Western Resources’ wholly owned subsidiary has started drilling at its Milestone Phase I Potash Project in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Milestone Phase 1 project is located approximately 35km southeast of Regina in Saskatchewan and the drilling programme is carried out along with Artisan Consulting and AKITA Drilling.

The project will use advanced horizontal drilling methods to initially discover the high-grade potash bed. It will then use a selective dissolution technique to extract potash to the surface.

The drilling programme will be conducted for approximately four months. It includes the drilling of six wells connected to three caverns.

Each of the three caverns consists of an injection well under the potash bed. They also comprise a connected withdrawal well to return the brine to the surface.

Upon completion of drilling and receipt of regulatory approvals, the caverns will initially start ‘cold mining’ to enlarge the caverns and saturate the brine. They will then begin ‘hot mining’ to recirculate brine into the caverns.

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The process plant will be constructed and ready to harvest the potash inventory in pond by mid-2020.

The plant will then dry and compact the potash, and then ship to a nearby distribution centre, noted Western Resources.

Western Resources president and CEO Bill Xue said: “We are very confident that this project will lead to the world’s first selective solution potash mine that leaves no surface tailings in Saskatchewan.”

Artisan Consulting is a provider of specialised supervision services for the drilling of vertical and horizontal wells within Western Canada, while Akita Drilling is a Canada-based drilling services firm.