Mining & Energy
Mining Sector Facts:
- In February 2017, a Fraser Institute survey identified Saskatchewan as the best place in the world for mining companies to spend their money.
- Saskatchewan has over 25 operating mines, producing potash, uranium, coal, gold, salt, meta-kaolin, silica sand, sodium sulphate, clay and bentonite.
- Saskatchewan has 50% of the known global potash reserves and 22% of the world’s uranium production.
- Saskatchewan is known worldwide for its high grade uranium deposits in the Athabascan Basin of Northern Saskatchewan.
- In 2016, the mining sector generated $2.8 billion in GDP which accounted for approximately 5% of the province’s total GDP.
Mining is a key economic driver for the Saskatoon Region, with headquarters to some of Canada’s largest mining companies:
- Cameco, with its head office in Saskatoon, operates two of the world’s largest, high-grade uranium mines, McArthur River and Cigar Lake uranium mines. In 2016, Cameco produced 34.6 million pounds of uranium.
- Potash production contributed $1.5 billion in provincial GDP in 2016. Saskatchewan has the largest potash industry in the world, accounting for about one third of annual global production. Nutrien, the recent amalgamation of PotashCorp and Agrium, is headquartered in Saskatoon. With nearly 20,000 employees and operations and investments in 14 countries, Nutrien’s crop inputs and services reach every major growing region of the world.
- K+S Potash Canada, with its head office in Saskatoon, began operations as its new Bethune mine in 2017. This is the first new potash mine to be built in Saskatchewan in the last forty years. Annual production for the Bethune mine is estimated to be 2 million tonnes.
- Up to mid-2017 BHP Billiton had committed approximately US$3.8 billion to the Jansen mine development project located 150 kilometres from Saskatoon. The company has indicated that it will be slowing the project in the coming years as it waits for better market conditions in the potash sector.
- Brazil’s Vale SA and the Chinese company Yancoal are also at various stages of investment in the Saskatchewan potash industry.
Oil & Gas Sector Facts:
- In 2017, the Fraser Institute’s most recent Global Petroleum Survey ranked Saskatchewan as the fourth most attractive jurisdiction around the world for oil and gas investment.
- Saskatchewan is Canada’s second largest oil-producing province and is the sixth largest oil producer in North America.
- In 2016, the province produced about 460,000 barrels per day with a total of 35,900 producing oil wells.
- In this same period, the oil and gas industry spent $2.8 billion on exploration and development in the province.
- The industry produced $8.6 billion in GDP for the province in 2016.
- Capital spending in Saskatchewan on oil and gas projects was estimated at $6.1 billion for 2017 with a total of 2,600 oil wells expected to be drilled for the year.
- Saskatchewan is the third-largest natural gas producing province in Canada and has produced a total of 7.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to date.
Saskatchewan is Canada’s top grain producing region, with over 40% of Canada’s arable farmland. The industry added $4.2 billion in provincial GDP in 2016 with a majority in crop production ($3.5B) and animal production ($345M).
- The province supplies more than a third of the world’s total exported durum wheat, making it Canada’s most important grain-producing region.
- Saskatchewan is also the world’s top exporter of lentils, dried peas, mustard, flaxseed, and canola. It is the second highest province in terms of cattle production, generating approximately $2 billion in annual shipments for 2016.
- Saskatchewan generated $14.4 billion in the agri-food sector in 2016 making it Canada’s largest exporter of agri-food products.
- In 2016, Saskatchewan was responsible for 62% of the world’s lentil exports, 45% of pea exports, 30% of canola seed exports 28% of flaxseed exports, and 26% of mustard seed exports.
- Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture collaborates with industry organizations, producers and research institutions to increase production, competitiveness and value-added processing to advance Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector.
- In 2017, famous Hollywood Director James Cameron and his wife Suzy Cameron announced that they were investing in an organic pea processing plant in Saskatchewan which will be the largest pea processing plant in North America.
In 2016, the total value of building permits for the province of Saskatchewan was $1.9 billion. The construction industry employed approximately 33,200 people in 2016.
Saskatoon CMA Construction Facts:
- Housing starts in the Saskatoon CMA were 1,915 units for 2017.
- Building permits totaled $761.1M billion for 2017 for the city of Saskatoon.
- Existing home sales for the Saskatoon CMA was 3,515 for 2017.
Saskatoon CMA Construction Sector GDP
- 2015 – $1.92B
- 2016 – $1.65B
- 2017 – $1.76B
Key projects in the Saskatoon Region:
- 2017 saw the start of the $85 million hotel-and-condo project in Saskatoon’s River Landing area.
- $42 million has been proposed for upgrading Saskatoon’s Gordie Howe Sports Complex. Construction is to begin in spring 2018.
- Two new bridges are currently under construction in Saskatoon. The North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge are estimated to have a capital cost of approximately $252 million and are expected to be completed by October 2018.
- As of October 2017, Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital was 70% complete. Complete cost of this facility is estimated to be $285 million.
Saskatoon has created a successfully diverse manufacturing sector through its concentration on products specifically adapted for a local need and then exported internationally to other niche markets. Our local manufacturers have pioneered many new innovation products – everything from satellite communications technology, dry land farming equipment, to robotic mining equipment.
