BHP is looking to fast-track the development of its $5.7bn Jansen potash project in Canada amid fertiliser supply disruptions triggered by high gas prices and sanctions on key exporters, reported Bloomberg News.
The project is now anticipated to start production in 2026, one year ahead of the initial schedule, as the company believes in an improved long-term outlook for fertiliser prices.
The first phase of the project is expected to have an annual potash production capacity of 4.35 million tonnes (Mt).
Furthermore, BHP is evaluating options to expedite phase two, which is projected to add a further 4Mtpa.
BHP said in a statement: “We are working to bring forward Jansen Stage 1 first production into 2026 and are assessing options to accelerate Jansen Stage 2.”
Last month, BHP completed the Jansen mine shafts project.
BHP expects the demand for potash, which is used as fertiliser, to increase to 105Mt by 2040, according to Mining.com.
Planned to be developed in phases, the Jansen underground mine is expected to have a 17Mtpa production capacity, making up for nearly 25% of current global potash demand.
In a separate development, BHP and India’s steelmaker Tata Steel reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly study and explore lower carbon iron and steelmaking technology.
The firms will collaborate on ways to reduce the emission intensity of the blast furnace steel route, via two priority areas – the application of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) in steel production and the use of biomass as a source of energy.
BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said: “The partnership with Tata Steel highlights the importance of collaborations in being able to successfully identify and implement emission reduction technologies in steelmaking, including by developing abatements that can apply to the existing blast furnace process to incrementally reduce its carbon emissions intensity.”