BHP moving forward on Jansen potash mine

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The development of a $12 billion potash mine in Saskatchewan has not been put on hold, despite the BHP Billiton’s announcement it was shelving $68 billion in new project approvals, according to a company spokesperson.

Marius Kloppers, BHP’s CEO, said with $22.8 billion committed to capital projects, no new approvals are expected in 2013.

Spokesman Bronwyn Wilkinson told CBC News there’s still enough funding—$1.2 billion—committed to Jansen to continue with development work “through this year.”

BHP clarified that it was only putting its $30 billion Olympic Dam development in Australian on hold when it announced it was putting some projects on hold. The Australia project would have been the world’s largest uranium mine.

Despite word that Jansen will move forward, Kloppers did not provide a target completion date for the project. It was originally anticipated to open by 2015 and produce eight million tonnes of potash a year.

The company spokesperson said the reason the company was not providing a completion date was due to the decision to increase the first phase of the project from two million to four million tonnes per year, which will require more design work.

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