LP Potash In Our Province 2021

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LOOK INSIDE: Province’s potash sector poised for more growth in 2022 and beyond A8


Mosaic’s K3 site undergoing final touches A10 Nutrien unveils plan to “Feed the Future” A11 K+S Potash on a mission to lead sustainability A13 CMI positioned to maximize customer value A14 Sodium sulphate plant undergoing major facelift A15 SIMSA continues rapid growth through increased member services A16 THIS SECTION WAS CREATED BY CONTENT WORKS, POSTMEDIA’S COMMERCIAL CONTENT DIVISION.

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Province’s potash sector poised for more growth in 2022 and beyond JOEL SCHLESINGER Special to Postmedia Network In a world that needs to yield more crops to feed a growing population, Saskatchewan certainly has the right ingredients — from vast amounts of arable land to the world’s most innovative farmers. Another critical ingredient is the ‘ocean of potash’ deposits running underground throughout much of the province’s south. In fact, potash is among Saskatchewan’s most abundant and valuable resources. In 2020, potash mining accounted for $8.3 billion of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP), said Pam Schwann, president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA). And its near future looks equally promising with global potash consumption “supported by favourable agricultural fundamentals … low potash inventory and most producers operating at peak rates,” she added. Building on Saskatchewan’s potash sales of $5.5 billion in 2020 — making it the fourth most valuable mineral mined in Canada behind gold, coal and iron ore — the sector is poised for even more growth ahead, said Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre. “Saskatchewan’s potash sales in 2020 increased to a record high,” she said. That’s in large part due to several interconnected global factors, including “countries seeking greater food security during the pandemic.” Yet the industry’s recent strength has come as a surprise even to sector analysts, said Dr. Brooke Dobni, professor of strategy at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. The price per tonne of potassium chloride in U.S. dollars has really jumped in some markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, said Dobni, who has closely followed the indus-

Saskatchewan Mining Association president Pam Schwann. SUPPLIED

Total commitment to growing the industry’s production, including expanding Mosaic’s Esterhazy mine and K+S’s Bethune mine, will exceed more than $30 billion in the coming years, according to Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre. MOSAIC

try’s performance over the last decade. While being the world’s largest producer, accounting for 30 per cent of the global market, Saskatchewan’s potash industry has long faced the challenge of overproduction from Russian, Belarus, Chinese and other low-cost producers, he added. Unlike Saskatchewan operators — like

Mosaic Company, Nutrien, K+S Potash Canada — these foreign producers typically have lower workplace safety and environmental protections, including with respect to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Yet cutting corners “has come to bite them” in recent months, Dobni added, leading to production and logistical problems,

while facing geopolitical challenges such as European Union sanctions. Add COVID-19 and the global marketplace for potash is experiencing “a perfect storm” for rising prices in markets like India and Pakistan where the price per tonne has reached more than US$700, he says. Furthermore, many Asian nations with contracts to purchase potash from Eastern bloc suppliers, which are now unable to make good on those deliveries, are turning to Canada, which has a reputation as a dependable and environmentally sustainable producer. In short, these nations are more confident Canadians producers can deliver orders on time at an agreed upon price, he says. What’s more, potash prices could finally be rebounding from a years-long slump. “The potash industry is like many other commodity industries in Western Canada — be it oil and gas, or uranium — having been in a bit of a slump,” Dobni said, adding the commodity downturns often last about five to seven years. Continued next page

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And potash’s near seven-year slump could be at an end with demand and prices picking up recently. “For the Mosaics and Nutriens of the world, it’s working out for them pretty well,” Dobni noted, adding 2022 and beyond could be even better. Schwann says the province’s industry is poised to grow long-term because “the reality is that the world population is growing significantly,” estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050. As well a growing global middle class, leading to increases in the standard of living, including demand for higher quality food, inevitably requires more food production on increasingly scarce, arable land amid climate change that makes production challenging with the passing of each year, she says. That has Saskatchewan potash poised to play an even more essential “role in supporting global food security and sustainable production.” Schwann further noted over the next 40 years, more food will be produced than in the last 10,000 years to feed billions more people. To meet this demand for food, crop production must increase by 70 per cent from today by 2050. That will be impossible to do without precision fertilizers with potash being among the most critical ingredients, she said. Yet producers in the province still face price challenges from ongoing supply overhang. Market demand peaked in 2009 with prices per tonne of potassium chloride exceeding US$600. Since then, prices have slowly fallen to about a third, though more recently, prices have ticked upward in North American markets and soared in others. Yet the slump has not been without its impact on the province, even if potash has continued to be a major contributor to the province’s economy. One example of the slump’s impact was BHP—one of the world’s largest resource companies based in Australia—halting construction on its Jansen project east of Saskatoon after investing about US$5 billion in the mine. Additionally, junior mining companies with potentially lucrative stakes have struggled to find financing even in recent months with Western Potash, according to news

Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre. SUPPLIED

reports, owing $33.1 million to contractors. Yet through the slump, larger operators like Mosaic, K+S and Nutrien have remained world-leading producers operating seven underground and three solution operations. These producers have benefitted from provincial government incentives like the Potash Production Tax, designed to encourage research and development that boosts efficiencies and cuts costs. “These changes promote the expansion of Saskatchewan’s potash sector and ensure that the province remains the preferred jurisdiction to pilot innovative technologies,” Eyre explained. Indeed the province’s producers have long been industry trailblazers, among the first to use autonomous mining equipment, electrical vehicles and cutting-edge techniques like ground freezing for more efficient, lower cost production, Schwann said. Often the latest equipment has been developed, manufactured and supplied by ancillary Saskatchewan businesses, providing annually more than “$1.4 billion in goods and services to the mines,” she added. All of these efforts serve as a strong foundation for future growth, especially with many potash companies seeing growth ahead. That includes BHP, which restarted construction on its Jansen mine in this

Saskatchewan’s potash sales increased to a record high of $5.5 billion in 2020 — the fourth most valuable mineral mined in Canada behind gold, coal and iron ore. MOSAIC

past summer, aiming to invest another $7.4 billion, creating 3,500 jobs during construction, and 600 full-time positions once complete. It’s not just BHP. Total commitment to growing the industry’s production, including expanding Mosaic’s Esterhazy mine and K+S’s Bethune mine, will exceed more than $30 billion in the coming years, Eyre says. “In addition to other potential investments from existing producers, other companies also continue to develop potential new mine projects, many of which are testing technology new to the Saskatchewan potash sector,” she said about more junior companies. “These include Gensource Potash and CanPacific Potash to name a few.” So while the past year has been a source of optimism for industry players, next year and beyond look even brighter, especially

now that the Government of Saskatchewan is establishing new trade and investment offices in London, United Kingdom; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Mexico City, Mexico; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in addition to existing ones in Japan, India, Singapore and China. “Global investors are increasingly focused on sustainable investments,” and Saskatchewan’s industry is among the most sustainable in the world, Eyre added. “Saskatchewan potash production emits, on average, 50 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions per tonne than potash produced by competitors.” All told, an abundance of potash mixed with sustainable production from the world’s most innovative producers indeed make for a promising recipe for future growth, Eyre said. “We have a great story to tell.”


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Mosaic’s K3 site nearing completion PAT REDIGER Special to Postmedia Network When the Mosaic K1 mine shaft was drilled 60 years ago near Esterhazy, it set the standard in the province for potash mining development. Today, that legacy of innovation remains intact as Mosaic puts the finishing touches on the nearby K3 project. “K3 represented the opportunity to start again with updated infrastructure, modern technology, a smaller footprint and an easier operation to manage,” said Tyler Hopson, Mosaic’s manager of public and government affairs. “This really represents another 50-plus years of mining opportunity in that area.” Hopson said there were a variety of factors that led to the development of K3. As the K1 and K2 mine sites were developed, the underground mining tunnels moved further away from the central shaft. In fact, in the period since the mine originated, the underground mining area has grown to a size larger than Winnipeg. This meant considerable time and effort to transport the potash and employees through the tunnels to above ground. Starting in the 1980s, K2 also experienced brine inflow conditions, or in other words, water began seeping into the underground mining operations. Hopson said that Mosaic has been able to mitigate this issue since that time but it takes considerable management and costs to do so. The final factor is that the technology and infrastructure for K1 and K2 was becoming outdated. All of these factors led Mosaic to begin the process to develop K3 in 2009. This would lead to a $3 billion undertaking to create the largest, most competitive underground potash mine in the world. K3 has twin shafts that sink more than 3,000 feet and each are covered by headframes that rise more than 300 feet above the ground — a site which dominates the local landscape. The north shaft is used to move ore to the surface and transport people and equipment. The south shaft houses

a production hoist that will be used to only transport potash. “Right now, K3 is mostly operational but it is still under development. We have been producing potash for quite some time now and we are just putting the final touches on the project. Every plant needs two shafts and we’ve had one in place for a number of years and now the south shaft is almost done. They’ll be finishing the K3 project in the next couple of months and it will be completed by the first quarter of next year,” said Hopson. The new site features the latest in automation and is much safer to operate than its older counterparts. For example, the Wifi signal works a kilometre underground which makes it much easier for staff to communicate and operate equipment. The new site will result in underground vehicles traveling shorter distances so the amount of fuel emissions will decrease. Gasoline-powered people movers are also being switched out for battery-powered electric vehicles, whenever possible. Mosaic is also taking steps to increase diversity at its site. “We have had targets for Indigenous inclusion with 15 per cent of our new hires to be Indigenous people. We already met that target last year and we’ll continue to do so in the future. We also have a goal of 15 per cent of our procurement activities with vendors and suppliers to be with Indigenous-owned companies,” said Hopson. Mosaic, which already has a strong and active community relations program, is targeting at least 15 per cent of its community activities to directly relate to Indigenous communities and projects. Hopson added that Mosaic is also looking at new equity targets for other underrepresented groups including women and visible minorities. Another change in Mosaic’s operations has been a change in its worker wellness programs. There has been a shift to focus not only on physical wellness but also on psychological wellness. Hopson said Mosaic wants to ensure there is a comprehensive benefits package available for workers whether they are suffering from a physical

Food is Essential Canpotex is proud to deliver high-quality Saskatchewan potash to over 40 countries around the world. Our potash allows producers to grow more food for the world’s growing population.

Upon completion of the K3 project early in 2022, Mosaic’s Esterhazy site is expected to be the largest, most competitive underground potash mine in the world. MOSAIC/ GREG HUSZAR PHOTOGRAPHY

ailment or a mental health issue. Since the K3 project began more than a decade ago, Hopson said the company has seen significant changes and more are on the way. The impact of this undertaking is not only significant for Mosaic, but also for the entire province. “This has been a really big, complex project and it’s been great for the local and provincial economies. And we’re proud of our environmental record. When you compare Canadian potash greenhouse gas emissions to other potash producing regions in the world, we have a much lower emission rate. We’re happy to share that story and that’s why it’s so nice to have

these types of facilities in Canada and to keep supporting them.” Hopson said that the underground facilities at K1 and K2 were closed in June 2021 and the process is underway to decommission the underground facilities. However, Mosaic will be keeping its mills open at K1 and K2 to refine the ore. Huge conveyor belts – approximately 11 km long – transport raw potash from K3 to the mills for refinement and then for export. By repurposing the existing mills, Mosaic not only saves costs, but also reduces its environmental footprint at the new site.

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Nutrien unveils plan to “Feed the Future” PAUL SINKEWICZ Special to Postmedia Network Ten billion. It’s a number that puts the challenges faced by the human race into sharp focus. Ten billion is the projected population of the earth by the year 2050, a 25 per cent increase over the population today. It’s a number that represents an increased demand for everything — from products to jobs to housing to electricity — that is going to further exacerbate the strain on the global climate. And it’s 10 billion mouths to feed. So how do you produce much more food while meeting environmental targets aimed to stop sabotaging the planet’s environment? It can’t be business as usual, according to Ashley Harris, vice-president, Environmental Performance and Innovation at Nutrien Ltd. Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services and produces more than 27 million metric tonnes of potash, nitrogen and phosphate each year. In April of 2021, Nutrien released its latest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report and announced it was making six commitments to address the challenge of sustainably feeding a growing global population while protecting the planet. In the Feeding the Future Plan, Nutrien

sets out ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint, while working with growers to help them do the same. The changes it envisions have a target date of 2030. The plan includes six commitments: • Enable growers to adopt sustainable and productive agricultural products and practices on 75 million acres globally. • Launch and scale a comprehensive Carbon Program, empowering growers and the agriculture industry to accelerate climate-smart agriculture and soil carbon sequestration while rewarding growers for their efforts. • Achieve at least a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Scope 1 + 2) per ton of products produced. • Invest in new technologies and pursue the transition to low-carbon fertilizers, including blue and green ammonia. • Leverage farm-focused technology partnerships and investments to drive positive impact in industry and grower innovation and inclusion. • Create new financial solutions for growers to strengthen social, economic and environmental outcomes in agriculture. Harris is tasked with reducing Nutrien’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent

Nutrien has announced six commitments to address the challenge of sustainably feeding a growing global population while protecting the planet. NUTRIEN/ STACY SUTHERLAND

per tonne of product produced in both the emissions that occur during nitrogen fertilizer production and from the generation of the electricity, steam and heat Nutrien buys, called Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The goals are based on its 2018 output. “For our business, the manufacturing of fertilizer counts for about 95 per cent of our total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, so that’s really what we focused in on when we started to think about how we could reduce those emissions,” said Harris. His team spent the majority of 2020 outlining opportunities in four areas they thought they could make material reductions. They include process improvements in nitrogen and potash production, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage and renewable energy alternatives like wind and solar as well as cogeneration of electricity and heat. Harris sees huge opportunities for Nutrien in improving energy efficiency at its sites. “We’re planning to deploy a broad range of solutions to mitigate emissions associated with the electricity we consume, including installing renewable capacity in existing facilities and we’re actually doing that in Saskatchewan as we speak. “An example of that is our project at Rocanville where we’re in the middle of constructing self-generation units that will generate some of our electricity needs, and ultimately it’ll be a co-generation facility. And then we’ve also made a commitment to deploy self-generating wind and solar energy at four of our potash sites by the end of 2025. “We’ve got a lot of activity on the go, and we think this is a bold commitment to a 30 per cent reduction of our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions,” said Harris. “And we’ve got to get moving because 2030 is not too far away.” The Feeding the Future Plan is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically the goal of Zero Hunger Through Sustainable and Productive Agriculture, but also in conjunction with some of the other goals laid out by the UN, like promoting transformational change through partnerships. In September, Nutrien CEO Mayo Schmidt spoke with Alzbeta Klein, director general of the International Fertilizer Association about the Feeding the Future Plan and what it will take to achieve its commitments. “We are incredibly focused on measurement and are partnering more than

ever with growers, peers and other value chain partners on the solutions the world needs to grow food on less land, with less water and fewer emissions,” he said. Schmidt added Nutrien’s ESG targets are tied directly to the annual incentives scorecard and leadership compensation. Nutrien is partnering with the growers it supplies by offering resources to help them adopt sustainable and productive agricultural products and practices. It will also work with growers to improve soil carbon sequestration and measure the impacts that result. “The Nutrien program incentivizes growers to adopt agronomic practices that are proven to increase soil carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions,” said Schmidt. “We have seen tremendous interest from growers and our initial pilot targets of 100,000 acres is now at more than 200,000 acres. “Working side by side with growers, we provide a recipe for how they can grow their crops most sustainably and profitably and provide the data, tools and technology needed to track and prove sustainable outcomes. 2021 will be a key year of learning for us as we work with our partners across the value chain to assess the scalability and most effective way forward.” Harris said as part of his mandate to reduce emissions, Nutrien is participating in, and monitoring, research in a number of emerging technological fields. “We are looking at a number of different things. You know, I think there’s been some interest in scalable, small-scale nuclear reactors. So, we were participating in that through industry associations and monitoring that space. Carbon capture is also an area that we continue to monitor and support certain research projects for potential opportunities for us to capture carbon at our facilities in Saskatchewan. An emerging area of technology development that will be active is carbon capture that we can deploy at more of our sites.” He said that Nutrien being able to establish its aggressive targets earlier this year was a big achievement, but now they’ve got to get to work and get all these initiatives into place. “We have a strong purpose at Nutrien to grow the world from the ground up and my team is very motivated, so there’s a very strong sense of purpose, but also just being able to contribute to improving our emissions footprint. I think everybody gets a lot of joy out of that. It’s extremely rewarding.”

Award recognizes Canpotex commitment to community ELIZABETH IRELAND Special to Postmedia Network Gord McKenzie, president and CEO of Canpotex, is proud of the company’s commitment to giving back, particularly those programs that raise funds and awareness in support of children’s food security in its home community of Saskatoon. Canpotex is one of the world’s largest suppliers of potash overseas and, as a result, has a natural connection to food security. On behalf of its two shareholders — Mosaic and Nutrien —Canpotex markets and delivers Canadian potash to customers in more than 40 countries. Canpotex has about 120 employees based in Saskatoon. Canpotex was a recipient of the 2020 Canada Volunteer Award, Regional Business Leader: Prairies, in recognition of its commitment to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. The nomination was also supported by the Salvation Army. The award was followed by news that, in September, the Milk for Children Program drew its largest support ever. “It is an incredible honour for Canpotex to be recognized with this award and we are humbled by the recognition. Addressing food security in our community is such an important cause for Canpotex. There are approximately 20,000 monthly users of the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre and half of those are children. At the core is our commitment to the healthy growth of children,” says McKenzie. The Milk for Children program provides one litre of fresh milk for each child aged 17 and under, as well as for pregnant and nursing women. Keeping this program afloat represents a significant cost for the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. In 2020, the food bank distributed 50,337 litres of milk through the Milk for Children Program.

Canpotex employees volunteer at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. SUPPLIED

In addition, since 2018, Canpotex has supported the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation in Saskatoon through the Canpotex Food for a Day program. This program provides dry-mix meals and snacks for pregnant women to take home to prepare for their families. With a $150,000 investment over five years, Canpotex Food for a Day supports approximately 500 women with the Healthy Mother Healthy Baby program each year. The aim is to promote optimal

pregnancy outcomes for low-income women who potentially have limited access to healthy food. In 2019, Canpotex announced multi-year support to the Salvation Army’s Weekend Investment in Nutrition (WIN) program, which provides food to 26 children from core Saskatoon neighbourhood schools each year. Many of these children rely on school breakfast or lunch programs during the week and, without the WIN program, they could go hungry over the weekend.

Each child receives a backpack on Fridays filled with child-friendly and nutritious food to take home during the school year. The company also prioritizes employee volunteerism and engagement. Since 2017, Canpotex has encouraged its employees to volunteer at least once a year at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. Canpotex employees have hosted both food and infant formula drives. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, chances for in-person volunteerism have been limited but McKenzie is optimistic that opportunities will open up again in 2022. On the potash business side, what will 2022 look like? Canpotex exports over 12 million tonnes of Canadian potash every year and operates its own supply chain, including railcars and vessels. Most Saskatchewan residents are familiar with the sight of a fleet of Canpotex railcars moving potash from Saskatchewan mines to coastal ports for export. “We are shipping a bulk commodity in unit trains so being agile, flexible and reliable reflect the Canpotex brand,” says McKenzie. During the pandemic, mines, railways and ports were deemed essential services so for Canpotex it was all-systems-go and “relatively normal” according to McKenzie. Luckily, the length of time it takes to ship potash to places like India and Brazil exceeds the amount of time needed to quarantine. “Potash is a great industry and this is a great time to be in potash. While there was uncertainty in early 2020 due to the pandemic, thankfully, now agriculture as a whole is thriving and there is record global demand for potash into 2022. COVID-19 hit us all. Now, more than ever, food security is one thing we all have in common and most countries prioritize importing crop inputs,” says McKenzie.


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GET A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE FUTURE Nutrien’s deep history is rooted in Saskatchewan. Thanks to our 4,000 employees across our six potash mines and 140 retail locations, serving more than 15,000 local farmers. At Nutrien, our purpose is to grow our world from the ground up, and we do this each day in partnership with the individuals and organizations committed to building strong, inclusive and vibrant communities.


Key sectors such as potash, oil and gas, mineral resources and manufacturing keep Saskatchewan’s economy moving forward. And, it takes an impressive number of skilled tradespeople and technologists to keep those industries growing. If you’d like to be a part of this future, the School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing offers more than 30 programs that train students in everything from engineering technology, welding and industrial mechanics to electronics, ironworking and underground mining. Hands-on learning with modern equipment, first-rate shop facilities and high level instructors mean you can hit the industry running after you graduate. Get a deep understanding of your future.



