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Proposed potash mine near Sedley under scrutiny from environmentalists
Published Wednesday, April 3, 2019 6:09PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, April 3, 2019 6:38PM CST
The proposed site for Can Pacific's Albany Project potash mine, located north east of the Village of Sedley, will destroy 6,000 hectares of natural grass and wetland, according to a local grasslands advocacy group.
"These are some of the things that Canada is most concerned about in the grassland regions, Trevor Herriot with Public Pastures –Public Interest, said. “Things like loggerhead shrike and ferruginous hawk, sprigs pipit, the northern leopard frog, I can name them a bunch of them for you. The biological survey turned up almost 150 species of wildlife using this landscape."
The group is concerned, as the land serves as home for at risk wildlife.
According to Herriot, the province has already lost more than 86 per cent of it's native prairie habitat, and the animals are running out of places to live. He suggested the site be moved to a more suitable area on pasture land.
"When you've only got 13.7 percent left in the province, all native grasslands is a sensitive feature,” Herriot said. “We cannot afford to be chewing it up, fragmenting it, putting roads through it, just to export potash."
Can Pacific said the mine would produce 3.25 million tonnes of potash a year, and would have a significant impact on the local economy. The company also plans on minimizing its biodiversity loss and land disturbance.
"We understand the importance of habitat conservation, and have designed a comprehensive environmental management plan to ensure the project is environmentally sustainable," the company told CTV News in a statement.
The Ministry or Environment said the project is under review.
"The Albany Project is subject to an environmental assessment,” Brianna England with environmental assessmentand stewardship for the Ministry or Environment said. “Currently the project is under public review and we're accepting public comments until April 15. Following public review, the minister will consider public comments and technical review comments when making a decision on the project."
According to Can Pacific's environmental impact statement to the province, construction for the
proposed potash mine can begin as early as 2021 with potash production beginning in 2024.
Based on a report by CTV Regina's Creeson Agecoutay.