One of the world’s largest mining companies has struck potash in Saskatchewan. Five years after committing $2.6 billion to sink a pair of kilometre-deep shafts at its Jansen mine project, BHP confirmed that drilling crews reached potash deposits 924 metres below ground late last month.
While the multibillion-dollar mine has yet to be sanctioned by the Anglo-Australian mining giant’s board, Giles Hellyer, the company’s vice president of potash operations, said reaching potash was a “significant milestone.”
“Shaft sinking is technical and complex,” Hellyer said in an emailed statement. “The ongoing sinking and completion of the shafts over the next couple of years will help us reduce the development risk of this greenfield project and give us access to what we believe is one of the world’s best undeveloped potash resources.”
The company, formerly known as BHP Billiton, has to date committed a total of $3.8 billion to the mine, located 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon, not far from Humboldt.
BHP reported in February that work on the twin shafts was 75 per cent complete. According to the company, the production shaft will bottom out at 975 metres whole the service shaft will be one kilometre deep.
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