Saskatchewan ranks first in Canada and third in the world for mining investment attractiveness, according to the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies: 2018, which evaluated 83 jurisdictions. Saskatchewan's rich mineral resources, efficient regulatory environment, and strong investment opportunities have attracted most of the global major mining companies to Saskatchewan.
In 2017, the value of Saskatchewan's mineral sales was $6.6 billion – the fourth highest in Canada. Exploration expenditures in 2017 were $170 million and are forecast to reach $193 million in 2018.
Saskatchewan has two of the most desirable minerals in the world – potash and uranium. The province has the largest potash industry in the world, accounting for about one-third of annual global production and hosting nearly half of the world’s known resources. The world’s largest high-grade uranium deposits are located in northern Saskatchewan, which accounted for more than 22% of the world’s primary uranium production in 2016.
There is also unrealized potential in base metals, particularly zinc and copper. The Flin Flon mining camp, which straddles the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border has been a substantial producer for decades and is estimated to have the highest contained value of base metal ore per square kilometre in Canada. The existing infrastructure makes exploration more attractive for companies.
There are areas with high gold potential that remain under-explored. In 2017, the Seabee operation had its fourth consecutive year of record production, generating 83,998 ounces of gold. Exploration expenditures have traditionally focused on the La Ronge Greenstone Belt and areas north of Lake Athabasca.
The province is home to one of the world’s largest fields of diamond-bearing kimberlites. Ongoing discoveries in the northeast part of the province have highlighted Saskatchewan’s potential for diamonds.
The province also produces coal, salt, silica sands, kaolin, clays, as well as sodium and potassium sulphates and has strong potential for economic deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, rare earth minerals, and platinum group elements.
In order to encourage and attract investment, Saskatchewan has established several incentive programs in the minerals sector, such as:
- A 10-year royalty holiday for new gold and base metal mines; and
- A 5-year incorporation tax rebate for mineral processing.
Opportunities for Servicing the Mining Industry
Information about opportunities to service Saskatchewan's mining industry can be found in the a variety of available publications.
How to Successfully Access the Mining Supply Chain provides key information to Saskatchewan manufacturers to aid in understanding the Saskatchewan mining industry, with a focus on the potash and uranium industries. Manufacturers will get accurate, relevant information to help understand the opportunities and steps involved in becoming a successful preferred supplier.
The Uranium Mining Supply Chain Requirement Guide provides information on the quantity, value and scheduling of supplies and services purchased by typical Saskatchewan uranium mining project owners and/or operators to discover, develop, operate, maintain, decommission and close out projects.
The Potash Mining Supply Chain Requirement Guide provides businesses and communities with information about the kinds of goods and services required for the construction and operation of a conventional or solution potash mine.
Supply Chain Events
The Annual Mining Supply Chain Forum brings mining project and procurement people together with manufacturing and related service companies to discuss opportunities in the mining supply chain. The event is a partnership between the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA) and the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association (SIMSA).
Saskatchewan Supply Chain Week is proclaimed annually in recognition of the valuable contribution that Saskatchewan supply chain management professionals and suppliers make to the growth and success of our provincial economy. Find more information on the Supply Chain Management Association – Saskatchewan website.