Sask. government approves Fortune Minerals plant

Sask. government approves Fortune Minerals plant

Postby Oscar » Tue May 13, 2014 8:18 am

Sask. government approves Fortune Minerals plant

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Metal processing facility still needs approval from R.M. of Corman Park

Reported by Kelly Malone

First Posted: Feb 12, 2014 6:16am | Last Updated: Feb 12, 2014 6:44am

A proposed metal processing plant has received approval from the Government of Saskatchewan.

The Ministry of Environment announced Tuesday that the Fortune Minerals Ltd environmental assessment had been approved.

"This project has gone through the rigorous scrutiny of the Ministry of Environment and there was an extensive public review consultation that took place," said Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff.

"The process here is to have the scientific experts at the Ministry of Environment review all aspects of the project."

Fortune Minerals approached the ministry in August 2013 and Cheveldayoff said the ministry asked additional questions this past September. There were also public consultations which ended in December.

"Some 247 proposals were received by the government," he said.

"All of those concerns have been looked at and addressed."

Cheveldayoff added that part of the approval process was Fortune Minerals commitment to put financial resources aside in a bond-like structure to ensure that they have financial capabilities to maintain government standards.

The proposed Saskatchewan Metals Processing Plant (SMPP) would be located 27 kilometers Northwest of Saskatoon. Fortune Minerals said capital cost would be more than $200 million and provide 200 jobs during construction and 100 long-term jobs.

The SMPP will process metal concentrates from the Company’s proposed NICO mine and mill in the Northwest Territories and will be guaranteed for 18 to 25 years with the processed waste products being permanently stored .

Fortune Minerals added that the plant's life could be extended.

Cheveldayoff said the ministry is only involved in determining the environmental sustainability of the project. Licensing and zoning are now in the hands of the RM of Corman Park.

"They have to come to Corman Park. They have to apply for rezoning, for development permits. So, there is still a process that has to go through open houses," said Reeve of Corman Park Judy Harwood.

"Certainly Corman Park, we are open to business and we believe in economic development but not at any cost. So we have to wait to see what comes forward from Fortune Minerals."

She said that Fortune Minerals will be applying for a discretionary use permit.

"It has to go around the council table and each of our councilors has to decide after listening to all the information and concerns of the rate payers how they want to vote on it. If in fact it is voted down by Corman Park then that is our decision," she said.

"We are going to be open-minded. We are going to look at all the information coming forward then the eight councilors and myself will have to adjudicate on that information."

Harwood said they have many questions for Fortune Minerals, including concerns about reclamation.

"Certainly as Reeve I don't want to leave a legacy behind that is something that in 50 years is going to harm a lot of people," she said.

"In my mind reclamation is leaving the land in the same condition or a better condition than when you started. So, that is an area that I will certainly want to have some information just to what their plans are in that regard."

A meeting has been set by Fortune Minerals in Langham on Feb. 19th to address some of those questions.

Chair of the Fortune Minerals Issues Group (FMIG) Ken Crush said there will be quite a few in attendance. FMIG have been voicing their concerns about the project.

"We've discussed this as a committee before and we are not surprised... We see our government as into growth and resource development, even though 247 letters were sent from our community to the Department of Environment saying we are not comfortable with this in our community," Crush said.

"As a community... one of our concerns is that our regulations here in Saskatchewan aren't up to par... Based on the regulations that are set supposedly Fortune Minerals have met them but our standards aren't high enough."

He said that they have already developed a petition against rezoning the land to submit to the RM of Corman Park.


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