Encanto Potash was formed specifically to partner with Canada’s First Nations communities to help them benefit by developing the potash resources that lay beneath their vast land holdings.
Currently, Encanto is focusing on their flagship joint ventured Muskowekwan (MFN) and Ochapowace/Chacachas properties in Southeastern Saskatchewan. These are joined by a third property located on provincial lands, the Spar project. These properties are large, with the first two approximately 60,000 acres, and Spar just over 140,000 acres. The properties are located in the very heart of what’s known as the “Prairie Evaporite”, which is prime potash exploration country, and in the direct vicinity of some of the largest producing potash mines in the world.
Encanto has a 100 per cent interest in these properties and a strategic advantage in that the mineral rights are contained in predominantly continuous land packages – a little understood, but great advantage, that will potentially speed up the time to production without having to negotiate with a large number of mineral rights owners. Encanto First Nations partners have voted to consolidate and enlarge the applicable land packages, which resulted in their mutual interests being fully aligned towards production, royalties, training, and employment.
A large and growing proven resource
Encanto and its Muskowekwan First Nations partner have developed recoverable KCI potash resources of 130.7-million tonnes of measured and indicated (M&I) and 234.7-million tonnes of inferred on their lands. At an extraction rate of 2.5-million tonnes a year, the M&I resources alone will support a solution mine life of 52 years!
As of the initial resource estimate:
Measured & Indicated Resource: 1,321.9 MMt in place sylvinite grading 29.7 per cent KCl (130.7 MMt of recoverable KCl)
Inferred Resource: 2,496.4 MMt in place sylvinite grading 28.3 per cent KCl (234.7 MMt of recoverable KCl)
Encanto has completed seven drill holes and a 3-D seismic program on the MFN lands. A portion of the lands located northeast of the home reserve has only had a 2-D seismic program which the company plans to cover with new 3-D seismic program in Q4/12, which together with pending assays from the prior drilling program, will lead to a further upgraded resource estimate to be released, also in Q4/12. Feasibility studies commenced in January 2012 and a pre-feasibility study (PFS) is expected to be delivered in Q1/13.
A drilling program to test for grade will also be commencing on the second Ochapowace property in Q4/12 with anticipated results requiring a full-drilling program in order to establish a second full viable resource under the company banner with a resultant potential for multiple mines. So there is obviously a lot to look forward to in the near term!
Encanto plans their first project to be a solution mine, which means a faster start-up and lower CAPEX than other older-style underground mines. The plant site location was recently successfully finalized (September 27, 2012).
The management team counts for as much as the resource and property these days. In Encanto’s case, it is both deep and experienced.
James Walchuck – president & CEO; has over 36 years in the mining industry, including a diverse background in operations, feasibility, construction, and finance.
Gordon Keep – chairman; brings an extensive background in corporate finance and investment banking, and creating public natural resource companies.
Rod Hope – consultant of Saskatchewan First Nations Business Development; has very significant legal and relationship experience with Canadian First Nations.
Ross Moulton – vice-president, Exploration; brings 43 years of experience with various private and public exploration and production companies.
Encanto also makes tremendous use of several outside firms with decades of relevant potash experience in Canada and around the world.
North Rim Exploration
In business since 1984, the company is a renowned top geological consultant specializing in potash. Well-respected in the potash industry, they have worked on over 100 potash and evaporite projects.
Novopro Projects Inc.
A project-based company providing a full range of services, they specialize in feasibility, engineering, management, and mine development.
Once again, we see evidence showing how this is a company full-bent on becoming a producer as quickly as possible, and one of Canada’s first new potash mines in the last 50 years.
To that end, Encanto is currently negotiating both domestic and international strategic partnerships for the financing, development, and sale of potash production from its Muskowekwan JV property and beyond.