BHP admits it ‘over-invested’ in Jansen mine – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – May 15, 2019)

However, the company’s CEO told investors this week, it still considers the project east of Saskatoon ‘attractive.’

BHP “over-invested” in its massive Jansen potash mine, currently under construction east of Saskatoon, the Anglo-Australian company’s chief executive told investors this week.

However, Andrew Mackenzie said during a mining conference in Barcelona, BHP still considers the project “attractive” even though no final decision about its future has been made.

BHP has committed around US$3.9 billion to the project, but Mackenzie confirmed this week that it remains “uncertain” when the company’s board will make a decision about whether to proceed further.

At least one industry analyst expects that to happen next year. In a note to investors, Joel Jackson with BMO Capital Markets said “we continue to expect a Jansen go/no-go decision in mid-2020.”

“Though the project could be placed on care-and-maintenance, we expect Jansen to be approved with first production in 2025,” Jackson said. Last spring, BHP finished sinking the project’s two mine shafts — work that cost around US$2.6 billion. Mackenzie said lining the kilometre-deep production and service shafts should take about 18 months.

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