Vancouver-based Western Resources says its subsidiary Western Potash has entered into a lump sum contract with Stuart Olson Prairie Construction regarding the first phase of construction for the company’s Milestone potash project 35 km southeast of Regina.
The Milestone project will be developed as a solution mine. This will be the “newest and most innovative, environmentally friendly and capital efficient new potash mine in Canada,” says Western.
The company plans to use advanced drilling techniques to target the high grade potash bed and then use selective dissolution before pumping the solution to the surface. This means that salt will be left underground and the amount of water needed for leaching is cut in half. The potash will then be crystallized naturally in a pond on the surface, resulting in much lower energy requirements than other solution mines. Phase one will produce 146,000 tonnes of potash per year over 12 years.
Western has already completed the early work to prepare the mine site by building an access road, clearing the site, construction of the piling foundations, water well and pipeline, and the power infrastructure. The civil work for the crystallization pond is also complete. The site is now ready for the start of full construction by Stuart Olson.
As general contractor, Stuart Olson will build all above ground facilities – concrete, steel and pipework, installation of equipment, electrical and control system work, building work and site finishing. Work is to start this month with a workforce of about 100 people.
This story first appeared in Canadian Mining Journal