Karnalyte Resources is taking a leading role in environmental stewardship within the Saskatchewan potash industry at its Wynyard Potash Project. Karnalyte was granted EIS approval by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment in 2013. Environmental impact will be minimized through the following:
No salt tailings pile, or surface tailings ponds [No Tailings Management Area, or TMA].
Solid wastes (Salt and Insoluble minerals) will be used to backfill spent caverns; this helps to recover more brine from a cavern and to provide additional support to reduce subsidence. Liquid tailings (MgCl2 and NaCl brine) will be injected into deep disposal wells, a standard practice for potash mines in Saskatchewan. These methods greatly reduces the plant footprint and eliminates the liability of surface storage. Industry standard tailings reclamation plans can exceed 1000 years.
Non-potable water used for solution mining.
Water is produced on site from the Blairmore formation which is approximately 500 meters beneath the surface. Blairmore water is similar to seawater, but is slightly higher in salt content. This water is unsuitable for agricultural and most industrial use.
Surface runoff collected on-site
The plant drainage system will collect precipitation runoff from the Phase 1 plant site in a large freshwater pond. This water will be used to supplement process water requirements in the plant, and will not be released into the local environment.
Multiple caverns will be directionally drilled from a single surface location, minimizing the affected surface area of drilling pads. Well surface casings are cemented through the groundwater bearing horizons, and down 200 m below the surface, to prevent possible contamination from mining. Additionally, production tubing is cemented down to the top of the potash horizon, about 900 m deep.
Subsidence and well abandonment
Caverns are backfilled with salt/insolubles tailings to provide support and reduce subsidence. Caverns are then filled with MgCl2 brine to prevent further dissolution. When mining operations cease, wells are cemented shut, cut, and capped below the surface. Surface piping and infrastructure is removed, and the land is returned to agricultural use.