastewater treatment • Waste management 2016 PotashWorks 153

AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry Delivering excellent product, service, value to potash processors

AkzoNobel applies its expertise in advanced polymer and surface chemistry to tailor reagents for maximum recovery and grade. The company offers technical expertise to meet specific mine challenges.


kzoNobel, a world-leading supplier of flotation collectors for mineral processing, strives to deliver the best possible product, service, and value to the potash industry. For direct flotation of potash, AkzoNobel delivers standard primary amines produced from different types of fatty acids and specialty amine formulations. It also offers collectors for reverse flotation of salt from the potash ore. What’s more, the company applies its expertise in advanced polymer and surface chemistry to create optimal collectors for each potash processing application. AkzoNobel‘s core principles are: safety, integrity and sustainability. Building on these fundamental concepts, the company has articulated key values that sharpen its offering. The values are organized under the categories of customer focus, delivering on commitments, passion for excellence and winning together. AkzoNobel tailors spe-

154 PotashWorks 2016

cific actions and programs within each category to each mining customer. Tying it all together into one cohesive statement, AkzoNobel expresses its value offering to the potash industry: “Winning together delivering optimized performance for your mineral processing needs.” A great deal of meaning is packed into those 10 words. So AkzoNobel offers the following analysis of each component.

tise in chemistries and their function, the companies win together and maximize recovery and grade,” says Mark Podwysocki, AkzoNobel regional manager, mining applications. Two-way communication is essential, he notes. It is particularly critical prior to a mine starting full-scale production, as technical experts specify the flotation/ separation solutions that a particular mine requires. Delivering – on time and in full. For AkzoNobel service to the potash industry, delivery is key. Delivering on commitments consistently creates value. The company focuses on reliability, in the form of a world-class supply chain, consistent quality, and delivering on development promises.

Winning together. AkzoNobel, which serves the Canadian potash industry from its facility in Saskatoon, succeeds by working together, closely, frequently and multi-functionally with potash producers. The company and its customers rely on each other’s expertise to maximize value and success.

“We rely heavily on our integrated supply chain to make sure there are no disruptions of supply to our customers, and that we are capable and always ready to deliver on our commitments to our trusted partners,” says Joseph Zachwieja, marketing & sales manager, mining, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry Americas.

“By combining producers’ expertise in processing ore with AkzoNobel exper-

“Production downtime at our customers’ mines costs them significantly,” he

Achieving successful flotation AkzoNobel says processors can achieve successful flotation by ensuring optimum interaction of all components of the flotation process where the flotation collector plays a key role. For best performance, collectors should be: • Strong enough to enhance recovery, but weak enough to enhance selectivity; • Able to provide a high rate of flotation and good froth characteristics;

•N  on-sensitive to variations in the composition of the ore and the quality of the water; •D  esigned to meet environmental requirements; •E  asy to ship, store and handle; and •C  ost-effective.

AkzoNobel flotation collectors for potash products are marketed under the following brands: Armeen®, Armac® and Lilaflot® for sylvite flotation; Ethomeen® for slimes flotation and Armoflote® for halite and carnallite flotation.

adds. “Our goal is to have a completely reliable supply and to deliver to our customers on time and in full.” To that end, AkzoNobel has embarked on continuous improvement initiatives in its customer service, supply chain, and manufacturing functions to ensure product quality, security of supply, and on-time delivery.

