The demand for potash could double in about 3 decades, by which point it could be a US $50 billion market.
That's the thinking of BHP Billiton's Principal Potash Analyst, Doctor Paul Burnside. He says that's one of the reasons the company is giving itself the option of adding potash to their diversified commodities portfolio by building the Jansen Lake Mine about 150 kilometers east of Saskatoon. Burnside says demands on the global food supply chain are intensifying and potash is an essential nutrient for plant growth. He points out that while the global population will be close to 10 billion by 2050, the cultivated land area will remain almost static. Burnside says, food demand will grow by 50 per cent and sustainable increases in crop yields will be crucial.
The Jansen Lake mine has been under construction for more than six years. Despite $3.8 billion invested in the mine, it has not yet been sanctioned by the BHP Board. In February, Chris Ryder, head of Corporate Affairs said, several factors have delayed approval including cash availability and the struggling potash market.