Potash is a source of potassium, one of three three primary plant nutrients, the others being phosphorus and fixed nitrogen. Potash is an umbrella term for various soluble salts of potassium. The main salts are potassium chloride (KCl, also known as muriate of potash – MOP), potassium-magnesium sulphate (K2SO4.MgSO4, also known as sulphate of potash magnesia – SOPM), and potassium sulphate (K2SO4, also known as sulphate of potash – SOP).
There are a number of ASX companies developing potash projects, at varying stages of development. The table below lists those with potash as the prime project. Most are substantially off their recent highs as market enthusiasm for potash (and phosphate) has waned. However, the sector is worth a revisit as several companies have made substantial progress over the last couple of years.
Finally, BHP has been looking to develop the Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan for about a decade. The company expects to make a final decision in 2021. If developed it will produce up to 8mtpa of potash with a life of around 70 years. This would have a significant impact on supply, given that 2018 world production was 42Mt.