Optimizing performance: customization, collaboration, customer focus. “Our mining business requires customization at almost every plant to improve the recovery and the yield,” says Podwysocki, “due to an increasing emphasis on providing environmentally responsible solutions.” For AkzoNobel, a key to optimizing performance is to deliver the most costeffective and best-performing solution, essentially one that defines value, optimizing recovery and yield for the specified ore. With a passion for excellence, AkzoNobel develops solutions to meet potash processor’s market needs, and complements those solutions with technical expertise. Company technical experts account for process conditions, adjusting reagent chemistry and selection as necessary. Further, systematically organized technical service ensures customers have 156 PotashWorks 2016

access to the most appropriate technical experts to assist in responding to their processing challenges and determining the most effective flotation solutions. AkzoNobel backs its product and technical expertise with regulatory support, such as ensuring collector chemistries meet appropriate processing regulations and obtaining proper permits. The result is a full-service, collaborative approach, from mining challenge through delivery of an innovative solution to ongoing follow-up. For your mineral processing needs. AkzoNobel works to understand and address local challenges, develop solutions for specific mines, flotation processes and equipment while complying fully with local regulatory constraints and production permits. Moreover, as the industry continues to evolve, AkzoNobel continues to keep up with issues processors face, such as ore quality, water supply constraints, flotation, anticaking and internal additives. “In general, the quality of most ore reserves is declining, so processors are handling more waste material,” says Zachwieja. “In addition, environmental pressure is motivating processors to conserve water in operations. We’re helping them use water more efficiently and conservatively.” Such assistance, he notes, aligns with

AkzoNobel’s Planet Possible approach to sustainability, a commitment to creating more value from fewer resources.

For a sustainable future AkzoNobel’s success depends on sustainability. The company’s focus is not only to support processors in making the best use of local natural resources but also to ensure the flotation collectors are handled and used in a safe way. “We have extensive knowledge and experience in assessing the environmental impact of our collector chemistry,” says Podwysocki, alluding to the AkzoNobel team, which includes experienced toxicologists and a top-notch analytical department. “In fact, we have developed unique analysis methods for detecting very low levels of our products in water and air.” As part of its Planet Possible approach and its long-term commitment to creating more value from fewer resources, AkzoNobel is reviewing sustainability risks and opportunities against global trends and evaluating how they will impact customers by 2020. As a result of all these initiatives, AkzoNobel has been recognized as number one on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth consecutive year. Learn more about Planet Possible at u

Five decades of proven success engineering and building bulk material handling equipment for the potash industry


ndustrial Equipment Manufacturing Ltd. engineers, designs, and builds the equipment and support that you need to build your potash application. Handling a demanding material, such as potash, requires dependable performance from each piece of equipment in a processing facility. The need for reliability holds especially true for material handling equipment. Bucket elevators, belt conveyors, and so forth must be designed to manage the challenges potash brings to a facility. IEM Ltd. offers a wide range of material handling equipment capable of enduring potash’s material considerations while complementing the entire processing system. IEM Ltd.’s products are engineered and manufactured in-house in our facility in Surrey, British Columbia. Our on-site

manufacturing of bulk materials handling equipment and custom products allows for strict quality and production control through the production process, guaranteeing the highest standard of product quality and reliability. Parts and components used in our bulk handling material equipment are manufactured using the highest-quality raw materials. We will manufacture bulk handling material equipment with a broad range of capacities. Our production team and design team are extremely flexible, allowing us to produce the products exactly to our customers’ specifications. Common potash handling equipment provided by IEM Ltd.: • Bucket elevators • Belt conveyors • Conveying solution is provided

• Belt trippers • Apron feeders • Unloading hoppers IEM Ltd. brings industry-specific knowledge and over 50 years of experience in building bulk material handling systems. We can provide a handling solution that meets the specific requirements of the product, maintaining the highest engineering standards. From its office in Surrey B.C., IEM Ltd. is working on some of the most exciting developments in Canada, including Pacific Coast Terminals (PCT), PotashCorp, Agrium, K+S Potash Canada, Western Potash Corp., and more. Visit them at, or give them a call at (604) 513-5216. You can also email u

Five Decades of Proven Success Engineering and Building Bulk Material Handling Equipment for the Potash Industry


• • • • • •

Bucket Elevators Belt Conveyors Conveying Solutions Provided Belt Trippers Apron Feeders Unloading Hoppers

Surrey, BC Canada Direct: 604-513-5216 Office: 604-513-9930 Email: 2016 PotashWorks 157

Fighting Corrosion at the Prairie Finishing Trades Institute By Chris Hooter, Director of Training, PFTI

PotashCorp’s Rocanville facility.


orrosion! When we see rust on a discarded piece of scrap iron, we don’t give it much thought. But when we, the target audience for PotashWorks, observe rust on steel at our facilities, alarms go off … or, at least they should!

