ESTEVAN - Buffalo Potash Corp. CEO Steve Halabura has formally committed to set up a solution mining research and development facility on land owned by the City of Estevan.
The parcel is located beside the Southeast College in the Glen Peterson Industrial Park and is ideally sited for developing the type of test facility envisioned by Buffalo Potash.
Halabura made the commitment during a meeting with the City of Estevan's economic development board on June 9.
The proposed facility will house a prototype crystallizer and associated process equipment, a chemical analysis laboratory and Buffalo’s regional office. The purpose will be to allow for the testing of potash brines produced from Buffalo’s first mining test sites at Disley and Odessa, and to test processes and equipment designed for installation in a larger fertilizer production facility to be built in the Estevan-Bienfait area.
The plant, named the Estevan Fertilizer Production Facility (EFPF), will make upgraded muriate of potash (MOP), sulphate of potash (SOP), hydrochloric acid and calcium chloride for sale to North American markets.
“Our vision is to be a homegrown, fully integrated producer of potash-based fertilizer. This means that Buffalo will not only have its own mines and potash upgrader, but with our own R and D facility focusing on innovative and sustainable mining and processing technology”, said Halabura in a news release. “Given the importance of potash to our economy, why shouldn’t we, as a province, strive to become leaders in developing the next generation of solution mining and potash production capacity?”
Buffalo Potash also met with the South Saskatchewan Economic Partnership to discuss the Buffalo vision and plan.
“Buffalo sees the partnership as a crucial element in diversifying the local economy, and it’s important for people elsewhere in Saskatchewan to understand how many advantages the southeast offers to investors and industrial developers. It’s not just about oil - it’s also about the ideal mix of energy, infrastructure, services, workforce, and investment support."
Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig commented that it’s been rewarding to see the Buffalo project advance as it has.
“The Buffalo team has demonstrated its commitment to our community and developed the plan from a dream into something that is becoming real. I look forward to seeing the R & D facility come to life."
The next edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.