Canadian Geographic
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Central Plains


Saskatchewan — the world’s premier potash producer
Saskatchewan boasts the world’s largest and highest-quality potash deposit. More than 95 percent of Canada’s potash comes from a belt stretching from the central to south-central parts of the province. The deposit, found about a kilometre below the surface of the prairie, lies in neatly arranged horizontal bands 2 to 3 m thick. Its thickest extent is around Saskatoon, where six of the province’s nine potash mines are located. They consist of immense chambers and pillars, with corridors that stretch for hundreds of kilometres. Potash is used largely in fertilizers, while small amounts are used in soaps, glass, ceramics, dyes, drugs, water softeners, and explosives. In the late 1990s, Saskatchewan alone supplied 32 percent of the global output of potash and met 95 percent of the national demand. Canada exports 95 percent of its production to more than 30 countries. The United States is the major importer, buying 55 percent of Canada’s exports. Other top customers for Saskatchewan’s potash include China, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, and South Korea.


Resources A map of Canada highlights the Central Plains region, which then recedes and is replaced by a more detailed map of the region. A submenu offers information on:
• Top customers for potash
• Oil and gas
• farming


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Tar sands

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Quiz :

Tar sands, a mixture of oil and sand, is also known as…

carbon dioxide
silicon gold