Saskatchewan Minerals

Salt deposits, Chaplin.
Ron Garnett (Airscapes)

Saskatchewan Minerals' inception as a Crown corporation dates back to 1948, when a low-grade sodium sulphate plant was officially opened at Chaplin, Saskatchewan, by Premier T.C. Douglas. Saskatchewan Minerals flourished through the 1950s and 1960s as demand for sodium sulphate grew. It acquired a second plant near Mossback in 1954, and began construction on a third at Ingebrigt in 1966. In 1981, Saskatchewan Minerals purchased an additional operation at Gladmar. However, by that time market demand had shifted away from low-grade sodium sulphate toward a higher grade commonly used in detergents. In 1984, Saskatchewan Minerals closed its low-grade sodium sulphate plants at Mossbank and Gladmar, and introduced state-of-the-art equipment at its Chaplin plant, which enabled production of detergent-grade sodium sulphate. In 1988, Saskatchewan Minerals was privatized by Premier Grant Devine's Progressive Conservative government, and subsequently became a division of Goldcorp Inc., a profitable gold company headquartered in Toronto. Saskatchewan Minerals is now one of North America's leading producers of high-grade sodium sulphate. Sodium sulphate from the Chaplin mine is purchased by domestic and international blue-chip customers for use in laundry and dishwater detergents, pulp and paper, glass, textiles, starch, dyes, carpet and room deodorizers, and livestock mineral feed.

Iain Stewart