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Jansen Potash Project

Jansen Potash Project

BHP holds exploration permits and mining leases covering approximately 9,600 square kilometres in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The Jansen Potash Project is located approximately 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon. We currently own 100 per cent of this Project. Jansen’s large resource endowment provides the opportunity to develop it in stages, with anticipated initial capacity of 4 Mtpa.

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Potash is a potassium-rich salt mainly used in fertiliser to improve the quality and yield of agricultural production. As an essential nutrient for plant growth, potash is a vital link in the global food supply chain. The demands on that supply chain are intensifying; there will be more people to feed in future, as well as rising calorific intake comprising more varied diets. The strains this will place on finite land supply mean sustainable increases in crop yields will be crucial and potash fertilisers will be critical in replenishing our soils.

Feeding the World: the case for potash

We think demand for potash could double by the late 2040s, by which point it could be a US$50 billion market.

Key developments during FY2019

Having safely excavated the two 7.3-metre diameter service and production shafts to their full depths in August 2018, focus turned to preparing the temporary liners for the final watertight composite concrete and steel liners, and removing the two shaft boring roadheader (SBR) machines that excavated the shafts. The SBRs were removed from the shafts in April 2019. 

The service shaft and production shaft are 1,005 metres and 975 metres deep, respectively. Jansen is intended to mine the Lower Patience Lake potash formation, which lies between 935 metres and 940 metres.

Looking ahead

Future work will include installing watertight composite concrete and steel final liners from a depth of approximately 800 metres upwards in both shafts. We expect the shafts to be completed in the first half of CY2021 and we continue to assess how to reduce risk and unlock value as we conclude this work. At the end of FY2019, the current scope of work was 84 per cent complete. 

We will continue the selection of a port option on the North American west coast from which Jansen’s potash would be exported. As with all decisions relating to the deployment of capital, the next steps of the Project will be assessed in line with our Capital Allocation Framework. 

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