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About BHP

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 Grays Harbor Terminal 3 in Hoquiam, WA 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.

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.

Jansen Potash Project

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.

Additional information about the company is available on BHP’s corporate website at and additional information about the Jansen mine can be found here.

Project description

The proposed project consists of redeveloping the existing Terminal 3 industrial site and portions of adjacent parcels for unloading and storage of potash transported to the site via rail from the Jansen Mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, for shipment to international markets via oceangoing. The upland portion of the proposed project site (site) will include rail unloading and storage facilities, a conveyor system for transferring potash from the rail unloading area to the storage facilities or directly to the shiploader, and administrative and maintenance buildings. The shiploader and new berth facility will be located directly west of the existing Terminal 3 dock located in Grays Harbor.

The proposed project will be developed to support the Jansen Mine potash production nominal rate of up to 8 million tons per annum (Mtpa).

To develop the new facility, the following site and construction activities are planned.


  • Rail improvements, including a rail loop to accommodate an 8,500 foot train, with two inbound tracks, one outbound track, and one circulation track.
  • Railcar unloading facility, including receiving gates, hoppers and railcar unloading facility
  • Conveyors, dust collectors and other transfer facilities
  • Potash Storage building
  • Administration building, maintenance building and associated parking
  • Electrical substation
  • Utilities (water, electricity, sewer, and stormwater)
  • Fueling station
  • Site access gate
  • Access roads
  • Marine shiploading structures and ship berth
  • Stormwater management features
  • Dredging to accommodate construction of new berth pocket
Project status

BHP has submitted the following documents to the City of Hoquiam and the US Army Corps of Engineers:

  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist
  • Joint Aquatic Resources Policy Application (JARPA)
  • Shorelines Substantial Development Permit
  • Biological Evaluation

Environmental studies for Terminal 3 include:

  • Wetland, habitat and critical areas
  • Sensitive/endangered species
  • Critical and essential habitat
  • Cultural resources
  • Rail and roadway traffic
  • Vessel traffic
  • Air quality
  • Water quality
  • Noise
  • Lighting
  • Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments


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Information repository

A list of the documents available related to the proposed project and links to other sources of information.

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