Saskatchewan-based fertilizer company Gensource, which is aiming to develop one of the lowest cost potash mines at its Tugaske project located 150 km northwest of Regina, is set to begin construction this year.
The potash mine will have “a far smaller environmental footprint than industry norms,” CEO Mike Ferguson told CBC earlier this week.
“A typical mine of this type requires four kilograms of water to produce one kilogram of potash, but Tusaske will need only about 1.5 kilograms. This will be accomplished through new technology and more extensive water recycling,” he said. Ferguson said the new technology will also allow “Tugaske to become the first potash mine in Saskatchewan with no tailings ponds.”
The lack of tailings and brine ponds not only vastly improves the environmental profile of the project, but in this case, it creates an additional synergy in reducing capital and operating costs, the company stated in a recent update.
The construction is expected to take only two years, according to Ferguson, in part because of the Tugaske’s smaller scale compared with the larger mines that produce millions.
Once in operation, it will produce a minimum of 250,000 tonnes of potash per year. HELM Fertilizers, a US-based subsidiary of HELM AG, agreed to purchase 100% of the annual production from Tugaske