By Steve Scherer
OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canada will announce a multi-million dollar investment on Monday to make the Jansen potash mine run by the globe’s largest listed miner, BHP Group, “the cleanest and most sustainable in the world,” a government source said on Sunday.
Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau are scheduled to make an announcement on “moving toward the net-zero emission economy” in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Monday at 10:00 a.m. central time (1500 GMT).
The source declined to say the exact amount of the federal investment in BHP’s Jansen mine, which is located about 150 km (93 miles) east of Saskatoon.
The investment will allow BHP to use electric vehicles and equipment to operate the mine, said the source, who is familiar with the investment but was not authorized to speak on the record about it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been investing heavily in clean energy projects, including plants for producing electric vehicle batteries and battery materials, after it set a goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Anglo-Australian miner BHP said last month it may accelerate its Jansen potash project in Canada by a year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has tightened global supplies.
Prices of potash, a key input used in nitrogen fertilizers, have soared since Western sanctions were imposed against Russia.
Russia and Belarus, which also faces sanctions, are the world’s second- and third-largest producers of the crop nutrient, while Canada is the No. 1 producer.
“We’re looking to do anything we can do to support a commodity in short supply because of the war,” the government source said.
When contacted, BHP declined to comment.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer, additional reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, editing by Chris Reese)