SMA Emergency Response Mine Rescue Competition
June 1, 2019
The 51st SMA Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition will take place Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon. Click here for the 2019 Competition Guidelines.
Saskatchewan Mining Week 2019
May 26, 2019
Saskatchewan Mining Week May 26 - June 1, 2019. Theme - Mining: Supporting Local and Global Communities.
Mining Week will culminate with the 51st Annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition - June 1 at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon.
A schedule of Mining Week activities is forthcoming.
11th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum
April 3, 2019
The 11th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum co-hosted by the Saskatchewan Mining Association, the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development took place April 3 and 4, 2019 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK.
The Forum provided information on current mining operations and projects in Saskatchewan and the related supply chain opportunities for manufacturing companies.
Click here for the Agenda.
Following are presentations from the Forum:
53rd Annual General Meeting
March 1, 2019
The 53rd Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Delta Saskatoon Downtown (formerly Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon).
SMA Mine Safety Summit
February 28, 2019
The SMA Mine Safety Summit - Technical Aspects of Mine Safety will be held on Thursday, February 28, 2019 in conjunction with the SMA AGM on Friday, March 1, 2019.
The format of the Summit utilizes case studies from SMA member companies and includes reviews of incident investigations, equipment/procedure evaluations, and best practice discussions. The case studies are grouped into themes which relate to activities and conditions that have been, or have the potential to have been, associated with serious injury and/or fatality.
SMA Responds to Federal Carbon Pricing Announcement
October 23, 2018
News Release: SMA Responds to Federal Carbon Pricing Announcement
SMA Environmental Forum 2018
October 16, 2018
SMA Environmental Forum 2018 is a professional development opportunity for environmental practitioners in the mining industry, consulting businesses, post-secondary researchers and government. With changing regulations and evolving technology it is important for environmental professionals to keep current, and move forward, in developing and identifying best practices related to environmental sustainability.
Following is the Agenda along with the presentations:
SMA Supports Next Step in SK Prairie Resilience Strategy
August 29, 2018
2018 SMA GeoVenture Blog
August 19, 2018
Following is the 2018 SMA GeoVenture Blog August 19 - 24
GeoVenture 2018 kicked off with an Orientation Workshop which included Introductions; Itinerary review; Curriculum Link Outline; Introduction to Rocks and Minerals; Overview of Saskatchewan Mining Industry; distribution of curriculum-related material.
The day finished off with a Drill and Grill dinner at Saskatoon Inn attended by SMA Board members.
Day 2 Potash - Solution (Mosaic Belle Plaine and Potash Interpretive Centre), August 20, 2018
We had a nice breakfast at the Saskatoon Inn and boarded the bus for the Mosaic potash mine at Belle Plaine. This mine is the largest solution mine in the world and produces more potash per year than the United States. It also generates its own electricity and consumes as much natural gas per year as the city of Moose Jaw. The 64 km2 mine site has about 1900 km of underground pipes that pump hot water down 1500 m to dissolve the potash. Belle Plaine mine consumes 19 000 L per minute (24/7) and all is kept on site.
What is potash?
Potash Interpretive Centre, Esterhazy, SK
We then walked over to the Potash Interpretive Centre. Outside of the centre there was a tall, 20 foot statue of a miner and an old train car out on the front lawn. When we entered the centre, we were greeted by our tour guides who were retired employees of the mine. We learned about the backbone of the Esterhazy economy, which is potash.
The interpretive centre is a great place to go to learn about the history of the potash industry and how it is important not only to the people of the area, but also all around the world. The information was displayed through murals, maps of the local mines and the patterns they used for mining, a life-sized diorama of the area being mined, miniature models of the equipment used, and videos.
We learned about the construction of the mines and how the technology has changed throughout the years. Where once there was a lot more physical labour, many of the mines operations are carried through by computers and automation. Safety measures are also considered more effectively than in the past.
The Potash Interpretive Centre is an excellent place to visit to experience what a working potash mine is like, without actually being able to visit a mine.
Day 3 Potash – Conventional Underground (Mosaic Esterhazy K1 & K2), August 21, 2018
Now this is the story all about how,
In Southeast Saskatchewan, born and praised,
We whistled for a ride, and when it came near,
We arrived at the mill around 12:08,
Mosaic Esterhazy K2
Esterhazy Rhapsody (sung more-or-less to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen)
Mosaic, protects a man.
