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October 7, 2009

Sodium sulphate was mined at Horseshoe Lake at the sulphate plant and mounds of white product can still be found by the plant. ©Provost News Photo.

No Demand for Metiskow Sulphate Plant Product For Decades
There has been no demand for the sodium sulphate coming out of Horseshoe Lake near Metiskow for decades—and current producers mining a similar product say they are not interested in trying to revive the operation a second time because “it’s a spent and dirty deposit that had its day.”

President of Big Quill Resources Inc. of Wynyard, Saskatchewan, Dennis Puff spoke to The Provost News in a telephone interview about the operation that was employing local people back in the 1970s.

Big Quill Resources Inc. is Canada's largest producer of potassium sulphate and that firm tried to re-start the Metiskow plant in the late 1990s after it had been shut down.

Sodium sulfate is mainly used for the manufacture of detergents and as a substitute for caustic soda that can be used in the kraft process of paper pulping. But, says Puff there is not much kraft paper being manufactured anymore in Western Canada.

Sodium sulfate is the sodium salt of sulfuric acid. Anhydrous is a white crystalline solid of formula Na2SO4 known as the mineral thenardite; the decahydrate Na2SO4·10H2O has been known as Glauber’s salt. (Note: this product should not be confused with a similar story in The News about potash (see PN Aug. 26, 2009.—Ed.).

The Glauber’s salt crystals however might be of interest for use as a heat sink or storage of energy, Puff says, though he was not sure about that and added that he has never looked into it.

“You never know, it could work for energy storage but it needs investigation. You never know . . . somebody might say ‘let’s put a little plant in there.’ ”

Complete story in October 7 edition of The Provost News.
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Lawsuit Against $12 Billion Keystone Project Dismissed
A spokesman for TransCanada Corp. in calgary told The News on Thursday that they “are pleased with the outcome” of a recent U.S. court ruling that has dismissed an environmental lawsuit which could have held up the Keystone Pipeline project.

The Department of State was the lead litigant in this action against the $12 billion pipeline that is to be built from near Hardisty, beside the M.D. of Provost into the United States by TransCanada Corp.

Full story in October 7 edition of The Provost News.
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Alberta Farmland Values Continue Upward Rise
See photo in October 7 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask: "It’s Fire Prevention Week. If You Smell Smoke in Your House or Hotel Room, What Should You Do?"
. . . and we heard answers from Ian Schmidt, Ryan Lavigne, Ken Curtis and Stephen Large. Check out the October 7 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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