CanPacific’s Albany Potash Project was given a ‘green light’ for its next phase of development based on a Environmental Assessment by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. The Albany Project includes development of its KL262 property and a proposed 3.25 million tpy solution potash mining operation. CanPacific Potash Inc., which is a joint venture between North Atlantic Potash Inc. and Rio Tinto Potash Management Inc., submitted a final Environmental Impact Statement to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment in July 2018.
CanPacific Potash Inc. conducted extensive independent wildlife, wetland and rare plant surveys for the project, committing to protections outlined in the Saskatchewan Activity Restriction Guidelines for Sensitive Species. CanPacific retained SNC-Lavalin (Saskatoon) to develop the project’s comprehensive environmental impact study and provide expertise through the permitting approval process. “We are strongly committed to developing a project that is environmentally sustainable and respects our neighbors,” said David Waugh, Chief Executive Officer of CanPacific and added that “we are pleased that the project can proceed with the Ministry’s approval, the endorsement of local rural municipalities, and the strong support of stakeholders across the region.”
The Ministry has approved the project to go ahead subject to conditions and commitments CanPacific has made to minimize the project’s impacts to vegetation, wetlands and wildlife. These conditions and commitments include mainly ensuring that there are no impacts to public pastureland or public grassland, that location of plant site avoids Wascana Creek and tributaries, the company provides complete offsets or compensation for any lost wetland/pastureland/grassland habitat, and also that there will be no impacts to the quality or supply of local water aquifers.
To affirm the sustainability of the project, CanPacific initiated comprehensive stakeholder consultations over a seven-year period, engaging local and regional authorities, indigenous governments, land owners and community groups. “We are committed to ongoing meaningful conversations around stakeholder needs, expectations and concerns, building on the many solid working relationships we developed through our engagement efforts,” said Kent Carter, CanPacific Director HSEC. “Maintaining the strong stakeholder support we have received to date is a priority.”