(Reuters) - BHP Group is in discussions with fertilizer maker Nutrien Ltd about a partnership in the miner's potash project in Canada, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources.
Potential options include Nutrien acquiring a stake in the Jansen, Saskatchewan mine, or becoming an operator and selling the potash through its channels, the report said, adding that the talks were private and there was no guarantee of a deal yet.(https://bloom.bg/3fmbtHZ)
BHP and Nutrien declined to comment.
Investors have raised concerns over the Jansen project recently, worried that a potash oversupply over the next decade could crimp returns.
Australia-based BHP is the world's biggest listed miner, but does not produce potash, a crop nutrient farmers spread to increase yields.
Nutrien is the biggest global fertiliser producer by capacity, based in Saskatchewan.
Nutrien buying a stake in Jansen makes no sense for either company, BMO Capital Markets analyst Joel Jackson said in a note. A broader joint venture between Nutrien and BHP involving the potash assets of both companies has more potential, Jackson said.
BHP has already sunk $4.5 billion into Jansen and forecast more in annual capital expenditure, as it edges towards making a final investment decision on the mine by mid-year.
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Jeff Lewis in Toronto; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)