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K+S Potash on a mission to lead sustainability ELIZABETH IRELAND Special to Postmedia Network K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) is on a mission to become sustainability leaders in the mining sector. The company’s Bethune mine is Saskatchewan’s first greenfield potash mine in the past four decades and opened officially in 2017. KSPC employs modernized technologies and intelligent approaches to reduce energy and freshwater consumption. Along with its Bethune potash mine and production facility, KSPC has a corporate office in Saskatoon. As well, a small group of employees work at its handling and storage facility in Port Moody, British Columbia. KSPC has approximately 420 employees and 100 contractors in Canada. KSPC’s parent company — K+S AG — is located in Germany and is traded on the Frankfurt stock exchange. K+S AG has recently set strategic goals for the future in three areas: people, the environment and business ethics. In Canada, KSPC president and general manager Sam Farris describes K+S initiatives in sustainability. According to Farris, K+S is redefining itself after the sale of its Americas salt business for $3.2 billion in October 2020, and one of the key pillars of its new strategy is focused on climate goals. “For us in solution potash mining, we need heat to dissolve the ore. It is too much heat to use renewable electricity as a source, so we are looking for alternatives to our current source (which is natural gas). After ensuring we are as efficient as possible in our use of that energy, it becomes very difficult to feasibly reduce beyond that with currently available technology,” said Farris. The Bethune mine uses a solution mining method with primary and secondary phases. The primary phase involves dissolving underground minerals with water, to create a potash-rich brine. The brine is processed with evaporation and crystallization technology where potassium chloride is recovered. In the secondary phase, K+S uses a sodium chloride-saturated brine to selectively

K+S Potash Canada’s parent company, K+S AG, has set strategic goals for the future in three areas: people, the environment and business ethics. One of the key pillars of its new strategy is focused on climate goals. K+S POTASH/GREG HUSZAR PHOTOGRAPHY

dissolve potassium chloride from underground caverns. This saturated brine solution cools naturally, using cooling pond technology, and is reheated with waste heat from the evaporation and crystallization process. Up to one-third of the salt generated is then re-deposited in underground caverns instead of tailings piles (these tailings are considered non-hazardous waste). The two technologies work symbiotically to maximize ore recovery, minimize salt tailings and freshwater use, and use the available heat generated from combusting natural gas to produce steam for the evaporation process. In addition, the Bethune mine uses cogeneration technology to generate some of its own power, using the waste heat to produce steam. “Secondary potash mining is not new in Saskatchewan. At Bethune, with current technology, our production is approximately 75 per cent primary mining and 25 per cent secondary. There are still salt tailings,

but our footprint is getting smaller as we grow, with more and more salt being re-deposited underground,” said Farris. KSPC focuses on the full lifecycle of its Bethune mine. “We have a goal of sustainable, future-oriented development, protecting local biodiversity and thinking ahead to manage our impact on the environment. This is a dynamic time – I think these next 20 years will be considered a bridging period to move from current best available technology to new low, or zero, GHG energy technology to ultimately meet our goal of having a net zero carbon footprint. In potash mining, we think in decades. For us, long-term would be considered more than 10 years,” said Farris. “We have to ensure we are thinking about how to provide energy, not only for our current operations, but our future growth plans. We consider how to meet our world’s climate change challenge in an economically sustainable way. There is no doubt that our industry will need the

support of government to help pay for the necessary changes in energy infrastructure to ensure we can still help feed future generations with Canadian potash and meet our climate targets. In terms of future initiatives, Farris points out that K+S will not be limited by 2021 technologies. He says there are two considerations going forward. Number one is technological readiness – is the technology safe, proven and socially acceptable? Number two is overall cost – can an economic case be made for a switch away from natural gas? Farris gives the example of nuclear technology and small modular reactors (SMRs). While SMRs can generate the large amounts of power and heat needed for mining, developments in nuclear technology are not fast. Plus, building a nuclear reactor is a huge commitment that needs intense regulatory and public consultation. What is the forecast for the global potash market into 2022? “It’s no secret that we are currently at a peak in the potash cycle and all crop nutrient prices are high. High prices have been helpful in terms of mining companies reinvesting and an increase in royalties for the people of Saskatchewan. We sell potash mined at Bethune to China, Brazil, the U.S. and countries in Southeast Asia. There are always ups and downs in the potash market – it’s rarely dull. Generally, I would say that activity is starting to pick up in Saskatchewan,” said Farris. In fact, 2021 has seen potash fertilizer prices rise to the highest levels in almost a decade. It is also worth noting competitor potash producers are located in Russia and Belarus, where supply challenges and political uncertainties are more common, giving Canada a competitive advantage. Finally, as with other Saskatchewan-based companies, KSPC is implementing proof of COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols for its employees and contractors. “The health of our people and our obligation to the wellbeing of society as a whole guided us to this decision,” said Farris.


Green light for BHP’s green field project means green light for hiring VÉRONIQUE LOEWEN For Business Voice Magazine In mid-August 2021, BHP approved a capital expenditure of CAD$7.5 billion for Stage 1 of its Jansen project located about 140 km east of Saskatoon and immediately sparked excitement. This capital investment comes on the heels of nearly US$4.5 billion already invested in the project in preparation for a development decision. The euphoria linked to this latest announcement is multifold. First, for BHP and its employees, it represents the company’s largest single one-time capital investment to date in the parent company’s 170 years in existence. It is a validation of BHP’s Saskatchewan’s teamwork over the past 15 years since the company first came to Saskatchewan. For the province, it is also the largest mining investment to date. Aside from an influx in future taxes and royalties, it comes with the promise of increased opportunities for Saskatchewan contractors, consultants and suppliers. And it offers prospects for approximately 3,500 jobs during construction and about 600 during operations. The Jansen Stage 1 project, which proposes to produce 4.35 million tonnes of potash per year starting in 2027 is the largest mining project in Canada today, says Giles Hellyer, president of BHP Potash from his office in downtown Saskatoon. “This announcement marks a new chapter for our company and for the province. It took us some time to ‘de-risk’ the project and now we’re ready to move forward and produce potash for up to 100 years on this site and do it sustainably and responsibly.” The project, which started as an exploration project back in 2005-2006, currently employs a total of approximately 1,000 people, including about 200 people in Saskatoon, nearly 600 people at the Jansen site — for the most part involved in construction — and nearly 200 people in their Ontario engineering and design division. The company anticipates it will take

approximately six years to build the infrastructure needed to be fully operational. At the peak of construction, about mid-way through the process, Hellyer anticipates that they will require upward of 3,500 workers. To ensure that Saskatchewan businesses and individuals have the opportunity to be part of the project, BHP is splitting its construction project in multiple packages and capitalizing on the specific expertise of several local engineering firms, services providers and suppliers. In construction and in ongoing operations BHP will continue to enable local and Indigenous businesses with its procurement opportunities. “We would like most of the construction staff to be local, but that depends on the availability of certain trades and the job market at the time. During construction, the bulk of our workforce will be mostly labour and trades jobs at the Jansen site, but we will also require many professional and technical positions to be filled to support the project and future operations from Saskatoon,” explains Hellyer. “Our operating model for the day we enter production, relies on staff in Saskatoon being directly involved in the operations from Saskatoon rather than being right on site. This is one of the ways we try to ensure we have a diverse workforce,” he adds. Today, BHP counts 37 per cent of women in its workforce (compared to 17 per cent in Canada’s mining industry*) and is committed to achieving gender parity at the Jansen project once the mine commences operations. Workforce gender diversity is part of the mine project design, which also includes a plan to employ 20 per cent Indigenous people to be representative of Saskatchewan’s population make-up in the coming years. “We are increasing the use of technology and automating many processes and tasks and allowing them to be performed and monitored from Saskatoon rather than on site. This is one way to allow people who cannot be away from home for work

to be able to apply and secure a job with us without compromising family life for example,” says Hellyer. With thousands of people to hire, BHP is taking a multi-step approach to recruitment. They are spreading the recruitment process not only over the six years and various phases of the construction project, but also over two years to increase their operational capacity during the ramp up leading to operation. And they are working with their construction partners, such as trades suppliers, to recruit the qualified workforce for specific packages. Hellyer notes that “although we put the emphasis on hiring local, we don’t discount global talents who can also contribute greatly to the project, gain experience and skills from local people and help develop other skills for the local workforce. We have the advantage of being part of a large multinational group, with vast experience in mining so we also need to capitalize on that. And we pay particular

attention to having a workforce that shares our values and that is respectful of our company’s culture and that of the region where we operate.” “We hope that our commitment to having a diverse workforce, our focus on innovation and our use of technology in every phase of this project from construction to operation appeals to people. The fact that we have various positions to offer in administrative, professional, technical and operational roles in our offices, on surface and underground at the site provides opportunities for a wide range of applicants. And the fact that we offer opportunities and the flexibility to be part of a global team also has its appeal,” says Hellyer. “Most importantly we continually strive to offer an environment where everyone feels safe to come to work and can bring their whole self. With attractive jobs, excellent employment benefits and a culture built on respect, we hope people will respond favourably to the opportunities we will be offering.”

BHP’s Jansen Stage 1 project offers prospects for approximately 3,500 jobs during construction and another 600 jobs during operations. The company is committed to achieving gender parity at the Jansen project once the mine commences operations. SUPPLIED

This story reprinted from Business Voice Magazine with permission of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce


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When you need “More with Less” CMI is uniquely positioned to maximize customer value As customers are trying to increase productivity and profits to maximize shareholder value by reducing costs, a common theme has been emerging over the last few years. A theme of needing to Get more with less. A customer needs to get more productivity out of their manpower to reduce fixed costs and to get more productivity from their equipment through better selection, easier maintenance and increased reliability. If this strategy is not implemented properly the result could easily be Less with less as employees become burnt out or inefficient by not focusing on their strengths. CMI is uniquely positioned to maximize customer value and help them Get more with less. CMI has been in business for over 30 years and their team has over 150 years of experience directly in supporting operation and maintenance needs for both underground and surface mining operations. CMI’s focus is to provide solutions that maximize their customer’s overall profitability, and they do this through a combination of tailored OEM equipment and distribution of various mining equipment and products. CMI provides tailored OEM equipment that meets 100 per cent of their customer’s needs. This typically involves maximizing equipment reliability (functionality and performance) while minimizing costs though standardization of equipment spare parts and training. By providing equipment as a system versus a

CMI has been in business for over 30 years and their team has over 150 years of experience directly in supporting operation and maintenance needs for both underground and surface mining operations. SUP P LIED

component, CMI assumes the overall responsibility to ensure the system meets the needs of the customer. The customer manages one interface with CMI while they manage the hundreds and possibly thousands of interfaces between each component. Service and warranty are easier as customers only need to worry about one vendor: CMI. They are currently working on a project where this strategy offered significant reduction in customer workload. CMI was already

fabricating the structure for multiple conveyor systems and were already managing the schedule for multiple packages to be delivered to site packaged and labeled properly to support optimum construction. CMI then provided an option to manage the rest of the supply allowing the customer to manage the additional scope as part of the original package. Thus, eliminating the need for over 120 additional purchase orders, approximately six new contracts, six

weekly schedule updates, six bi-weekly project review meetings, not to mention the expediting and technical requirements of each component. By bundling this additional supply with CMI the customer saved all this additional work and could Get more with less. CMI has 30 years of vendor relationships to leverage on which allows this bundling strategy to be provided at a reasonable cost. They also leverage a collaborative approach with local vendors their customers are familiar

and comfortable with. This is a critical strategy to meeting the site requirement as the local vendors have the knowledge when site information was not maintained 100 per cent accurate. CMI and other local vendors provide value as the glue to help bridge these gaps for the operations. Maximizing equipment reliability while minimizing costs is another major focus to Get more with less. CMI’s technical expertise allows us to understand the equipment requirements


and con nec t this with technological advancements within the industry. The provide equipment that meets the standardization strategies and options for the newer technology or increased reliability to maximize value. This allows their customers to make informed decisions by understanding the cost of standardizing on existing or upgrading to new improved options. Their relationships and knowledge allow their customers to Get more out of equipment with less cost. The last key area where CMI can support their customers is through their service groups. HD Engineering and Design and CMI Tech Services provide their customers with opportunities to ramp up manpower for specific tasks or projects without increasing their overall fixed manpower costs. They have supported projects like non-routine maintenance overhauls, site trouble shooting support and repair, project management and drafting services, maintenance planning and development of equipment hierarchy structures in the EAM systems and developed maintenance PM strategies. This allows customers to utilize their resources where they are most efficient and leverage their detailed company knowledge to generate the most value to Get more with less. Therefore, if you are getting asked to or you need to Get more with less, give CMI a call to look at unique s trategies to maximize your success.

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Sodium sulphate plant undergoing major upgrade PAT REDIGER Special to Postmedia Network After nearly 75 years in operation, the sodium sulphate plant near Chaplin is getting a $220-million facelift. The plant, owned by Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc. (SMMI), is being refurbished to produce 150,000 metric tonnes of sulphate of potash (SOP), a high-quality fertilizer and plant nutrient. The new product will be sold to North American and international markets. General manager Brent Avery said the company’s expansion into this new venture was a strategic decision made over several years as the market for laundry detergent, for which sodium sulphate is a key ingredient, began to erode. Powdered detergents are being replaced by liquid detergents leaving the company to research new market opportunities. “We’ve been looking at diversification for a number of years and realized that we needed to go in a different direction,” said Avery. “We began researching and developing new concepts and SOP came up, which looked very promising. We went through a pre-feasibility study with an engineering firm and everything looked good.” The project is currently in the design phase with demolition of the existing facility likely taking place sometime next year. The design is being undertaken jointly by Veolia Water Technologies and Engcomp and will feature the latest in leading edge design and technology. This will be a first-of-its-kind technology in Canada and promises to be up to 35 per cent more energy efficient than the technology currently being used to produce SOP. After the construction phase has been completed, the new facility should be operational early in 2024. This project is expected to result in a 50 per cent increase in jobs at the facility and more than 360 construction jobs will be supported.

After the design has been approved, Avery said the site preparation will be a significant undertaking as the current facility will have to be demolished and removed from the area. The new facility is expected to have a similar footprint to the existing facility. Avery added that the project will not only maintain and create jobs at the facility, but it will also be a boon to the local construction industry. There will be new opportunities for local residents to find employment and stay in the area. The new plant will combine potash and sulphate into a superior fertilizer product that is desirable among high-value crops, especially in the U.S. The new process will also lead to a new market for local potash mines. “This is unique to Saskatchewan because there are no other places where potash and sulphate are so close together,” explained Avery. “We’ll be using potash from one of the major Saskatchewan potash players and combining it with sulphate. We almost think of ourselves as an in-line processing facility for potash. It’s really a win-win for both the potash industry and SMMI.” SMMI began as a crown corporation in 1947 and remained under government ownership until 1988 when it was sold to private investors. Over the years, the company has also operated plants in nearby Mossbank and Ingebright. Those locations were eventually shut down as the market for sodium sulphate changed into a greater demand for higher purity than could be produced at those locations. The company remains one of the largest producers of anhydrous sodium sulphate in North America and has provided product, not only for detergent, but also for pulp and paper, glass, starch, industrial enzymes, water treatment and livestock mineral feeds. Despite the amount of production at the facility over the years, Avery said recent surveys indicate that the volume of sodium sulphate in the deposit remains high. “This is an interesting deposit because,

We’re using potash to fertilize the local economy. The Jansen potash mine has been given the green light. We are excited to get started. Jansen Stage 1 will create opportunities for local and Indigenous-owned businesses, adding an estimated $1.8 billion in GDP during the construction period. Suppliers are a key to our success. So let’s succeed together. To register your organization, visit bhp.com/suppliers/become-a-supplier today.

A $220-million upgrade to Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc.’s (SMMI) sodium sulphate plant near Chaplin will generate more than 360 construction jobs and boost employment at the plant by 50 per cent. The plant will produce sulphate of potash (SOP), a high-quality fertilizer and plant nutrient. SMMI

after all these years, you would expect there would be a lot less than what exists there now but it seems to keep coming back. It appears to regenerate itself somehow and nobody can really describe why that is happening. It’s a large alkali flat that’s maybe six feet deep and it percolates up — the water is drawing it out. The most recent survey shows that it has well over 20 years left and that’s not taking into account this regeneration.” The project has been conditionally approved for the provincial government’s Sodium Sulphate Incentive, which provides a 10 per cent credit for capital projects that diversify products or improve operating efficiency. The provincial government has also reduced the royalty rate for sodium sulphate production to support the sector through the transition.

