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Divisive $13bn potash plan to test BHP's new chairman

BHP Billiton’s plan to enter the potash market with a contentious $13-billion project in Canada is adding to challenges facing the incoming chairman of the world biggest mining company. Ken MacKenzie, a 53-year-old board member who takes up the role in September, currently is on a global tour to meet investors in the wake of an activist campaign in recent months spearheaded by Elliott Management. Issues of concern for some shareholders include the producer’s US onshore oil and gas assets and its plans to accelerate the Jansen potash venture.

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