REGINA — May 29 to June 4 is Saskatchewan Mining Week with the theme, Saskatchewan's Critical Minerals: Essential to Global Security and Supply Chains.
This year's Mining Week activities will highlight the province's mining sector, including a launch event at Nutrien Tower in Saskatoon and several presentations from sector experts and company executives.
In 2021, Saskatchewan's mining sector generated $8.6 billion in sales and accounted for 12 per cent of provincial GDP. Last year, mining companies operating in Saskatchewan spent $214 million on exploration activities. Exploration spending is expected to increase to $263 million in 2022, with expanded operations in potash, uranium, base metals, rare earth elements and other critical minerals.
Saskatchewan has 23 of Canada's 31 minerals considered critical for the sustainable economic success of Canada and its allies. Saskatchewan is already a producer of three - potash, uranium, and helium - and has near-term production potential for several others, including lithium, copper and zinc. There are also strong prospects for longer-term production of nickel and rare earth elements (REE), such as lanthanum, neodymium and gadolinium.
"This year's theme, Saskatchewan's Critical Minerals: Essential to Global Security and Supply Chains, showcases the critical role Saskatchewan mineral production has in the value chain of providing clean energy and food security to the world, as well as our emerging role as a secure and reliable supplier of other critical minerals that are essential for the transition to a low carbon, technology economy," Saskatchewan Mining Association's Board Chair Larry Long said.
Saskatchewan recently launched a Helium Liquefaction Hub Study, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Research Centre, to develop a commercial scale, value-added, export-oriented helium sector. Rare earth elements mined in the Northwest Territories are now being transported to Saskatoon for processing, and positive exploration results continue to be released from diamond and gold projects located in northern Saskatchewan.
For a complete event schedule and further information about Saskatchewan Mining Week, please visit www.saskmining.ca.