The Albany Potash Project, a mine planned in southeast Saskatchewan, has been given conditional approval after an environmental assessment by the provincial government.

CanPacific Potash Inc. now needs to get provincial and local approvals for the mine. It will be located around 50 kilometres southeast of Regina, near Francis and Sedley, the province said in a news release. All potash mine developments in Saskatchewan need to undergo an environmental assessment.

“The Ministry of Environment’s role is to ensure environmental responsibility is appropriately managed for developments such as potash mines,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said in a news release. “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 company must meet the following conditions for the project:

  • A compensation plan for any native grassland and wetland habitat that cannot be avoided by the project.
  • Identification of affected grasslands and wetlands, along with methods to restore or enhance the area or create new prairie or wetlands.
  • Give a timeline of when the work will be completed.
  • Submit a Development Plan Agreement to the RM of Francis before construction begins.
  • Obtain ministerial approval for future development of the 20-year well field areas.

The project received 453 comments from the public during its review period between March 16 and May 15.

“The consideration of public comments is a long-standing and established part of the province’s environmental assessment process,” Duncan said. “Scientific evidence, combined with these comments from the public, continues to be the foundation upon which we make environmental assessment decisions.”

The full environmental assessment can be found here.