Saskatchewan’s economic drivers are often identified as agriculture, mining and energy.
A quick check of the Government of Saskatchewan website indicates the value of Saskatchewan’s mineral sales in 2018 were $7 billion. With half of the world’s known potash reserves and the world’s largest high-grade uranium deposits, Saskatchewan will continue to be important to not only Canada, but world food and energy security.
ur Cigar Lake mine boasts the largest high-grade uranium deposit in the world, located in the uranium rich Athabasca Basin.
Without question, mining is big business. In 2017, Canada’s mineral imports and exports recorded a balance of trade of more than $19.9 billion. Canada’s domestic mineral exports, valued at $97.5 billion in 2017, accounted for 19.4 per cent of its total merchandise exports.
Today, our mining sector is a leader in environmental protection. We export that expertise all over the world. This has not always been the case.
Reclamation of old northern uranium mines continues, along with others, has required the investment of millions into containment projects at older mine sites. APEGS, as the regulator of the engineering and geoscience professions in Saskatchewan, added safeguarding the environment to our obligation of safeguarding human life to the code of ethics we all live by.
Currently, the mining sector is moving to autonomous technology to increase mine safety and efficiency. This brings whole new areas of engineering and geoscience opportunities in areas traditionally not associated with the mining industry. It also opens opportunities to export our expertise and experience in this area.
This month we are honoured to highlight the world class leadership several of our colleagues are delivering in the mining sector.