BHP to invest more in Canadian potash project
June 24, 2011
Source: The West Australian
BHP Billiton will invest a further $US488 million ($A463.75 million) in the development of its Jansen Potash project in Saskatchewan in Canada.
The additional money will fund preparation of the site for the project, and enable the development of the first 350 metres of production and service shafts if government approvals are received, BHP said in a statement.
The new investment takes BHP's investment in the Jansen potash project to $1.2 billion, which it said reflected its commitment to develop a world class potash business in Saskatchewan.
BHP began plans to develop its own potash business after an unsuccessful $US45 billion bid for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.
A feasibility study on Jansen began in February, and BHP has since constructed the refrigeration centre and drilled over 55,000 metres of wells needed for production and service shafts, it said.
On the current schedule, production of saleable potash from Jansen is expected to begin in calendar year 2015, it said.
About eight million tonnes of agricultural grade potash, which is used mostly in fertilisers, could be produced from Jansen, a mine with an estimated lifespan of 70 years.
BHP said it was continuing to look at other potential potash projects in Saskatchewan, with a business there possible of reaching annual production of over 16 million tonnes per annum.
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