Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc.’s Chaplin, Sask., facility is set to receive an upgrade.
The company is moving forward with a $220 million upgrade to its sodium sulphate plant, expanding capacity to produce 150,000 metric tonnes of sulphate of potash (SOP) per year.
The combination of sodium sulphate with Saskatchewan-produced potash will produce high-value SOP fertilizer for domestic and international growers, says the company.
The decision, based on a favourable preliminary feasibility study conducted by the Saskatoon office of Wood Group, is approved by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and will not require further environmental approvals. The province’s government’s conditional approval for funding for the upgrade through the Saskatchewan Chemical Fertilizer Incentive also played a major role in the decision to proceed.
The expansion into SOP production could mean immediate and long-term positive economic benefits for the town of Chaplin and for the province. Construction is expected to take up to two years, and is projected to take up to 700,000 labour hours.
“The Government of Saskatchewan has been engaged and highly supportive in their efforts to get behind SMMI, as it seems our project is directly aligned with their 10-year plan to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and to help build a strong economy and quality of life for Saskatchewan people.” says Rodney McCann, president of SMMI.
When complete, the addition of SOP production could result in an estimated 50 per cent increase in jobs at the Chaplin facility, on an ongoing basis.
Additionally, an agreement with Veolia Water Technologies means the production of SOP at this location will be up to 25 per cent more energy efficient than current technology.
“SMMI’s fertilizer production upgrade is an exciting move forward, with a dedication to sustainability. We are proud to partner with SMMI on this project and look forward to what’s to come,” says Jim Brown, CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas.