BHP accelerates work on its Saskatchewan potash mine as prices soar – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 19, 2022)

Mining giant aims to start production year early in 2026

BHP Group Ltd. has gone from lukewarm to hot on its Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, announcing Tuesday that it is working to accelerate first production by a year to 2026, and that it intends to speed up future expansions as potash prices continue to soar.

The Australian mining giant also reported in its year-end operational review that work on Jansen’s shaft, which already runs one-kilometre deep, was completed in June at a total cost of US$2.97 billion.

BHP says Jansen would initially produce 4.35 million tonnes of potash per year and has the potential to ramp up to around 12 million tonnes per year, making it one of the largest potash mines in the world.

Officially, the mine has been under development for years, but BHP only committed to completing it in 2021, when CEO Mike Henry recalibrated the company’s portfolio towards “future-facing” commodities such as potash, a fertilizer that could be used to feed a growing world population, and battery metals for electrification.

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