FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has issued a request for proposals for potash exploration in the Salt Springs and Cassidy Lake areas, southeast of Norton.

“Potash has been an important contributor to the local and provincial economy in New Brunswick for more than 50 years,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “Our current geopolitical climate has clearly shown how requirements for natural resources connect us and affect us globally. As the only region along the eastern seaboard of North America that has mined potash resources, this is a great opportunity for New Brunswick.”

The area in question is about 26,350 hectares in size. Most of the land is privately owned.

Interested parties will have until Dec. 20 to submit proposals outlining how they would conduct exploration for potash resources and, in the event of a discovery, how they would develop potash and/or related evaporite mineral deposits.

This request for proposals is for exploration only. If no satisfactory proposals are received, exploration rights will not be issued.

Any successful proponent will enter into an exploration agreement outlining how the work will be done. Exploration activity of a damaging nature may not proceed without landowner permission and a work authorization from the department.

The exploration agreement would also specify the terms of a mining lease agreement, which would be made available in the event the construction of a mine or processing facility were approved.

An FAQ document has been developed, containing information for area residents about the request for proposals.

Anyone interested in submitting a proposal must register and download the related documents through the New Brunswick Opportunities Network website. Technical support is available from the network’s helpdesk by emailing or by calling 1-800-561-1422.

Potash forms under limited geological conditions and has been identified as a critical mineral by Natural Resources Canada. It was placed on Canada’s Critical Minerals List 2021, a list of minerals essential to Canada’s economic security.