MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Fertilizer is hot and BHP Billiton (BHP.AX)(BLT.L), the world's biggest miner, wants a heap of the action.
The company is cashed up and looking for new avenues of growth. Potash, used mainly in fertilizer to grow fruits, vegetables, soy and corn, offers just the right opportunity.
BHP Chief Executive Marius Kloppers is so excited about expanding into potash, he talks about it in the same breath as he talks about the company's most profitable business, iron ore.
His bullishness on potash has prompted takeover speculation in the sector, with investors betting BHP might bid for one of the two big North American producers, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) or Mosaic Co (MOS.N), in a drive for instant scale.