The Jansen site, expected to be in production in the second half of the decade, is a potentially large and low cost mine. Something new for BHP Billiton, and to many an odd fit with the history of the company.
|Jansen potash project site - BHP-Billiton|
It is obvious that BHP-Billiton sees lots of potential in agriculture and horticulture for potash sales and use. From an agricultural perspective, that is probably true - there will be increasing demand for potash as a needed nutrient in food production, as areas expand, and as is the case now, labile elements such as potash are so readily depleted. There is also industrial use of potash based products, something more akin to BHP areas of expertise.
There is more here - http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/news/agriculture/agribusiness/general-news/bhp-in-hunt-for-potash-partner/2669193.aspx?storypage=0
as well as more on the BHP Billiton web site and remarks made by management and often reported on the stock exchange web site - [ see www.asx.com.au and search for BHP].
BHP of course has excellent links to countries such as China, Brazil and others in Asia - will they leverage these connections to develop market share in potash products?