The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment has given conditional approval for the next development phase of CanPacific Potash’s Albany project in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.

The project includes development of the company’s KL262 property and a proposed 3.25 million tonne per year potash mining operation.

It is situated on potash permit KP405, which covers approximately 24,751ha of land and is located 30km south-east of Regina, Saskatchewan, in the RM’s of Lajord and Francis.

As per the conditional approval, CanPacific must provide a compensation plan for any lost native grassland and wetland habitat.

The plan should identify how the company will restore or enhance the existing areas as well as create new native prairie or wetlands.

CanPacific must sign a development agreement with the RM of Francis before starting construction works.

The company should also obtain further ministerial approval for the future development of the 20-year well-field areas.

Saskatchewan Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said: “During the public review period of this project, we heard concerns about potential impacts to native grassland and wetlands and those concerns have been directly addressed in this decision to grant conditional approval for the project.”

The project’s comprehensive environmental impact study is being developed by SNC-Lavalin (Saskatoon). The company is also offering expertise through the permitting approval process.

Project Albany, which sits on the southern margin of the Elk Point Basin within the Devonian Prairie Evaporite sequence, focuses on the Patience Lake, Belle Plaine and Esterhazy potash beds.

CanPacific CEO David Waugh said: “We are strongly committed to developing a project that is environmentally sustainable and respects our neighbours.

“We are pleased that the project can proceed with the Ministry’s approval, the endorsement of local rural municipalities, and the strong support of stakeholders across the region.”

CanPacific Potash is a joint venture between North Atlantic Potash and Rio Tinto Potash Management.