Because you're a Fool, and Fools are better than most folks at combing the news for meaningful items, you're aware of the unsuccessful effort by Australia's mining giant BHP (NYSE: BHP) to spend nearly $39 billion to acquire Canada's PotashCorp (NYSE: POT).

But while BHP's efforts ran into a Canadian regulatory wall, there's no reason to believe that our friends north of the border have become so resource-nationalistic that they've foreclosed their assets to purchase by foreign investors. For starters, Brazil's mining giant Vale (NYSE: VALE) has said it'll earmark about $10 billion for Canadian investments during the next half-decade. Included in its investment targets may be -- you guessed it -- the development of a new potash mine in Saskatchewan.

At the same time, Ventana Gold Corp. a Vancouver-based developer of gold and silver projects in Colombia, apparently is in the sites of Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista and his EBX Group. However, EBX, which already owns 20% of Ventana, apparently is holding off on formalizing its $1.2 billion offer for the remainder of Ventana until the necessary documents have been filed with Canadian authorities.

Vale is no stranger to operating in Canada. The Rio de Janeiro-based company has for the past couple of years conducted its worldwide base metals operations -- including nickel, copper, and aluminum -- from Toronto. In 2006 it acquired Inco, a major Canadian nickel-mining company.

And even BHP hasn't been completely shut out of Canada. Indeed, with PotashCorp now in its rearview mirror, the company appears set to move ahead with its big Jansen potash start-up in Saskatchewan. Concern about whether that project might be delayed apparently was but one reason that Canadian authorities put the kibosh on the bid for Potash Corp.

In the meantime, I am focused significantly on the future undertakings of BHP. In addition to the cold shoulder it received regarding its offer in Saskatchewan, the company recently has also been precluded by regulatory authorities from forming a $116 billion iron-ore joint venture in Australia with its fellow mining giant Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP). And before that, when the world's economy turned south, BHP scuttled a $68 billion effort to buy Rio, lock, stock, and barrel.

My bet is that the big company could expand its underappreciated oil and gas unit, which already includes operations in such venues as the Gulf of Mexico, Algeria, the United Kingdom, and offshore Malaysia. As I've noted before, it also wouldn't be surprising if BHP were to acquire Australia's Woodside Holdings, the country's second-largest oil-and-gas producer.

Beyond that, BHP has lots of dry powder, so a run at Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX) wouldn't be especially surprising. Nor would an emerging liking for U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA). An offer for either of those big metals companies wouldn't seem to preclude a concurrent expansion of the oil and gas group.

All in all, and despite its recent setbacks, I'm hard-pressed to recommend a more solid company to capture a place in Foolish hears ... and portfolios than BHP.

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We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.