Saskatoon

Sask. First Nation potash project signs major deal with India

A major potash deal could mean big business for a Saskatchewan First Nation.

20-year agreement will mean big business for Muskowekwan First Nation and Encanto Potash

SaskWater's lowered consumption rates were attributed to a drop in potash manufacturing this year according to the Crown Corporation's annual report. (David Shield/CBC News)

A major potash deal could mean big business for a Saskatchewan First Nation.

Encanto Potash has signed an agreement with National Federation of Farmers' Procurement, Processing and Retailing Cooperatives of India to sell five million tons of potash a year for the next 20 years.

Encanto plans to build a mine on the Muskowekwan First Nation, 100 kilometres northeast of Regina. The company expects there's enough potash in the mine to last 50 years and will cost $3 billion to build.

"This type of a project allows Muskowekwan First Nation to generate its own source revenue," said an Encanto news release. "[It will] help the Muskowekwan people with training, jobs and opportunities, which enable a path forward towards a better future."

Reginald Bellerose (left), chief of the Muskowekwan First Nation, and James Walchuck, president of Encanto Potash Corp., signed a joint venture agreement in October 2013.

Notably, Muskowekwan First Nation will have a 100-per-cent share and full control over the mine.

When this mine is completed, it will be the first potash mine in Saskatchewan on First Nations land. 

Last year, Encanto signed another agreement with the Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India. 

The First Nations community and Encanto still haven't announced a start date for construction.