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NEWS: Vale plans 40 million-litre-a-day water pipeline for potash mine in Saskatchewan

Katepwa Lake

Katepwa Lake

CBC reports that the Brazilian mining giant Vale plans to build a potash mine near the town of Kronau, Saskatchewan that would start operations in 2015. CBC notes there are concerns “about the mine’s environmental and social impacts” but highlights that large volumes of water would be needed to separate the potash from other minerals. “As there is no water source near Kronau, Vale wants to build a 70-kilometre water pipeline from Kronau to Katepwa Lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The company wants to pump more than 40 million litres of water — the equivalent of 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools — out of the lake every day.”

“The provincial body that regulates Saskatchewan’s water supply is currently studying whether there is enough water to meet Vale’s request. People living in the Katepwa Lake area say they are concerned about the effects the mine — and the withdrawal of all that water — would have on not just their water supply, but on the province’s lakes. …Vale plans to host public meetings over the next few months about the Kronau proposal.”

Back in November 2010, the Globe and Mail reported, “Vale’s potash plans in Saskatchewan include a potash development project valued up to $3-billion, which is now in the pre-feasibility stage. A decision on whether to build a mine is expected in 2012.” It would appear that Vale has now opted to proceed with its plan.

More soon.