Clocked in, time to descend
We see high-grade potash in the rock,
It’s just a mixture, gotta separate it
So you think you can split me and sell me by size?
Ooh yeah, ooh yeah,
All the ways the food grows.
Day 4 Coal - Westmoreland Coal Poplar River Mine and Castle Butte, August 22, 2018
The sleepy group of 2018 GeoVenture participants awoke to a beautiful crisp yet sunny day in the lovely community of Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan. After a brief meal at the local restaurant we ventured out to ‘meet the giant’ nearby, Mr. Edouard Beaupre. Standing over 8 feet tall was an impressive statue of his likeness, but nowhere near the size of ‘Great Gus’.
Great Gus is the smaller of two giant draglines that are the backbone of the Westmoreland Poplar River coal mine. With a boom arm measuring 140 meters and a reach of 110 meters, this behemoth moves earth like a champ. If this were parked at one end of Mosaic stadium it could reach the goal post at the other end! It has the power to dig a typical basement in two swipes of its giant bucket, with each swipe carrying 70 cubic meters.
Upon arriving at the Westmoreland facility, we signed in and were given a very thorough orientation and safety talk, complete with a professionally produced animated video. We all donned our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and off we went to board the bus. The first stop was to see the coal seam and get out to walk in the pit. We were treated to seeing the water truck go by and water the coal in an effort to keep the dust down. We were also given bags to collect our very own coal samples, and had a group picture taken in front of the coal.
The seam of coal is typically about 4 meters deep, and is covered by about 30 meters of overburden. It is the job of Great Gus to remove this overburden. The giant loaders and haul trucks do the rest. We watched a truck get loaded while we were there, hauling away about 140 tons of coal which is about 5 bucket loads from the loader. We then followed the truck out of the pit up a ramp that has a maximum grade of 6 percent. This means that for every 100 meters of travel, the ramp can only rise by 6 meters…but when you are hauling that much weight it is a pretty good feat. Upon leaving the coal pit, the trucks travel approximately 5-10 minutes to the hopper where they unload all that coal so it can be loaded into the train for delivery to the power plant.
At the loading station, trains come to the plant to be loaded with coal destined for the power plant. After the coal is hauled from the pit to the hopper, the truck unloads the coal and it is crushed to a more uniform size around 6 inches. Then it is loaded onto a series of train cars (21 in total), and hauled to the Sask Power coal generating power plant. This plant has two turbines and each one has a capacity of 315 megawatts. The 630 megawatts of power generated at this plant represents about 20 percent of the total power that the province of Saskatchewan uses. Two locomotives are owned by the company, and each of the rail cars holds about 90 tons for a combined total of about 2000 tons per train. That coal is typically used by the power plant in about 3 hours, after its been crushed at the plant into a fine dust so it can be sent to the furnaces for combustion to power the turbines.
Our bus headed out to take us to see the dragline next, appropriately named Great Gus. Another dragline is the 400 foot dragline, but at the time was undergoing an 18 million dollar service and was not operational, but it is the largest dragline operated in Saskatchewan. The main purpose of the draglines are to remove the approximately 30 meters of overburden, and access the coal seam, but the dragline doesn’t actually dig the coal. We all had an opportunity to see the spare 100 ton dragline bucket, and had another group picture done in front of this giant ‘shovel’.
We were able to see the dragline from two angles, and after leaving the second pit we headed to the main facility again to tour the maintenance shop. Maintenance is one of the largest expenses for the company (after wages) and preventative maintenance is performed on all the equipment regularly. All equipment is washed before it is worked on, and the mechanics are generally all journeymen heavy duty mechanics. The last part of our tour consisted of a lunch with many of the company leaders and it gave us an opportunity to ask many great questions. The knowledgeable staff made the tour not only safe and informative, but also exciting. We learned about their drone technology for mapping the site, the GPS technology that the operators use, and some more history of the company, both at this mine and others that they operate.
One thing that was stressed throughout our entire tour was the importance of site remediation and reclamation. Westmoreland works consistently with local land owners and government to ensure all regulations are being met. They reclaim all land to a state very similar to what it was prior to the mining, and most of it is returned to farmland and eventually sold to local farmers once the coal has been removed. The entire operation was impressive to see, very educational, and certainly gives us educators who were on the tour a lot to talk to our students about.
