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BHP's $20 Billion Canadian Potash Dilemma: To Build or Not?

  • Decision seen looming on development of Jansen potash mine
  • Prices of the crop nutrient have rallied after long slump
Potash Corp. Of Saskatchewan Lanigan Plant

Photographer: Geoff Howe/Bloomberg

Updated on

BHP Group may be heading for another clash with investors as the world’s biggest miner gets closer to a decision on whether to build, sell or mothball its $20 billion potash project.

The Jansen mine in Canada is aimed at giving the company exposure to rising global food demand and represents one of its few big growth prospects. BHP has already spent about $2.7 billion on the project, according to an October filing, and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie last month spoke enthusiastically about the outlook for potash, a crop nutrient.