November 11, 2013 5:02 pm
Updated: November 11, 2013 5:33 pm

BHP Billiton, First Nations sign Jansen potash agreement

The two shaft sinking headframes at BHP Billiton’s Jansen potash project. The company is investing $US2.6 billion into the project to complete the two mine shafts in 2016. (Photo supplied by, and reproduced with the permission of, BHP Billiton)

Supplied / BHP Billiton

JANSEN, Sask. – Calling it the first of its kind in southern Saskatchewan, BHP Billiton and three Saskatchewan First Nations have signed an opportunities agreement for the Jansen potash project.

Under the agreement signed last Friday, mutually beneficial opportunities in employment, business and community development will be created for the Kawacatoose, Day Star and Muskowekwan First Nations.

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There will also be assistance for building First Nation businesses by giving entrepreneurs and community-owned business development access to opportunities at the project.

“We believe the signing of this agreement enhances our mutual capacity and ensures that we can work together to ensure the members of these First Nations can participate meaningfully in the opportunities that arise from the Jansen Project,” said Alex Archila, potash asset president for BHP Billiton.

“First Nations are forging new relationships with industry in order to reinvest in our community,” said Chief Darin Poorman of Kawacatoose First Nation.

“This new agreement with BHP Billiton will create new and innovative ways to an environmentally sustainable, healthier future for our people.”

The agreement will also see the sharing of environmental management practices and governance processes to co-manage implementation of the agreement.

BHP Billiton has currently committed close to US$3.8 billion for the Jansen potash project, with both mining shafts expected to be completed in 2016 and surface infrastructure in 2017.

The Jansen project, which BHP calls the world’s best undeveloped potash resource, is located approximately 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon.

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