Deal Inked To Develop First On-Reserve Potash Mine

Tuesday, November 09, 2010 at 13:31



A formal agreement has been signed today that paves the way for the development of the first potash mine on a Saskatchewan First Nation.


Encanto Potash Corporation and Muskowekwan Resources have signed a joint venture agreement for the development of a mine on the Muskowekwan reserve.


The agreement is designed to help generate own-source revenue, as well as employment, training and business opportunities for Muskowekwan, while providing certainty of title for Encanto.


Muskowekwan Chief Reg Bellerose says the agreement is unique because it is a driven by the First Nations’ resource company.


Bellerose notes the band-owned company will be making the application for the head lease, not Encanto — which he feels puts Muskowekwan “in the driver’s seat”.


He says there is no template for on-reserve mineral development, so his band has had to “struggle” on its own.


Bellerose adds the next step is to consult with community members and hold a referendum.


Encanto will look into the commercial viability of the project.


The potash company has already invested $10.5 million over two years of exploration on Muskowekwan.