November 18, 2011 / 4:37 AM / 6 years ago

BHP Billiton to keep mine out of potash cartel - FT

LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton is set to disrupt Canpotex, the world’s biggest potash exporter by volume, by keeping a big new mine in Saskatchewan out of the marketing cartel, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

The Anglo-Australian miner’s relationship with the cartel was a bone of contention in its abortive bid last year for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, the biggest of Canpotex’s three existing members, the report said.

“We believe in taking the price of the day, and so the likelihood is that we would not market through Canpotex. We’d market in a very consistent manner with the rest of our commodities,” Tim Cutt, president of BHP’s diamonds and specialty products, told the Financial Times.

BHP initially said it would pull Potash Corp out of Canpotex but, as a political backlash against the bid intensified, it agreed to remain for at least a limited period, the FT said.

Ottawa eventually blocked the $39 billion deal last November on the grounds that it would not provide a “net benefit” to Canada.

Despite that setback, BHP is set to become a leading force in the potash industry, and has repaired relations with the province of Saskatchewan, which led the campaign against the Potash Corp deal, the report said.

BHP was not immediately available for comment.

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