Coming across the flat prairie from the southern part of Saskatchewan, we followed the long road into a wide open valley formed by glacier melt water channels. It was flat except for a tall castle which appeared before our eyes. It was in the middle of nowhere and rose up tall, dry, orange, brown, and beige with sage, dust, and some grass around it. It was full of horizontal and vertical lines covering the whole surface. Upon further examination, there were some caves around the base. Why was it here? What made the lines crossing the surface of the castle? We needed to interpret the geology of this formation.
Our guides Svieda and Pam were a wealth of information sharing that the Castle was indeed formed during the Upper Cretaceous period where the land was mostly covered by rivers, streams and swamps. Sediments deposited at the bottom of the water 75-55 million years ago created the sedimentary rock. As the surrounding rocks were eroded away, a butte was left behind (a butte is a flat-topped hill of soft rock with a hard-protective rock on top). The soft rock does not erode due to the hard-top surface. In the sedimentary rock, there is sandstone and traces of iron. The iron shows up in horizontal bands that create protruding ledges as the sandstone erodes. The vertical lines covering the butte are a result of water and weather eroding the sandstone.
Some of our group walked around the circumference, some explored the caves, and others climbed the top to enjoy the beautiful vista. There was an opportunity to express our artistic talents on paper showing our impressions of the wonderful Castle Butte.
Day 5 Uranium - Cameco Cigar Lake and Orano Canada McClean Lake Mill, August 23, 2018
Cameco Cigar Lake Mine
We started the day by meeting down in the lobby of the Saskatoon Inn at 5:45 am. Even though it was so early, we were all on time! We divided ourselves into cars and Pam lead us in a convoy to Westwind Airlines. We checked in and waited our turn to board. Breakfast was waiting for us on the planes.
We arrived at our northern destination about an hour and a half later. It was interesting to note that the runway was a dirt runway, but it was a smooth landing nonetheless. At that point, we were welcomed by a friendly employee of Cigar Lake Mine.
A school bus was waiting to take us to the mine site. The views were spectacular! We had seen many of the lakes from the airplane, but it was even better up close. We noticed that the trees were not quite as tall as trees further south. This is likely due to the colder climate and soil conditions compared to further south.
Our orientation was led by the manager of the site, Jeremy Breker. During the presentation he emphasized safety above all.
Cigar Lake has a unique resource. It has the highest grade uranium mine in the world.
Jeremy gave us an overview of what we would be seeing and we were on our way to put on or PPE. We had booties, steel toed rubber boots, a white Tyvex jumpsuit, helmet and safety glasses.
We were taken to the elevator shaft which was also referred to as “the cage”. The ride down was exciting and quite smooth. Our tour guides took us to several places including a refuge station that also serves as a lunch room. Workers must clean their boots before entering and remove their safety helmets, gloves and wash their hands before entering the eating area.
The ore is mined from underneath the ore body using high pressure water jets. This was developed by Cameco and is referred to as the jet boring system or JBS. More detailed information on this method can be found here. We got to see exactly where this occurs while we were touring underground. We also got to see the area where the engine for the jets of water are kept. They use 15000 psi to retrieve the ore.
Once the ore is removed from the ore body it goes to a slurry tank – which we also got to see. From there it is ground up more to make it easier to move to the surface. Once we returned to the surface, we were taken to the building that the trucks enter to load the slurry that is then moved by truck to McClean Lake for milling.
Our tour guides answered all of our questions and were very patient when they had to re-explain some of the processes more than once. After the tour we loaded up the bus and headed to McClean Lake to see the milling process.
Orano McClean Lake Mill
After waking up bright and early, the group split up to get on our planes for the ride to Cigar Lake. The tour of the uranium mine was fantastic as you just read above.
From the pachucas, we went to the leaching area where acid is used to extract uranium, and a variety of other metals, from the slurry. There is a lot of monitoring of the waste stream at this point because elements like selenium (which is toxic to fish at levels measured in parts per BILLION) can be present. As fishing is the main recreation of a lot of the workers here, they make sure that nothing will harm their pastime!
Day 6 Diamond presentation & SRC Lab Tour, August 24, 2018
Check out Renee's blog on the diamond presentations https://mixcord.co/acapella/p/EmN4Fvc34Bqn7omJwJR_Ig/
50th Emergency Response Mine Rescue Competition Results
June 5, 2018
50th Annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition
June 2, 2018
The 50th Annual Emergency Response Mine Rescue Skills Competition took place on Saturday, June 2, 2018 in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place and Moose Jaw Exhibition. Here are the results.
The SMA ERMRC Newletter The Scoop can be found here
Saskatchewan Mining Week 2018
May 28, 2018
Monday, May 28, 2018
Mining: Sustaining Success
Regina: The Honourable Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Energy & Resources along with Jessica Theriault, Chair of the Saskatchewan Mining Association launched ‘Mining Week in Saskatchewan’ today at the Saskatchewan Legislature. Mining Week in Saskatchewan runs from May 27 – June 2, 2018.
Saskatchewan is a global mining leader. While low commodity prices have continued to make for challenging operating environment, we are reminded that Saskatchewan is a good place to be operating mines. “Saskatchewan provides a low-risk environment because of both the great geological framework, and also the considered regulatory and policy frameworks. SMA member companies have made multibillion dollar investments in Saskatchewan over the past decade. And because of these investments, mining remains a key pillar of Saskatchewan’s economy.” said Jessica Theriault, Chair of Saskatchewan Mining Association.
As Canada transitions to a lower carbon economy, Saskatchewan products are among the most responsibly mined in the world. “Saskatchewan mining operations feed and fuel the world with their products, improving the quality of life around the world and at home. The world needs more Saskatchewan mineral products and we will continue to work with governments to develop a framework for sustained success in a globally competitive marketplace”, said Pam Schwann, SMA President.
During Mining Week, the Saskatchewan Mining Association will have dozens of events in communities across the province, culminating with the 50th Annual Emergency Response/Mine Rescue Skills Competition, Saturday, June 2nd at Mosaic Place and Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds in Moose Jaw.
For further information contact:
Tracey Irwin, SMA Manager, Communications and Membership, (306) 591-7050
Saskatchewan Mining Week 2018
May 27, 2018
Saskatchewan Mining Week May 27 - June 2, 2018.
Following is a list of Mining Week activities.
Monday, May 28 – Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of Canada will make a luncheon presentation to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce to be held at the Hotel Saskatchewan Radisson Plaza in Regina. https://www.apegs.ca/Portal/Pages/event-details-7/33477
Tuesday, May 29 – Pam Schwann, President, Saskatchewan Mining Association will make a luncheon presentation to members of the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce at the Bella Vista in Humboldt. https://www.humboldtchamber.ca/events/details/mining-week-in-saskatchewan-2073
Wednesday, May 30 - Kyle Leadbeater, Superintendent, Dry End Production, K+S Potash Canada will make a breakfast presentation to the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce at Grant Hall Hotel, Moose Jaw. https://www.mjchamber.com/home
Wednesday, May 30 – Women in Mining/ Women in Nuclear Networking Event with keynote speaker the Honourable Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Energy & Resources to be held at the Saskatoon Club, Saskatoon. http://wimwinsk.com/event/2018-wimwin-sk-mining-week-networking-event/
Wednesday, May 30 and Thursday, May 31 – ‘Core Days’ in partnership with Keewatin Community Development Association, Northlands College and the Ministry of Energy & Resources. Events include: Technical Discussions, Core and Rock Sample Displays, Long Term Service Awards, Mineral Exploration & Mine Service Tradeshow, La Ronge. http://www.kcdc.ca/coredays/
Thursday, May 31 – Larry Long, Vice President Operations, Potash, Nutrien will make a breakfast presentation to the North Saskatoon Business Association to be held at the Saskatoon Club in Saskatoon. http://nsbasask.com/event/nsba-mining-week-breakfast-may31-18/
Thursday, May 31 – IMII’s 5th Annual “Let’s Talk Minerals!” to be held at the Saskatoon Inn & Conference Centre, Saskatoon. http://www.imii.ca/events/events-details/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=208&cHash=8208d01a9013b9e560a50c3419b8d7a6
Friday, June 1 – The Honourable Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Energy & Resources will make a breakfast presentation to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce to be held at the Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon. http://members.saskatoonchamber.com/events/details/saskatchewan-mining-week-breakfast-4100
Saturday, June 2 – 50th Annual Emergency Response/Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Mosaic Place and Moose Jaw Exhibition Park, Moose Jaw.
