World’s biggest miner hasn’t given up hope for potash – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – February 21, 2017)

BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) (LON:BLT), the largest mining company by market capitalization, sees potash as a key commodity in which to base its future growth despite prices are still hovering just above $210 a tonne, less than a half what they were only five years ago.

“Our preference long term is to grow in oil and copper, then possibly potash,” the firm’s chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie said when releasing first half of the year results Tuesday.

BHP seems to be in no rush to advance its massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. For years the company has been sinking shafts and installing some infrastructure on site, but has not fully committed itself to the project, nor received board approval for the mine.

On Tuesday, the company showed once again how slowly the project is advancing by saying it is now 64% complete (it was already 60% along six months ago).

“Excavation and lining of the shafts are steadily progressing,” according to BHP’s results for the first half of the 2017 financial year. It added that the engineering contract for feasibility studies for stage 1 of the project had been awarded.

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