BHP Billiton Canada Inc. (BHP) is a leading global resources company with assets and projects in iron ore, petroleum, copper and coal. BHP proposes to construct a potash export facility at Fraser Surrey Docks in Surrey, B.C. to export potash from the proposed Jansen mine in Saskatchewan.
Subject to regulatory and internal approvals, BHP would design and construct an export facility to receive and store rail shipments of potash and load onto bulk ocean-going vessels.
Additional information about the company is available on BHP’s corporate website and additional information about the Jansen mine can be found here.
What is Potash?
Potash, technically known as potassium chloride (KCI), is a naturally occurring mineral salt and a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizer, including common household garden fertilizers. Potash is non-flammable, non-combustible and is considered non-toxic to aquatic species. Similar to table salt, potash is mildly corrosive to metals, and is water-soluble so requires a dry location for storage. The world’s largest known reserves of potash are located in Saskatchewan, Canada. Potash is processed into solid particles that are approximately 3/16 inch (4 millimeters) in size and range from pink to red in colour.
Canada exports potash to countries like the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, China and India. About 95 per cent of potash consumption is for use in fertilizers, the remaining 5 per cent is used in a variety of chemical and manufactured products. Potash is a major contributor to improving crop yields and resilience and helps to feed the growing global population.
Potash is classified as a Group C Non-Hazardous Good as designated by International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes.
About the project
The 29-ha site is located entirely on Fraser Surrey Docks property. The proposed facility, with a throughput of up to 8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), will:
- Receive shipments of product by rail from the proposed Jansen mine
- Offload product from rail cars to the conveyor system
- Store potash in the storage building
- Transfer product from the potash storage building via the conveyors to the ship loader and to a waiting vessel for export
When the facility throughput reaches the projected 8 Mtpa, 8 to 10 trains per week are expected. Three to four vessels will load at the facility per week ranging from Handysize up to Kamsarmax , similar to vessels that already frequent the existing terminal.