Steel is mostly iron “sprinkled” with various amounts of carbon and other alloys. A metallurgists could go on and on about the collage of alloy recipes that go into making various grades of steel. But the punchline is that lots of work and energy (e.g. blast furnaces) are required to refine the mined iron ore (an iron oxide) for the steel-making process. Over time, this iron will naturally oxidize (i.e. rust) to revert back to its lower energy state. Meanwhile, steel forms the structural backbone of modern life: transportation (e.g. roads, bridges, rail, vehicles), 158 PotashWorks 2016

mining (e.g. potash, uranium, bitumen), pipelines (e.g. oil and gas), structural steel (e.g. buildings, stadiums), our nation’s military (e.g. Royal Navy), etc. As you might expect, governments have run the numbers on the cost of corrosion to our economies. In 2001, a National Association of Corrosion Engineers (now called NACE International)-inspired study tallied the total annual corrosion cost in the USA to be a whopping 4.2 per cent of the GDP. Given our harsher weather conditions,

Canada’s per capita corrosion costs are likely higher. Consequently, handling the destructive effects of corrosion is critical. In Saskatchewan, our mining owners/engineers are very familiar with the costs of corrosion. Corrosion comes in many forms (uniform, pitting, crevice, etc.) and there are a number of ways engineers address these problems, but in many cases the right answer to the corrosion problem is protective coatings and linings. However, in order for these products to

Corrosion comes in many forms (uniform, pitting, crevice, etc.) and there are a number of ways engineers address these problems, but in many cases the right answer to the corrosion problem is protective coatings and linings.

PFIT abrasive sandblaster.

perform as designed, owners and engineers must ensure proper application by properly trained personnel using properly maintained equipment under the correct environmental conditions with appropriate quality controls and inspections, and of course, all done safely. To meet this challenge, we at the Prairie Finishing Trades Institute have partnered with the two premier industry leaders in protective coatings – the aforementioned NACE and SSPC (formerly the Steel Structures Painting Council, now called “SSPC, the Society of Protective Coatings”) – to incorporate cutting-edge certifications into our training pipelines.

in SSPC Coating Applicator Specialist (CAS) certification. The “CAS” evaluation includes both written and practical exams administered by SSPC. The practical consists of proper abrasive blasting and airless spray techniques on an appropriately designed ASTM steel test panel. PFTI has seven of these test panels. The CAS evaluation has been incorporated into PFTI crafts training programs.

Additionally, PFTI offers several official SSPC courses – e.g., Fundamentals of Protective Coatings (C1), De-Leading Industrial Structures for Supervisors (C3), Abrasive Blasting (C7), etc. – many incorporated into our apprenticeship, in the cue, ready to deliver, for our partnered contractors, our member tradesmen, and owners/engineers. To conclude, the Prairie Finishing Trades Institute is on the engineering and trades forefront in the battle versus corrosion. PFTI is confident that these partnerships with NACE and SSPC will ensure our success in fighting corrosion. Be safe, and let’s solve the corrosion problem together. u

With NACE, PFTI sends qualified Saskatchewan industrial coatings applicators/contractors, both management and key labour supervision, for their NACE Coatings Inspector Program (CIP) training/certification. Inspection gives assurances to owners/engineers that coatings are applied correctly, and therefore corrosion protection will be achieved. With SSPC, PFTI’s training culminates 2016 PotashWorks 159

People helping people Inproheat’s solution for potash efficiency

encourages dialogue with each client to fully address challenges and devise longterm solutions that will maximize potash production with the least environmental impact. Our collaborative nature also extends to our leading technology partners in combustion, heat transfer, high-temperature products and wastewater solutions, who work alongside us to deliver peak performance without compromise.


t Inproheat Industries, there is a core philosophy that has been part of our company for three generations – we are people helping people. In applying this foundation to each project and every client relationship, we have used expertise and craftsmanship to build trust and loyalty with clients around the world, while consistently delivering exceptional results across a multitude of industries.

Inproheat is the leader for front-line solutions in the North American potash industry - by simply doing it better. Efficiency and innovation are cornerstones for Inproheat. With deep roots in the applied engineering and energy sectors, we have more unique and innovative energy-efficient brine and process 160 PotashWorks 2016

liquid heating solutions than any other company. Our technology offers the highest combustion energy efficiency and the lowest GHG emissions utilizing conventional hydrocarbon fuel sources. We can offer you the highest online availability, reduced downtime and lowest possible OPEX. Challenges in the potash industry require aggressive and informed solutions. We put our knowledge towards these necessities alongside the primary goal of optimizing the lifecycle of new and existing liquid heating processes. Also, our diverse portfolio of energy-related products and proprietary and applied technology make us a natural fit in potash to find the optimized solutions to existing ongoing process liquid heating challenges. We are strong believers in collaboration. Inproheat’s collaborative process

Communication offers priceless value. As a measure of our commitment to the potash industry, Inproheat recently opened a Saskatoon office to go along with our existing branches in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Strategic support and localized communication is never more than a phone call away.

Efficiency and innovation. Knowledge and diversity. Collaboration and communication. This is how Inproheat Industries does it better and how we thrive – as people helping people. We look forward to being your trusted partner in creating innovative energy solutions together. For more information: Inproheat Industries Ltd. – Saskatoon Branch Mahmoud Saleh (Technical Sales – ESG) Dale Wilson (Prairie Manager – EMG) 101C, 2366 Avenue C North, Saskatoon, SK S7L 5X5 T: 306.934.3399 u

People Helping People







Solutions for Potash Efficiency For more information, please contact us: Saskatoon: 101C, 2366 Avenue, C North, Saskatoon, SK S7L 5X5 / T: 306-934-3399 Vancouver: 680 Raymur Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6A 2R1 / T: 604.254.0461 Calgary: 207, 4999 - 43rd Street, S.E. Calgary, AB T2B 3N4 / T: 403.253.2228 Edmonton: 1305 - 77th Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6P 1M8 / T: 780.440.2930 Winnipeg: 10 Hutchings Street, Winnipeg, MB R2X 2X1 / T: 204.694.2691

w w w. i n p r o h e a t . c o m

Norseman Structures Building solutions for the potash industry the added benefit of construction speed and relocatability, but they are built to last with strength, functionality, and safety considerations.

Revolutionary building design Steel-framed fabric-covered buildings offer a translucent roofing option, which often showcases a reflective white interior, increasing the natural light inside the building. This natural light reduces lighting requirements during operational daylight hours. The covers are also virtually maintenance-free and provide an airy, well-ventilated work environment, with integrated passive or active ventilation as needed. The inert properties of the fabric cover have further benefits by being resistant to corrosion – especially important on potash mine sites. The design also takes away the worry of traditional metal roofing screws by implementing a fabric attachment system which makes installation quick and efficient. Lastly, the fabric covers are fire retardant. The added benefit of this is that these covers have self-extinguishing properties, often eliminating the flame instead of adding fuel as many building materials would.


ith the ability to design for variable peak height and no internal columns, steelframed fabric-covered buildings have allowed potash operations to maximize their usable space. These building attributes have also allowed for ample overhead clearance for commodity storage or ease of moving large equipment, along with a number of other benefits we’ll explore. 162 PotashWorks 2016

Building strength Although they are sometimes referred to as “industrial tents”, don’t be deceived by these structures. These commercial buildings need to meet the same local building codes as pre-engineered steel structures. Designs are researched, developed, and tested to ensure they meet the requirements necessary to maintain the quality and structural integrity of every building. They may come with

Cost effective Built for long-term durability, steel-framed fabric-covered buildings are more cost effective than conventional construction for both the initial install and daily operation in most instances. Apart from the lighting advantages mentioned earlier (translating into lower utility costs), these types of buildings typically require less lead and construction time than conventional wood or steel buildings, which can be important when needing to operation-

alize quickly - the end result is an earlier investment payback.

Foundation options Fabric-covered buildings can be installed using a wide selection of foundations. From high concrete walls to a combination of screw piles and retaining walls, there are a number of considerations to maximum operational efficiency. All-inall, the variety foundation options can provide alternatives to align with the long-term goals of a project or considerations of a more temporary approach.

partnered with steel-coating specialists that have been providing protection to the potash industries for decades. They offer a range of coating choices for your application, backed by warranty for up to 25 years. The right choice of design and coating options depends on your particular application: • Raw material storage • Equipment storage • Mineral and bulk storage • Workshops, garages and maintenance • Permanent or temporary facilities u

Environmental upside As more thorough environmental regulations become the norm, steel-framed fabric-covered buildings can tout environmental benefits. As we noted, the variety of foundation options that work with these buildings, they can be recommissioned to other job sites once they accomplish their role on a particular part of the project. Additionally, these buildings have very minimal construction-related waste and the materials are recyclable.

Framework options based on application When looking for a fabric building supplier, it’s important to find a company that will help you walk through industryrelated challenges. Based in the province of Saskatchewan, Norseman Structures is one of those companies located in the heart of potash country. They manufacture and construct buildings for the potash industry and provide a range of framework options from their standard product line to custom options utilizing wide-flange steel. The new wide-flange frame design offered by the Saskatoon-based company eliminates the chance for covert framework corrosion to occur, and importantly, allows for a variety of protective coating options.

Norseman Structures has been designing, manufacturing, and constructing turnkey building solutions since the 1960s. There are two distinct sides to our business. You will find us to be Fiercely Reliable in both. • Engineering, Manufacturing and Design • Project Management and Construction Services Book a customized Lunch & Learn presentation to explore your building solutions at or call 1.855.385.2782

From hot-dipped galvanized to doublecoat epoxy finishes, the company has 2016 PotashWorks 163

Tron reflects new face of mine construction and services approach to building a financially strong enterprise for English River First Nation. Under the leadership of CEO Alfred Dawatsare and chief operating officer Gary Merasty, the company has been on a path of acquisitions and growth with a focus on companies that serve the mining sector.


hile the big numbers associated with large-scale potash projects like K+S’s Legacy mine draw headlines, it is the details that can have the greatest impact on its success – details like budgets, timelines, and the reliable delivery of essential services like water. For Tron Construction and Mining, attention to detail and the ability to deliver have become the cornerstones of a business development story that has helped them become an integral part of the K+S team on the Legacy project. “Safely completing jobs on time and on budget is vitally important to our clients,” says Tron president Rob Stanger. “We’ve put an emphasis on our processes, preparation and planning. These are complex projects with a lot of moving parts. You need to be adaptable. We’ve identified areas where we can make a difference and are targeting those areas.”

Expanding a First Nations enterprise Tron is involved in a variety of tasks on the Legacy site – everything from the construction of evaporation vessels at the solution mine to the delivery of potable water and hauling of sewage. 164 PotashWorks 2016

It has been a beneficial relationship for Tron – which is owned by Des Nedhe Development, the economic development arm of English River First Nation – and for K+S, which is developing its relationships with First Nations suppliers.

A growing workforce The growth of Tron’s leadership team has fostered growth at other levels of the company. By bringing in experienced, respected industry leaders, Tron has increased its ability to attract workers returning to Saskatchewan, including new recruits to the construction industry and new clients. “We’ve implemented processes and put together apprenticeship programs that will allow people to develop the skills to be successful in our business,” says Stanger. “And, in the long run, that will improve our ability to ensure our clients and our company are successful.” Today, Tron has more than 200 employees, including more than 30 at the company’s head office on the southern edge of Saskatoon.

