Federal government passes landmark First Nations mining regulations

Federal government passes landmark First Nations mining regulations


Published on: March 30, 2017 | Last Updated: March 30, 2017 5:29 PM CST



Encanto Potash Corp. President and CEO Stavros Daskos, left, and Muskowekwan First Nation Chief Reginald Bellerose inspect the site of a proposed $3 billion potash mine on the reserve northeast of Regina. 

A landmark law passed this week by the federal government helps pave the way for a Saskatchewan First Nation and a Toronto-based potash development company to build the country’s first on-reserve mine northeast of Regina.

The “unprecedented” legislation under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) will apply provincial regulations to the $3-billion mine proposed by Enancto Potash Corp. and Muskowekwan First Nation.

“This represents a critical piece … to ensure a favourable investment climate for the development of the first potash mine on First Nations land,” Encanto president and CEO Stavros Daskos said in a statement.

Encanto has been working toward building a mine in Saskatchewan for years. It signed a partnership with Muskowekwan First Nation in 2010, and has since brokered a pair of 20-year potash sales agreements with Indian companies.

Saskatchewan’s multi-billion-dollar potash industry has been struggling amid an oversupplied market, which has led producers like Mosaic Co. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. to scale back operations in the province.

Encanto still needs to raise the billions of dollars it needs to build the mine, but its director of corporate development said in an email Thursday that it is “working very hard on initiatives to make this a huge success.”

The FNCIDA regulations guarantee a level playing field for on- and off-reserve projects, and will protect Muskowekwan’s people and lands while increasing certainty for investors, Encanto said in a news release.

“There were many hands at all levels of government demonstrating an unprecedented level of cooperation and support between themselves and our own Nation,” Muskowekwan Chief Reginald Bellerose said in a statement.



About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on March 31, 2017, in economic impact, political, potash. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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