In 2012, BHP Billiton froze approving several new projects it had planned. But this week, Graham Kerr, BHP’s chief financial offer announced the company would start approving new projects again after June 30, 2013. BHP’s Canadian potash project is expected to be near the top of the list to be considered.
The company had planned to develop the Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan region and was one of the “mega” projects that was expected to be approved in 2012. But the project was halted when the company froze approvals on all expensive growth projects until June 30, 2013.
Kerr, who spoke at a Bloomberg conference in Sydney, Australia, this week said the freeze on projects was not expected to continue into the next financial year. He also indicated that if the project were brought to board in the next 15 months, the Jansen project could be approved sooner than the company’s Scarborough LNG joint venture with ExxonMobil.
The company appears interested in delving into the expanding potash market as demand for food around the world is increasing the need for fertilizers.
Despite the freeze on new project approvals, construction at the Jansen mine has continued with workers building the construction and service shafts for the underground mine.