SPECULATION that a potash project in Canada has leapt ahead of major Australian projects in BHP Billiton's order of preference have been reinforced by new documents released by the company.
BHP is hosting big investors at its Escondida and Spence copper mines in Chile this week and has used the occasion to release a new briefing paper on its base-metals business.
The documents discuss the future of two of the ''mega projects'' that BHP has among its expansion options: Australia's Olympic Dam, and Canada's Jansen potash expansion.
Those projects—along with the $US20 billion ($19.3 billion) Port Hedland outer-harbor expansion—were put on ice in August, when BHP finally conceded the market conditions were too tough to allow such massive spending.
BHP has promised that no mega projects will be approved in the year to June 30, 2013, but work to improve the economics of the projects continues, and their order of viability appears to have changed from early 2012 when Jansen appeared likely to be the third cab off the rank. . .View Full Article