The Manitoba government has approved the province's first potash development, allowing the Potash and Agri-Development Corporation of Manitoba (PADCOM) to start extraction and production in western Manitoba near the community of Russell. Premier Heather Stefanson made the announcement Tuesday at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Conference in Toronto.
“This is a significant step forward in our commitment to establish Manitoban a global leader in sustainable mineral development,” said Stefanson. “Our government is proud to announce PADCOM has received all required approvals to move Manitoba’s first potash mining operation into production. We are working with Indigenous leadership and communities to promote participation in the mineral resource sectors and to ensure communities share in the benefits that result from growth in these sectors.”
Gambler First Nation and PADCOM have developed a partnership, with Gambler First Nation participating as a 20 per cent equity owner.
“We are pleased to partner with PADCOM on this landmark project, which will create jobs and help spark further economic development opportunities in our community,” said Chief David LeDoux, Gambler First Nation.
Additionally, PADCOM will present community benefit agreements to several Indigenous communities in the area, the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Municipality of Russell-Binscarth.
PADCOM has completed the first part of the project in which two wells were drilled near the community of Harrowby to explore the local potash resource and determine feasibility. Following the recent Environment Act licence approval and signing of a mineral lease agreement with the province, PADCOM is authorized to move the development to the next phase of production.
“This operation will use a more environmentally friendly mining process. The physical footprint is small and the process will be using green Manitoba electricity, not fossil fuels,” said Daymon Guillas, president, PADCOM. “We are excited to partner with Gambler First Nation to develop Manitoba’s first potash operation. This initiative will help support Manitoba’s economic recovery and plays a major role in making Manitoba a global leader in mining and mineral development.”