Des Nedhe: A model for First Nations development Tron is a just one spoke in Des Nedhe’s

Des Nedhe’s holdings include Minetec – an industrial supply company that provides materials and supplies to many of Saskatchewan’s mining and energy sector leaders. As the global commodities market has softened, Minetec has embraced the opportunity to expand its supply range – moving from a focus on underground mining to a broader scope that includes mills, solution mines and construction sites across industry. “As the mining sector changes, it’s important to be agile and adaptable,” says Merasty. “Minetec has been able to do that – filling gaps for large customers that global procurement needs.” Des Nedhe has not limited itself to industrial supply; exploring all opportunities to build relationships in the resource sector. In 2015, it acquired a 51 per cent interest in Creative Fire, a Saskatoonbased communications firm that works with a number of companies in the resource sector. It continues to look at additional ways to expand its portfolio and build economic strength. “We believe the resource sector will continue to grow and we want to be a part of that growth,” says Merasty. “To do that, we’re focused on meeting the needs and expectations of our customers. It’s happening brick by brick and we’ll continue to build on that in the years ahead.” u

Index to advertisers Aecom.......................................................................................................................83 Akzo Nobel Chemicals Ltd................................................................................ 155 Amec Foster Wheeler......................................................................................... 44 Applied Industrial Technologies........................................................................24 Bit Service Company Ltd......................................................................................20 Bm&m Screening Solutions...............................................................................55 Brandt Tractor..........................................................................................................19 Cambridge House International Inc.................................................................77 Cannorth Environmental Services..................................................................105 Canpotex......................................................................................................................3 Carnduff Electric.....................................................................................................66 Cat-Tek Cathodic Services Ltd...........................................................................85 Certified Mining & Construction Sales And Rentals......................................9 Cims Ltd...........................................................................................................93, 166 Clarence Campeau Development Fund...........................................................91 Codc........................................................................................................................69 Comairco.................................................................................................................. 131 Commercial Sandblasting and Painting.............................................................6 Concept Electric Ltd..............................................................................................23 Croatia Industries Ltd.............................................................................................31 Deb Thorn Consulting (for City of Moose Jaw)............................................13 Dmc Mining Services..........................................................................................87 Duro-Last Roofing Inc...........................................................................................61 Dynamic Disposal Ltd............................................................................................18 Emw Industrial.......................................................................................................63 Ens Industrial..........................................................................................................66 Fednav Limited...................................................................................................... 145 FloTech Pump..........................................................................................................57 Flyer Electric............................................................................................................137 Fortis Corporation...................................................................................................21 Frontline Industrial Solutions.............................................................................123 Goodman Steel....................................................................................................... 27 Graham Industrial................................................................................................168 Iem............................................................................................................................157 Import Tool...............................................................................................................67 Infinity Development Corporation....................................................................69 Inproheat Industries............................................................................................. 161 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 555.............................. 103 Iupat............................................................................................................................15 Jne Welding............................................................................................................82 Joy Global Inc............................................................................................................ 4 Kalenborn Abresist Corporation...................................................................... 119 Kitsaki Management Ltd. Partnership................................................................8 Koppern......................................................................................................................41

