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"BHP Billiton Ltd. BHP-N, the world’s largest mining company and former Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan POT-T nemesis, may be inadvertently helping out its Canadian rival. At least for now.

The Anglo-Australian firm, pressured by rising costs and slowing demand for resources, is reconsidering the timing of three major projects, including its $12-billion Jansen potash mine east of Saskatoon.

Globally, there are four large new potash mines currently being considered. Jansen -- which has the potential to become the globe’s largest -- is one of them, notes Joel Jackson, an analyst at BMO Capital markets. (Germany’s K+S has dibs on a project in Saskatchewan; Russia’s EuroChem Mineral and Chemical Co.’s plans to dig for potash in its home country; and Vale SA is toiling in Argentina).

Three of these new projects are facing problems."

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