Officials with the Government of Saskatchewan have signed off on an environmental impact statement for a proposed Yancoal potash mine near Southey, Sask.
Environment Minister Herb Cox said experts from the provincial government’s Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Review Panel went over about 3,000 pages submitted by Yancoal. He said they were satisfied the company’s proposed mine won’t contaminate nearby land or water.
“Before we would issue any approval we have to be very confident in the work that’s been done by not only our technical reviewers,but the input we’ve had from the public. We’re very confident the due diligence has been done,” he said.
Cox said Tuesday’s approval is one of many steps remaining before construction can begin on the project.
“I think there’s some 21 more licenses or permits that will be required in the future before this project will proceed, one of them being the development permit from the RM,” he said.
Cox said the approval comes with conditions. Among them is that Yancoal will pay for ongoing monitoring of farmland, water and the nearby Loon Creek. He said the company will also have to prove it has enough money to cover cleaning up the site when the mine is decommissioned, and to pay for any cleanup costs in the event of a spill or leak.
“One of the conditions of this approval will be that (Yancoal) provide financial assurance to the provincial government so that no taxpayer from this province will be required to put any money into any cleanup,” he said.