Manufacturing 2025 Action Plan
In 2015 the Canadian Manufactures and Exporters and the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council, teamed up to develop the Manufacturing 2025 Action Plan. This comprehensive strategy sets out the roadmap and policy framework necessary to grow manufacturing sales in the province to $25 billion by 2025. The continuing growth of Saskatchewan’s resource sectors has created huge supply chain opportunities for manufacturers and service providers.
Manufacturing Sector Facts:
- In 2016, the entire sector represented 1,081 companies and about 28,000 employees.
- Totals sales were $14.3 billion and GDP was $58.9 billion.
- From 2006 to 2016, manufacturing shipments have increased by 45%.
- The Saskatoon Region’s manufacturing sector generated approximately $1.3 billion in GDP for 2017.
The latest key investment in this sector for the Saskatoon Region was by the Brandt Group of Companies who purchased the former Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Canada manufacturing facility located in Saskatoon’s north end. The company plans to transform the sprawling facility into a wind turbine factory employing approximately 500 people.
Retail & Wholesale
The Saskatchewan wholesale and retail industries include about 10,300 companies with combined annual revenue of $44.3 billion in 2016 and employed approximately 88,000 people.
Retail & Wholesale Facts:
- Saskatchewan wholesale and retail contribute $6.32 billion to Canada’s GDP, representing 3.3% of the national industries total.
- The provincial government is predicting 13,000 new job openings for the retail and wholesale industries from 2017 to 2021.
Large Wholesale Sub-Sectors Include:
- Agriculture Supplies – Wholesale $9.4 billion
- Farm Product – Wholesale $8.9 billion
- Machinery and Equipment – Wholesale $8.1 billion
Large Retail Sub-Sectors Include:
- Motor vehicle and parts dealer $5.0 billion
- Food and beverage stores $3.1 billion
- General merchandise stores $3.1 billion
- Clothing stores $605 million
- Furniture stores $449 million
The Saskatoon Region’s wholesale and retail sectors contributed an estimated $2.2 billion in GDP for 2017.
The Saskatoon Region has always been a leader in the agriculture and bioscience industries. Here are a few of the world class organization that are leading the way in agriculture research and development and are located here in the Saskatoon Region:
- University of Saskatchewan (UofS) – a world-leading agriculture research university
- Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre (Food Centre) – expertise in food and process development, interim processing, extrusion technology, skills development, food safety education and training, quality assurance, technology transfer and path-finding
- Ag-West Bio – mandated to provide leadership and assistance for Saskatchewan’s ag-biotech cluster, aiding in the commercialization of new biotechnologies
- Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) – Announced in May 2017, new facilities to be designed to address forage, cow-calf, beef cattle, and environmental research
- Canadian Light Source (CLS) – Canada’s national synchrotron light source facility located on the UofS grounds
- Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) – a world leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development, seeking solutions to prevent and control human and animal infectious disease threats
- Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) – focuses on research and technology development that has the potential to improve agriculture in both the developed world and the developing world.
Given the cluster of world-class organizations listed above, it is not surprising that this region played a major part in Protein Industries Canada (PIC) being named as 1 of 5 Innovation Super Cluster Initiatives to share in $950 million in Federal funding over the next 5 years. PIC’s focus is on developing more efficient plant-based proteins. The groups mandate will include crop breeding, agricultural crop production, processing of food and food ingredients along with the exporting of these proteins around the world.
The Saskatoon technology sector has accelerated over the past decade as new start-ups continue to help establish a vibrant technology community. The Saskatoon Region has several organizations providing co-working office space for new tech start-ups with Co. Labs being the first co working completely dedicated to new tech start-ups. Co-working spaces in Saskatoon include:
- Ideas Inc.
- Wallstreet Common
- The Two Twenty
Recent success stories of the Technology Sector include:
- Vendasta Technologies Inc. announced their goal to reach $30 million in revenue and 300 employees by the end of the year. The Saskatoon-based company has grown by at least 50% over the past three years.
- Saskatoon tech company, Noodlecake Studios, was recognized as one of “Canada’s best game makers” and were featured on the front page of Apple’s Canadian app store. The following month Noodlecake Studios sold 70% of its company to ZPlay, a Chinese mobile video game publisher, receiving $6.3 million in the sale.
- Solido Design Automation Inc. received a $1.8 million federal grant to develop machine-learning technology. Solido’s designs are used by world renowned companies such as Nvidia, Qualcomm, and IBM.
- 7Shifts Inc., a company that has developed a scheduling app for restaurants, received $4.5 million in venture capital funding from a Silicon Valley investor. This four year old tech company currently services 4,000 restaurants worldwide.
- Saskatoon Tech Company Coconut Calendar received $4.2 M in funding to continue to expand its operations. Coconut Calendar’s online booking system is used by large companies such as London Drugs, Rogers, and Telus, to help manage their customer appointments.
Research & Innovation
Research in science and technology has been an ongoing sector in Saskatoon’s economy since the founding of the University of Saskatchewan in 1907. In recent years, the Saskatoon Region has become a world leader in biotechnology and life sciences due to a large number of research clusters including:
- Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO)
- Global Institute of Food Security (GIFS)
- Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation
- Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence
- Innovation Place
- Canadian Light Source (CLS)
In 2017, $69 million was awarded to three national science centres at the University of Saskatchewan to advance innovation with the majority ($48 million) going to the Canadian Light Source; $19.3 million for the International Vaccine Centre; and $1.56 million for SuperDARN Canada as part of the Major Sciences Initiatives fund.