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​BHP Billiton has received notice from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment that ministerial approval has been granted for the development of the Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan.

BHP Billiton submitted the Environmental Impact Statement in December 2010 in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act.  After technical and public review, the Ministry is satisfied that BHP Billiton has appropriate plans in place to mitigate any adverse impacts while enhancing the benefits of the project.

Jansen is expected to make a substantial long term contribution to both local communities and the Province of Saskatchewan.  The project is expected to employ an average of 1,900 people during construction and create approximately 1,000 operational jobs once the mine has reached full capacity.  BHP Billiton also expects to pay approximately C$90 billion in royalties and taxes to the municipal, provincial and federal governments1 over the decades in which Jansen operates.  Approximately 65 per cent of those payments will be in the Province of Saskatchewan.

BHP Billiton announced on 23 June 2011 that it had approved US$488 million of further investment to support the development of Jansen in its feasibility study stage.  Mine design and engineering will now be completed along with initial surface construction and the first 350 metres of shaft sinking. It is expected that final approval to proceed with Jansen will be sought from the BHP Billiton Board in the 2012 calendar year.  Based on the current schedule, Jansen is expected to start producing saleable potash in calendar year 2015.  The project is designed to ultimately produce approximately 8 million tonnes per annum of agricultural grade potash from its 3,370 million tonne in-situ Mineral Resource2 with an estimated 70-year mine life.

BHP Billiton Diamonds and Specialty Products President Tim Cutt said: “We are pleased to have received ministerial approval for Jansen and to have reached this significant milestone in the project’s development.  We will continue to engage with communities and other stakeholders to seek their input and to keep them informed of progress at Jansen and our other potash development projects.  As we seek to build a world-class potash business based in Saskatchewan we believe we can create substantial opportunities that benefit the communities that host our projects, as well as the Province of Saskatchewan.”

1 This figure is an estimate based on the Government of Saskatchewan's published 2014 potash price assumption from the 2010-11 budget.

2 Mineral Resources:

This release includes information on Mineral Resources, which is based on information prepared by the relevant Competent Persons as named in the June 2010 Annual Report (http://www.bhpbilliton.com) and reported under the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’(JORC Code). The Competent Persons verify that this release is based on and fairly reflects the information in the supporting documentation and agree with the form and context of the Mineral Resources presented. The Competent Persons, J. McElroy (MAusIMM), B. Nemeth (MAusIMM), both full time employees of BHP Billiton and D. Mackintosh (APEGS) employed by A.D.M. Consulting, have the required qualifications and experience to estimate and report Mineral Resources under the JORC Code.  The in-situ Mineral Resource is classified as 3,250 million tonnes of Indicated and 120 million tonnes of Inferred material.

 
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