Getting the Most From A Saline Lake (Part 2)

Saskatchewan Minerals Inc. - Sodium Sulphate is Our Business

How we take the salt out while providing an ideal habitat for shorebirds

In the last issue of The Element, we introduced you to Chaplin Lake, Canada’s second largest inland saline water body.

Over the past 60-plus years, Saskatchewan Minerals has put in place many innovative solutions to control water flow while preserving the delicate balance of the natural environment.

In this second installation, we look more closely at those environmental issues.

Working with Government and Environmental Organizations

Besides being a source of high quality sodium sulphate, Chaplin Lake is also an excellent habitat for a number of migratory shorebird species. Saskatchewan Minerals works closely with government and non-government organizations and the local community to ensure that the unique environmental conditions at Chaplin Lake are protected, and even enhanced.

The sodium sulphate reserves at Chaplin Lake occur naturally as Glauber’s salt (mirabilite). Raw salt is recovered from the deposit using a complex brining process that requires a reliable supply of water.

Local spring runoff and precipitation are the primary sources of water. Water diverted from the Wood River is the secondary source.

The diverted water flows through Chaplin Creek for 11 miles before entering the first of three Heritage Marsh ponds operated by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). The water flows through each of the two-mile long ponds before entering the first Saskatchewan Minerals freshwater storage area.

A number of earth grades installed across the alkali flat create a series of brining divisions. Water from the freshwater storage areas is released onto the brining areas as required.

Constant Monitoring and Reporting

The water and brine levels, the volume of water transferred from freshwater storage areas, the volume of well water, and the volume and composition of influents and effluents are all monitored, measured, and reported as required.

Saskatchewan Minerals is proud of its more than 63-year record in extracting a premium product from an environmentally sensitive area in a manner that protects this unique natural resource.