Thursday, 6 September 2012

Western Potash hands in environmental report for Milestone project

Western Potash Corp. (TSE:WPX) (FSE:AHE) said Wednesday it has submitted its environmental impact statement for its proposed Milestone potash solution mine in Saskatchewan. 
Following a technical review by regulatory agencies, the report will be available for public review and will be available on the company's website - expected sometime in the fourth quarter. 
The report was submitted to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment for the project, which is located 30 kilometres southeast of Regina and 80 kilometres from Mosaic's Belle Plaine mining lease. 
The environmental report details features designed to minimize the potential impacts of the project to the environment, while "optimizing social and economic benefits" to the local and regional communities
It includes a series of studies such as wildlife, surface water quality, air quality and vegetation studies, among others, and records all engagement meetings with members of the communities in the area as well as government agencies. 
Once all necessary approvals are in place, environmental monitoring and follow up programs will be outlined.
"Today, after a coordinated effort between all the regulatory agencies and our team we are pleased to be submitting a critical document that will go a long way to de-risking the Milestone Project and ultimately create lasting value for our shareholders," said president and CEO, Patricio Varas. 
The Milestone project is being designed as a solution potash mine with a minimum of 40 years of mining at a full production rate of 2.8 million tonnes per year. 
In June, the City of Regina approved key commerical terms that will allow a large portion of the city's treated sewage effluent to be diverted to Milestone.
Once up and running, Western Potash said the Milestone project will draw between 40 per cent and 70 per cent of the City of Regina‘s wastewater. The agreement, if paid out annually, is worth more than $200 million to the city over a 45 year term.
"We know that effective water governance requires the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders. Western Potash Corp. is but one stakeholder," said Varas. 
"The natural resource sector will continue to be the most significant user of water in Saskatchewan and we believe it falls to those natural resource development companies to demonstrate the kind of leadership and innovation that we hope will become more prevalent in industry. 
"We at Western are planning a very innovative use of water in the development of our Potash Solution Mine," he concluded. 
The feasibility study for the mine is now nearing completion, expected to be wrapped up for late November. 
The company also remains in ongoing negotiations with several parties, which could lead to equity and debt financings, it said, as well as joint ventures or potential takeovers to advance Milestone.  
Under NI 43-101 guidelines, the Milestone project holds 66.6 million tonnes of measured recoverable resource, 186.9 million tonnes of indicated recoverable resource and 708.2 million tonnes of inferred recoverable resource.
Shares of Western Potash are up more than 3 per cent in the last 5 days, lately changing hands at 64 cents. 

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