The Manitoba government continues working collaboratively with the Potash and Agri Development Corporation of Manitoba (PADCOM) as Manitoba’s first-ever potash mining operation starts pilot production, Premier Heather Stefanson and Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Jeff Wharton announced here today.
“The global demand for critical minerals is at an all-time high,” said Stefanson. “As part of our government’s commitment to position Manitoba as a global leader in sustainable mineral development, we have been working co-operatively with PADCOM to support this landmark project.”
Pilot production at the facility, located in Harrowby in western Manitoba, started today.
“After years of researching the potential of this resource, we are pleased to get to this historic point of producing the very first potash in Manitoba,” said Daymon Guillas, president, PADCOM. “It will be a catalyst for more economic development in our region and the entire province.”
The site uses an innovative selective solution mining process, which involves injecting heated brine into the ground to dissolve potash and then extract the solution. The unique, low-disturbance process has a smaller environmental footprint than the traditional room and pillar method. The mine will be a carbon-neutral facility, Stefanson noted, adding its use of green Manitoba Hydro energy, will soon make the PADCOM facility the lowest carbon-emitting potash mine in the world.
“Potash is a critical mineral used as a fertilizer and as a key component in many industrial compounds,” said Wharton. “As Manitoba continues to help feed the world, this new mine will bring significant, lasting economic and social benefits to local communities and our province as a whole.”
PADCOM has already invested more than $12 million for the project, of which Gambler First Nation is a 20 per cent equity partner. PADCOM has committed to sharing 11 per cent of net profits with local First Nations, Manitoba Métis Federation and other local governments.
“Gambler First Nation is pleased to be an active partner on this project,” said Chief David LeDoux, Gambler First Nation. “PADCOM’s approach to this development respects the land, the environment and the people in our region.”
For more information on Manitoba’s mineral resources, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/iem/index.html.