BHP Billiton adds $488m for Canadian potash project

23 June 2011 18:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BHP Billiton (BHP) has approved $488m (€342m) for additional investment in the development of its Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada, the company said on Thursday.

Australia-based BHP said the funds will be used for further site preparation and the procurement of long lead-time items during the project's feasibility study.

The funding will also enable BHP to develop the first 350 metres of the production and service shafts of the potash mine should Canadian government approvals be received.

BHP has now committed $1.2bn to the Jansen project, and the total dedicated to Saskatchewan to almost $2bn, as it works to develop a potash business in the province.

The Jansen project is expected to start producing saleable potash from its 3.370bn tonne potash resource in 2015. 

The project is designed to ultimately produce approximately 8m tonnes/year of agricultural grade potash with an estimated 70-year mine life.

BHP also continues to study other potential projects in the Saskatchewan potash basin and will start drilling at Melville in July, the company said.

BHP Billiton expects its Saskatchewan potash business could reach a production capacity of more than 16m tonnes/year.

By: Frank Zaworski
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