For more information on Saskatchewan Mining Week contact the SMA office (306) 757-9505; email@example.com
Amendments to CTA Fails to Address Canadian Mining Industry
April 30, 2018
SMA echoes the profound disappointment and frustration voiced by the Mining Association of Canada with respect to the Government of Canada's legislation amending The Canada Transportation Act (Bill C-49). Click here for the media release.
SMA supports province's request to the Sask Court of Appeal on carbon tax legislation
April 25, 2018
Saskatchewan Mining Association supports province's request to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal seeking clarification on constitutionality of federal government's carbon tax legislation. Click here for the media release.
Train the Trainer Program
April 11, 2018
TEAM Response and St. John Ambulance will be offering the Train the Trainer Program again this year. The objective of the Train the Trainer program is to better prepare those that are tasked with training a team for competition or participating as a team member.
Pre-requisite for Train the Trainer
Agenda for Train the Trainer
Proposed training date:
April 11th, 2018 at Mosaic Place, 175, 119 River St W, Moose Jaw, SK. The course will run from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Lunch will be provided. Anyone with diet restrictions please notify us in advance. Participants can register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael.Brenholen@sk.sja.ca The cost of the course is $225.00 per person.
Registrations for the Train the Trainer course will be accepted until April 5th, 2018 to allow for course loading.
10th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum
April 10, 2018
The 10th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum will be held April 10 and 11, 2018 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, SK.
This Forum provides information on how manufacturers, construction, equipment and service providers can access mining supply opportunities.
Forum topics have historically included (yet to be finalized for this year):
For more information and to purchase tickets for the10th Annual Saskatchewan Mining Supply Chain Forum please use the following link: https://saskmining.wixsite.com/miningsupplyforum
NOTE: Saskatchewan Mining Association members to contact the SMA office for registration to the event.
52nd Annual General Meeting
March 2, 2018
Saskatchewan Mining Association's 52nd Annual General Meeting was held on Friday, March 2, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon.
Download the 2017 Annual Report
2018 Mine Safety Summit
March 1, 2018
The 3rd Mine Safety Summit - Technical Aspects of Mine Safety was held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in conjunction with the SMA AGM on Friday, March 2, 2018.
The format of the Summit utilized case studies from SMA member companies and included reviews of incident investigations, equipment/procedure evaluations, and best practice discussions. Member companies presented for approximately 20 minutes/presentation. The case studies were grouped into themes which relate to activities and conditions that have been, or have the potential to have been, associated with serious injury and/or fatality.
Following are the presentations:
6th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop
February 7, 2018
6th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop
February 7-8, 2018
Plenary Sessions, Break-out Sessions, Case Studies, Trade Show, Poster Session and More!
Topics include: Species at Risk, Climate Change, Mining Restoration/Reclamation, Wetland Restoration, Soil and Phyto Remediation, Grazing and Prescribed Burning and partnerships!
At the Saskatoon Inn, in Saskatoon, SK
More information: 306-352-0472, email@example.com or www.pcap-sk.org /ckfinder/userfiles/files/NPRRW18 Advertising Poster.pdf
SMA Supports Government of SK Climate Change Strategy
December 4, 2017
The Saskatchewan Mining Association is supportive of the Government of Saskatchewan's Climate Change Strategy. Click here for the news release.
GMSG Edmonton Forum 2017
October 11, 2017
Global Mining Collaboration Lands in Edmonton this October
An interactive forum dedicated to presentations and discussions around Interoperability, Autonomous Mining, and much more, is taking place October 18-19 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Hear from speakers involved in the latest mining industry guideline work on autonomy, data sharing, and cyber security, as well as case studies on success stories outside the industry. You won’t want to miss the spotlight on GMSG’s Underground Mining projects around Battery Electric Vehicles and Short Interval and Real-Time Control.
GMSG forums offer a chance for participants to discover opportunities for their companies to grow and innovate. See the attached agenda for further details./ckfinder/userfiles/files/GMSG_17_EdmontonForum_Agenda.pdf
2017 SMA GeoVenture
August 21, 2017
Following is a blog on the 2017 GeoVenture August 14 - 19, 2017.
Day 1 Monday August 14th, 2017 - Orientation