Four bands in southern Saskatchewan have launched a development company aimed at turning some nearby coal deposits into jobs and prosperity.

Fishing Lake, Kinistin, Yellowquill and the Key First Nation are teaming up with a mineral company from the west coast.

Saturn Minerals discovered two rich veins of coal a couple of years ago in the Hudson Bay region.

Since then the company has been trying to determine how many tonnes of coal is there, and whether a mine could be viable.

Marlene Lumberjack was recently appointed as president of the First Nations’s development company.

She says they are working carefully with Saturn Minerals to make sure all decisions are based on treaty.

She adds they are also making sure medicines in the area are protected during the exploration.