The company behind a $150-million metallurgical processing facility to be built between Langham and Saskatoon said the province’s interest in attracting the plant tipped the scales in the region’s favour.
Robin Goad, president of Fortune Minerals Ltd., said Enterprise Saskatchewan’s involvement in courting the London, Ont.-based company to the Saskatoon area played a major role in the company’s decision to base its gold, copper, bismuth and copper refinery here.
The company announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase land in the Saskatoon area on which it plans to construct the facility.
The refinery would process ore from Fortune’s NICO project in the Northwest Territories. The project is expected to come into production in 2012 with the processing plant up and running to meet the same timeline, Goad said.
The facility would employ 85 people in highly skilled positions, such as chemical and metallurgical engineers, over NICO’s projected 15- to 20-year life.
The Saskatoon region also met the criteria set out by Fortune as imperative to the construction of the facility. The proposed site east of Langham, located about 30 kilometres west of Saskatoon, includes access to the main Canadian National rail line, is close to a major national highway and services such as power, natural gas and water.
The company decided earlier this year to move the processing facility south of the NICO project due to several factors including increasing power costs and employee retention, Goad said.
Fortune’s refinery could expand to recycle metals in waste materials, the president said, and could also attract other businesses involved in the metals sector to the region..
The facility will process about 80,000 tonnes of product from NICO each year, a site that is expected to become a significant global producer of cobalt and the world’s largest independent producer of bismuth.
Cobalt is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in rechargeable batteries and industrial magnets while bismuth, a key ingredient in Pepto Bismol, is being used to replace lead in several applications such as paint and ceramic glaze.
You can read the entire article here... http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/todays-paper/million+refinery+built+near+Langham/2178332/story.html