Saskatchewan’s economy received some wonderful news earlier this morning.
BHP announced early Tuesday morning that they will be moving ahead with the Jansen Potash Mine project, making it the single largest economic investment in the province. The announcement is a milestone for the province, as BHP will be investing a total of $12 billion to complete the Jansen project. To date about $5 billion has been spent to construct the mine with an additional $7.5 billion in investment to complete the project in investment expected to complete the project.
The project is expected to create around 3,500 jobs in construction for the mine. Once the mine is operational, the project will support over 600 direct jobs at the job site and at the corporate office in Saskatoon. BHP has committed to making these jobs gender equitable and at least 20 % of the staff will be First Nations people.
Premier Scott Moe was excited for today’s announcement, “As the world recovers from the global pandemic that we all faced collectively around this world and across this nation, Saskatchewan most certainly has the resources, the food, the fuel, the fertilizer to provide and fuel that economic recovery that the world will enter into here in the months ahead and we will mostly certainly have the innovative hardworking people to ensure that we can bring value to those resources that we have.”
Moe was joined this morning by Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre and the Minister of Trade, Export and Development Jeremy Harrison for the announcement. Moe says that he along with the ministers have spent a significant amount of time lobbying to make sure that today’s announcement would come to fruition. “I asked all of our economic ministers to step up, sooner or later we will start finding our way through the CO-VID pandemic here in Saskatchewan and around the world, I asked our economic ministers to reach out to all those we have done business with in countries over the years gone by, and also where potential opportunities lie to do additional export business looking for additional investment opportunities that may come to Saskatchewan to create jobs that add value to the products that we already produce and I think we are seeing the fruition of of some of those contacts that have been made.” Moe added “These ministers that are here today as well as others that have been reaching out, I think we’ve been seeing those relationships continue to build through what has been a challenging time.”
Harrison added that Saskatchewan’s relationships with businesses around the world are crucial for announcements like today from BHP. “We have seen nearly 10 billion dollars of capital investments announced in the last couple of months and this is from the largest and most sophisticated companies on the planet who are global and BHP is a good example today, but these companies could deploy their capital literally anywhere in the world and they are choosing to deploy that capital here in Saskatchewan and that doesn’t happen by accident, that is because of the fact that we have established very good relationships, I think that’s part of it, but also having in place a policy framework that makes it very attractive for these companies to deploy their capital in our province”
Moe is hopeful that this announcement will encourage other major corporations to continue investing in Saskatchewan. “Whether that investment decision is in agriculture, whether it’s ingredient production, whether it’s in mining, whether it’s in forestry, whether your next investment decision is in energy production, whether it’s technology. If you want to invest in a sustainable project that will be great, yes for your company, great, yes for your employees, we want you to consider our province, Saskatchewan, like so many others have. Saskatchewan is the place to be, you should come here, and you should invest in this province.”
The Jansen mine will be operational for a century with production set to begin in 2027, it’s expected to produce 4.35 million of tonnes of potash per year.