A new study says Encanto Potash Corp. should forge ahead with its controversial plans to develop a potash mine on the Muskowekwan First Nation northeast of Regina.

The independent prefeasibility study by Novopro Projects Inc. estimates the proposed mine would produce 2.8 million tons of potash annually over its more than 50-year lifespan.

It recommends that Encanto move the project forward to the feasibility study phase as soon as possible.

“This prefeasibility study confirms the economic robustness of the Muskowekwan Project and highlights our flagship property as an attractive potash project,” Encanto president and CEO Jim Walchuck said in a news release Monday.

“This is a major milestone in the company’s intention to develop the Muskowekwan Project into a significant producing potash mine.”

Last February, Muskowekwan members voted 80 per cent in favour of designating 58,000 acres of reserve land for the project.

However, some band members are skeptical of the joint-venture agreement to develop the proposed solution potash mine. They say environmental concerns surrounding the deal have not been addressed.

An environmental impact study for the project is expected to wrap up in the third quarter of 2013.