Further Potash Discoveries in Saskatchewan

CIM Bulletin, 1952


AN EXCELLENT paper entitled Potash Discoveries in Western Canada ( l ) was presented to the 1948 Annual Meeting of the C.l.M. by L. Heber Cole, of the Department of Mines and Resources, Ottawa. In the intervening three and a half years, the search for oil and gas in Saskatchewan has added considerably to the information available on the occurrence of potash. It is the purpose of this paper to summarize the additional data. For greater clarity, it may be useful, first, to recapitulate some of the highlights of Mr. Cole's paper. Underlying the western plains of Canada there is a large deposit of sodium chloride, believed to be of early Devonian age. Associated w:th the sodium chloride are certain potash salts, primarily 'sylvinite,' a mechanical mixture of sodium chloride (halite) and potassium chloride (sylvite) crystals. The potash salts, when present, are usually near the top of the salt formation, though in at least one well they were found near the central part of the deposit. Cole reported on some seven wells in Saskatchewan which had encountered appreciable amounts of potash; these were the Ogema, Rad ville, Davidson Nos. 1 and 2, Prairie Salt Nos. 1 and 2, and Verbata wells. Depth of potash from surface ranged from 7,653 feet in the Radville well to a minimum of 3,466 feet in the Verbata well. Such depths do not compare favourably with those at which the potash is found in mines in the United States, France, and Germany, where about 1,000 feet is the average. The greatest concentration of sylvite encountered was in the Verbata well, where a bed 11 feet thick carried the equivalent of 21.64 per cent K 20 . This concentration compares favourably with that in potash mines being operated in other parts of the world. Since the salt bed apparently continue as far north as Waterways, Alta., where it was encountered only some 700 feet below the surface, it was hoped that potash also would occur farther north and at shallower levels.
Keywords: CORE, Deposits, Oil, Oils, potash, potash, Salt, Saskatchewan, sodium chloride, sylvite, Salt, Salts, Saskatchewan, Wells