Energy and Resources Minister and Rosetown-Elrose MLA Jim Reiter has had a busy couple of weeks discussing the importance of minerals here in Saskatchewan. 

The first thing brought to the table was the new critical minerals strategy. It supports the objectives set out in the Saskatchewan Growth Plan.  

The strategy outlines four goals for the sector: to increase Saskatchewan’s share of Canadian mineral exploration spending to 15 per cent by 2030, to double the number of critical minerals being produced in Saskatchewan by 2030, to grow Saskatchewan’s production of potash, uranium and helium, and to establish Saskatchewan as a rare earth element hub. 

Mr. Reiter talked about the importance of the strategy moving forward. 

“We think that right now, just the situation the world's in, there's a huge demand for critical minerals and with the geopolitical situation, countries are looking for a safe supplier of critical minerals and we think that's us. We're obviously well known for potash and uranium in the province, but we've got 23 of the 31 critical minerals that are on the Canadian critical minerals list. We think there's lots of potential to develop more of them. Lithium shows great promise, there's a copper mine going in, and we want to advance that and some other minerals as well. So, we released a strategy which consists of four goals and some tax incentives that we think are going to be helpful to expedite that.” 

Looking forward, Mr. Reiter feels the exploration will lead to more jobs in the province as well. 

“We think this is going to really ramp up the exploration, which is very important, right, because it's the early stages before the mining companies decide to make decisions and start construction. We think it's going to create hundreds of jobs in exploration. Then the next part is impossible to estimate because if mining projects go forward, then of course you've got a huge number of jobs created.” 

Also announced was the amendment to The Mineral Resources Act, 1985. 

“The exploration industry is kind of key to getting the ball rolling on the targeted mineral exploration incentive. We've committed $4 million there for all hard rock minerals and then the Saskatchewan Mineral Exploration Tax Credit. It had been at 10 percent. We've moved it to 30 percent, which we think is going to hopefully really incentivize people to invest in the companies to do exploration,” Reiter added. 

Bill No. 128, The Mineral Resources Assessment Act, 2023 passed first reading on March 27 and is expected to pass into legislation in Spring 2023.