By Dan Oancea

“In undertaking an exploration project, the first task of the geologist is to estimate the quality and amount of potash contained within the exploration lease or permit. In undertaking such estimation, the geologist must clearly define the top and base of the potential mining bed...”

History of solution mining of potash in Saskatchewan, regional geological setting, deposit type, geology of the potash-bearing beds and disturbances affecting them, exploration considerations and estimation of solution mining potential, mineral resource estimation – assumptions and methodology, possible solution mining scenarios for Prairie Evaporite formation, and project risk are topics dealt with in an interesting technical conference paper belonging to the Solution Mining Research Institute: An Overview of the Geology of Solution Mining of Potash in Saskatchewan.

Note: It would cost you over 5 billion dollars (2007 estimation) to build a deep potash mine in Saskatchewan. That kind of money is going to restrict access to the vast resource that lies under the plains. What a junior could dream about is to follow Sarah Palin’s advice – i.e. ‘drill baby, drill’ – and delineate a large enough resource that could be subsequently sold to a larger player. Or, they could try to take on some less promising tenements and carefully proceed to explore; if lucky they could open a solution mining project at a fraction of the cost mentioned before.

Disturbances affecting geology of potash-bearing members (Source: Halabura and Hardy 2007)