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Business group expects BHP potash mine to create high paying jobs for Saskatoon economy

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SASKATOON -

The North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) is predicting a strong economic boost for the city following BHP’s announcement on Tuesday.

The Australian company announced it will pump $7.5 billion into the development of the Jansen potash mine, located 150 kilometres east of Saskatoon.

Keith Moen, executive director of NSBA, expects more jobs to be added to BHP’s head office downtown Saskatoon.

“BHP is one of the largest mining companies in the world. They don't do anything small, so it’ll have a number of head office jobs and certainly on the supply side — in terms of construction, logistics and transportation,” Moen said.

“They’ll be greatly impacting the Saskatoon economy.”

The province estimates the project will create around 3,500 jobs annually during construction and provide direct employment for 600 workers once it is up and running.

Moen expects national and international experts to be recruited for certain positions.

“They’ll be moving people here from all parts of the world. BHP likes to move people around,” Moen said.

“Even though this is a relatively new play for them, in terms of getting into the potash industry, despite the fact they've been working on the Jansen site for some number of years already.

“They'll have specific experts they can just move around to their benefit and certainly there'll be some high paying jobs.”

With more jobs anticipated, Moen said there will be a positive impact on Saskatoon real estate.

Premier Scott Moe described the project as the "largest private economic investment" in Saskatchewan history.

According to the company, it has already spent over $5.6 billion on the project over the years, describing the cost as a "significant initial outlay."

Construction is expected to take six years.

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