BHP Billiton today announced progression of the Jansen Potash Project into the Feasibility study phase, an advanced stage of the BHP Billiton project approvals process. This decision further highlights the Group’s ongoing commitment to the Project, the Province of Saskatchewan and Canada. In December 2010, BHP Billiton submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Project to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.
In January 2010, BHP Billiton allotted pre-commitment funding of US$240 million to support the early development of Jansen. BHP Billiton has commenced drilling and site preparation for the ground freezing process that is required prior to the sinking of the production and service shafts. Based on the current schedule, Jansen is expected to start producing saleable potash from its 3,370 million tonne in-situ Mineral Resource in calendar year 2015. The Project is designed to ultimately produce approximately 8 million tonnes per annum of agricultural grade potash over an estimated 70 year life.
Graham Kerr, President of BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products, said: “We are very pleased to announce that Jansen has now moved into the next phase of its development. The Jansen Project has the potential to become one of the world’s premier potash mines and the platform for a significant and scalable potash business for BHP Billiton.”
He added: “BHP Billiton’s strategy is to develop and safely operate large, long-life, low-cost assets and we continue to make progress at our Boulder, Young, Burr and Melville sites. We look forward to continuing to work on our growth projects with our Canadian suppliers and host communities as we seek to build a significant presence in Saskatchewan.”
BHP Billiton will also continue its community development program as Jansen progresses, ensuring that local communities, Métis and First Nations benefit from our growth in Saskatchewan.
Competent Persons’ Statement
Competent Persons – J.McElroy (MAusIMM) BHP Billiton, B.Nemeth (MAusIMM) BHP Billiton, A. D. Mackintosh (APEGS) A.D.M Consulting
The statement of Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by the above named Competent Persons and relates to Mineral Resources estimates as at 10 May 2010. Competent Persons are full time employees of BHP Billiton (unless otherwise stated), have sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity they are undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code. All Competent Persons are members of either the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (AusIMM) or a Recognised Overseas Professional Organisation (ROPO). The Competent Persons consent to the inclusion in this report of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears.