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Province Issues RFP For Potash Exploration

By Brad Perry Oct 24, 2022 | 11:25 AM

A request for proposals has been issued for potash exploration in southeastern New Brunswick.

The RFP involves more than 26,000 hectares of mainly private land in the Salt Springs and Cassidy Lake areas, southeast of Norton.

Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland this is a great opportunity for New Brunswick as we are the only region along the eastern seaboard of North America that has mined potash resources.

“Potash has been an important contributor to the local and provincial economy in New Brunswick for more than 50 years,” Holland said in a news release issued late Friday.

“Our current geopolitical climate has clearly shown how requirements for natural resources connect us and affect us globally.”

Interested parties have until Dec. 20 to submit proposals outlining how they would conduct exploration for potash resources.

They must also detail how they would develop potash and/or related evaporite mineral deposits in the event of a discovery.

“This request for proposals is for exploration only. If no satisfactory proposals are received, exploration rights will not be issued,” said the government news release.

Exploration activity “of a damaging nature” may not proceed without landowner permission and a work authorization from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development.

According to an FAQ published by the province, that includes any exploration work “that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the land or requires the use of equipment beyond very basic hand tools and/or some geophysical equipment.”

The department said there is no guarantee a mine site will be proposed on private land, even if potash is discovered there.

It noted there are several steps involved in requesting a mining lease, such as an Environmental Impact Assessment, consultation with First Nations and the community, a reclamation plan and securities, landowner agreements, feasibility studies, and various approvals and permitting.

One of the questions in the FAQ relates to whether private property owners have to allow exploration on their land.

“Mineral resources are vested in the Crown, and therefore are public resources for all New Brunswickers. Proponents and landowners are encouraged to enter respectful dialogue when reviewing any proposed activity,” it said.

More details about the RFP can be found by clicking here.


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