BHP speeds up Jansen project in Saskatchewan despite falling potash prices – by Colin McClelland ( – August 31, 2023)

BHP, the world’s largest miner by market valuation, is increasing its capital spending this year on the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan by 55% even as potash prices dropped by more than a third this year.

Construction outlays at the site 180 km north of Regina are planned to rise to $1 billion from $647 million as crews work to start the mine in late 2026 instead of in 2027 as earlier planned, the company’s Calgary-based potash unit said. Jansen’s $5.7 billion stage one is 26% complete and would produce 4.4 million tonnes a year when finished, it said.

“There is no change to the overall capital estimate for Jansen stage one,” chief financial officer David Lamont told an earnings call on Aug. 22. “We have pulled that project forward around about nine months, so therefore the capital spend is over a shorter period of time, and that has some impact into the guidance that we’ve given.”

Melbourne-based BHP is developing potash production in Canada, the world’s largest producer of the fertilizer ingredient, as markets flex to restrictions of imports from top-five producers Russia and Belarus as well as Ukraine because of the war there. However, Belarus has been increasing potash exports recently despite sanctions for its role as a Russia ally, lowering prices.

For the rest of this article: