Digital rendering of the temporary housing project planned for Jansen mine project workers. Photo submitted by Atco Structures and Logistics
Progress on the BHP Billiton Jansen potash mine could potentially mark the start of a new era for some Saskatchewan First Nations.
Atco Structures and Logistics is building temporary housing for people working on the Jansen mine, and many jobs before and after will be put aside for First Nations people in the area.
The mine project is near the George Gordon First Nation and Chief Glenn Pratt said so far 250 jobs have been offered to attract workers in the community. The excitement about the future prospects is growing.
“It kind of a buzz that we don’t have to sit back and collect welfare anymore, we can now look at having our own economy,” he said.
The Gordon First Nation is involved in a joint venture on the project between the Calgary-based Atco company and two other First Nations including Kawacatoose and Day Star. Pratt added the are different job opportunities for this project.
“Now we can have many tradespeople, cooks, cleaners, janitors, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators and the list goes on,” Prat
Pratt said this deal will mean more than just jobs, it will also give them the opportunity for contract work and potential revenue sharing. The three First Nations will also be responsible for some of the job training.
Construction on the temporary housing project is already underway and it is expected to wrap up next year with the first group of residents expected to move in in October.