Aussie expansions take front seat

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BHP Billiton says its massive $US12 billion move into Canadian potash may be less significant than its Australian expansions.

The prediction follows the company’s announcement of a strong $9.2 billion profit, falling just short of analyst expectations.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald BHP CEO Marius Kloppers announced three major expansion projects at a results presentation last week.

He said the Olympic Dam expansion, construction of the Outer Harbour at Port Hedland, and the development of the Jansen potash project in Canada would take up around $US35 billion of investment this year.

Kloppers said Olympic Dam was deemed to be the lowest risk in terms of demand, and the Port Hedland developments would be the easiest in terms of technical design.

He said the weaker market for potash and high technical design of the Jansen project made it the riskiest investment.

According to The Australian Kloppers also said there was "absolutely no doubt" the company would be making more acquisitions.

Last week a Deutsche Bank report said BHP might be considering selling close to $10 billion of global assets.

It said the Cannington silver, lead, and zinc mine in Queensland, Western Australia’s Worsely aluminum smelter and other nickel and coal mines might be considered.

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