Legacy Buildings Solutions..................................................................................46 Littelfuse Startco......................................................................................................11 Ludman Industries................................................................................................. 75 Massload Technologies........................................................................................29 McKercher LLP........................................................................................................25 National Steel Car..................................................................................................49 Nidec Motor Canada Corporation.................................................................. 102 Norseman Structures.......................................................................................... 163 North Bay Machining Centre Inc........................................................................81 North Rim Exploration..........................................................................................90 Northern Resource Trucking.............................................................................109 Northern Strands....................................................................................................65 Norwest Corporation............................................................................................89 Nutana Machine Ltd.............................................................................................. 32 Park Derochie.............................................................................................................7 Potash Corporation Of Canada...........................................................................51 Prairie Crane.......................................................................................................... 134 Premay Equipment................................................................................................84 Saskatchewan Building Trades...........................................................................59 Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association..........................................50 Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority........................................................95 Saskatchewan Potash Council........................................................................... 74 Saskatchewan Research Council......................................................................IFC Saskwater.................................................................................................................79 SATCC...................................................................................................................... 139 Scott Land & Lease Ltd.........................................................................................96 South East Construction......................................................................................43 Srk Consulting....................................................................................................... 35 Standard Machine.................................................................................................. 37 Superior Technologies Weighing & Controls Inc........................................135 Tartan Canada Corporation................................................................................ 33 Terrasource Global.................................................................................................26 Tetra Tech................................................................................................................. 53 Town of Esterhazy..................................................................................................23 Trans-Care Rescue Ltd.........................................................................................99 Tron Construction & Mining Lp..............................................................102, 134 Veolia Water............................................................................................................39 Wellpoint Health...................................................................................................101 West River Conveyors & Machinery Co....................................................... 167 Westpro Machinery Inc.......................................................................................45 Wolseley Industrial Saskatchewan...................................................................28 WorleyParsons Canada.........................................................................................16 Xtended Hydraulics & Machine........................................................................ 113 2016 PotashWorks 165

We are a Canadian owned mechanical construction contractor and piping fabricator. For over 20 years we have specialized in industrial construction and maintenance.

OUR SASKATOON LOCATION OFFERS: ➢ Turnaround & maintenance services ➢ Pipe spool fabrication ➢ Mechanical installation ➢ Structural installation ➢ Boiler repair ➢ Pressure vessel & tank fabrication ➢ Weld Overlay Technology

We say what we do and do what we say. That is our guarantee to you.

3339 Faithfull Ave, Saskatoon SK, S7K 8H5

Phone: 306 931-9655 | Fax 306 931-9654


Custom Belt Storage Options for Mining Operations



adia U D L Y S n Po E R V I tash N G T Ind H E ustr y Constant Tension Electric Winch

Hydraulic Take-Up

Belt Drive/Take-Up Assembly with Custom Guarding

West River Conveyors + Machinery Co. builds belt storage units that can be configured for any above-ground or underground mining operation. They are available in any belt width and allow for multiple belt storage capacities from 40-50 feet up to 400-800 feet and larger. Installing a Hydraulic Take-Up at multiple locations helps to maintain stable belt tension, limits frequent belt splicing for long panel advancements on a main line, and prevents excessive belt sag — resulting in longer life of the belt. A Constant Tension Winch, when used with a belt storage unit or take-up unit, is able to control belt tension by using load cells, an instrument used to measure force. Sophisticated VFD starters will control the tension based on the load cell reading. Based on the needs of your operation, West River engineers will custom design a storage unit configuration that fits your exact specifications or preferences.

Advantages of West River Storage Units: • Can offer an option of belt splicing tables with power clamps to a basic storage unit design • Multiple lap configurations available as needed • Ability to work closely with West River engineers to create custom units to your preferences • Ability to offer storage units from the smallest to the largest • Custom guarding option available

West River partners with quality vendors to offer competitively-priced Belting and Structure alongside our own new conveyor systems. Inclusion of belting and structure options for both floor and roof mount operations (underground or above-ground) helps create a pain-free purchasing experience for customers — who can conveniently buy a total conveyor package all under one roof.







Design Process

Learn more about our commitment to excellent customer service and a pain-free purchasing experience by visiting us at 8 93 6 D I S M A L R I V E R R OA D

Call us today at 800 332.2781 Follow us on Twitter @WestRiverConv

OA KWO O D, VA 24 63 1 8 0 0 3 3 2 . 278 1 • FA X : 276 2 5 9. 52 52 W E ST R I V E R CO N V E YO R S .CO M

PotashWorks 2016  

This issue of PotashWorks features updates on the K+S Legacy project, international potash news, and so much more.

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