Saturday, December 18, 2010

BHP Billiton Submits Environmental Impact Statement for Jansen Project

Regina, Saskatchewan - BHP Billiton today submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment (MOE).

The Jansen Project, about 140km east of Saskatoon, is being designed to produce approximately 8Mtpa of potash at full capacity, potentially making it the world’s largest potash mine. The proposed mine will operate for about 70 years and make substantial contributions to the economies of local communities, the province and Canada.

In compliance with regulatory requirements, BHP Billiton has prepared a detailed EIS that assesses potential effects of the Jansen Project and shows how BHP Billiton has designed Jansen to maximise socio-economic opportunities while minimising environmental effects.

The EIS will be released for public comment by the MOE once the document has been reviewed and deemed complete. At present, BHP Billiton expects this to occur some time in the first half of 2011. In the meantime, the company will continue to proactively engage with the public and share information about the Project.

“We believe the Jansen Project is a wonderful opportunity for BHP Billiton and Saskatchewan,” said Graham Kerr, President of BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products. “Jansen is a world class ore body and the Project fits our strategy of owning and operating large, long-life, low-cost assets. Jansen is the first and the most advanced of our potash growth options” he added.

At Jansen, drilling has started in preparation for the ground freezing process which is required to sink the production and service shafts. In total, BHP Billiton has exploration rights to over approximately 14,500km2 of highly prospective ground in the Saskatchewan potash basin.

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