In addition, the project has received conditional approval under the province’s Saskatchewan Chemical Fertilizer Incentive, which provides a non-refundable, non-transferable 15 per cent tax credit on capital expenditures valued at $10 million or more for newly constructed or expanded eligible chemical fertilizer production facilities in Saskatchewan. The project has also received the support of the federal government through funds from the NRC-IRAP program. “We’re going to be creating jobs across the spectrum from entry-level positions right through to technical and management positions. We’re going to be able to create careers for people who are interested in mining or who want to live in the area,” said Avery. The Chaplin site is situated on the TransCanada Highway and the Canadian Pacific main east-west line.


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Local spending, local impact Did you know that every dollar spent with local Saskatchewan suppliers generates nearly four times more economic output for the province than the same amount spent with out-ofprovince suppliers? 1


In a time of much-needed stimulus spending, maximizing local impact is critical. As the only Association that represents the voice of Saskatchewan Suppliers – and only Saskatchewan suppliers – SIMSA members help keep stimulus money and its impact close to home.

Source: The economic impact of local resource suppliers in Saskatchewan, PWC (2019)

Learn more at https://simsa.ca/letter


SIMSA continues its rapid growth through increased member services The newest member service is an industrial concierge The Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association’s (SIMSA’s) membership has grown 25 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic. SIMSA attributes this continued growth to items such as its numerous supplier/buyer events, as well as the development of its member database. This database is now a supplier shortlisting tool, filled with only Saskatchewan suppliers, and is a key gateway to becoming a local supplier to BHP’s Jansen potash project (as well as over 50 other projects). SIMSA’s newest member service is a continuation of its leadership in the digital innovation and carbon reduction spheres – SIMSA proudly announced the selection of James Bulmer as its Industrial Concierge. As the Concierge, Bulmer provides a free personalized advice to SIMSA members, on their energy efficiency/carbon reduction needs, as well as assisting them to fulfill the major mining companies’ digital innovation needs. This role will function in concert with the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII). The IMII is a unique innovation-supporting-network of mining companies, government departments and agencies, as well as postsecondary and research institutions; and is jointly funded by industry and government. It exists to deliver innovations that matter to mining in Saskatchewan. The IMII’s mineral company members include BHP, Cameco, Mosaic and Nutrien.

Leveraging his background in research and development, and manufacturing, Bulmer will also help facilitate partner development between the IMII’s minerals-industry members and SIMSA members and will help connect resource-producer needs with supply chain solution providers. In his previous role as a production engineer in training for International Road Dynamics, Bulmer worked with teams to create new products and set up new supply chains. More specifically, the Concierge service will be a connector (more so than a doer) between SIMSA members and - Resource producers – relaying industries’ needs as well as SIMSA members’ abilities to fulfill them (especially in the area of digital innovation). - Solutions providers – sourcing leads to third p a r ty s o l u t i o n s f o r SIMSA members to address industry’s current and future needs (especially in the area of carbon reduction). - f u n d i n g a ge n c i e s – sourcing leads to funding agencies to assist in these efforts. The Industrial Concierge is the next step on SIMSA’s net-zero journey, following the release of its Carbon Calculator for the industrial supply chain (it can be downloaded for free from SIMSA.ca). SIMSA commis-

SIMSA commissioned the development of its custom Carbon Calculator for the mining, energy and industrial supply chain in Saskatchewan – helping lead the charge on carbon reduction. SUP P LIED

sioned the development of its custom Carbon Calculator for the mining, energy and industrial supply chain in Saskatchewan – helping lead the charge on carbon reduction. The calculator was developed with the assistance of BHP, Cameco, Nutrien and TC Energy, as well as funding from the Government of Canada. The calculator allows sup-

pliers to accurately assess their Scopes 1 and 2 carbon emissions levels. From there, suppliers can develop solutions to reduce their carbon output and take effective steps to make those reductions a reality, with the assistance of SIMSA’s Industrial Concierge. The calculator allows for up to 10 separate locations to be evaluated at once, combining those calcu-


lations into one total output. This could include calculating carbon emissions by different buildings, street addresses or even by segments within a building. As the Industrial Concierge (and as the next step from the Carbon Calculator), Bulmer has already begun compiling a library of resource materials on the various relevant topics, which are now avail-

able to SIMSA members. Further, he has connected with several research institutions, key SIMSA members, government agencies, as well as BHP, Cameco, Mosaic and Nutrien. He is also currently pulling together the industry’s needs, on both carbon reduction and digital innovation. SIMSA members can submit their assistance requests to Bulmer at james.bulmer@simsa.ca or by calling (306) 343-0019. SIMSA’s executive director Eric Anderson stated, “SIMSA is excited to have the opportunity to work with a person of Bulmer’s abilities. As this position is new to the market and SIMSA, Bulmer’s previous work as the communicativehandshake between engineering and manufacturing will be invaluable.” SIMSA currently represents over 270 Saskatchewan suppliers to Saskatchewan’s mining, energy, and industrial sector; this group of companies represents well over 21,000 employees and $11 billion in revenues. SIMSA’s mandate is to represent the interests and concerns of only Saskatchewan industrial equipment and service suppliers, through promotion of its members and the creation of partnerships with industry and other associations. SIMSA is the only construction related association that represents only Saskatchewan-based suppliers and notes that there is nearly four times as much economic impact from purchasing from a local supplier, as there is from one outside of the province.

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