BHP Olympic Dam operations in South Australia update
BHP Billiton has rewarded itself by celebrating the delivery of first ore from the high-grade underground expansion at the Southern Mining Area (SMA) of its Olympic Dam operations in South Australia. This is a historic BHP Olympic Dam project milestone for the company.
BHP started to work on the new underground expansion about two years ago and has sunk around 250 million dollars into the project.
Image courtesy of SMH
BHP Olympic Dam project milestone
The move into the SMA forms the foundation of Olympic Dam’s long-term expansion plans, which has been reported in iMNCO on many occasions.
A spokesperson for Olympic Dam said the project can create jobs and increase economic development in South Australia for many, many years to come. A specialist team of 180 people have sped up the development of the Southern Mine Area over the past 15 months, and confirmation today of first ore is a testament to their hard work and commitment.
In another Olympic Dam milestone, BHP celebrated the first copper cathode produced from its heap leach Research and Development trials.
450,000 tonnes of copper a year
Heap leaching technology could revolutionise production at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine and support an increase in production to over 450,000 tonnes of copper a year.
“Seeing the first output from the heap leach trials and from the SMA supports moving toward unlocking Olympic Dam’s potential and building a foundation for long-term, sustainable growth in South Australia”, said BHP.
According to Ms McGill, BHP will undertake a series of larger scale experiments and testing on the heap leach process over the next three years.
Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said the expansion will allow the company to unlock the potential of one of the world’s largest orebodies.
See jobs at Olympic Dam here : Olympic Dam jobs at BHP
Learn more about the Bowen Basin mining location.
The Bowen Basin contains the largest coal reserves in Australia. This major coal producing region contains one of the world’s largest deposits of bituminous coal.
The Basin contains much of the known Permian coal resources in Queensland including virtually all of the known mineable prime coking coal. It was named for the Bowen River, itself named after Queensland’s first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
The Bowen Basin covers an area of over 60,000 square kilometres in Central Queensland running from Collinsville to Theodore and is dotted with many coal mines operated by multiple mining companies.
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Resources and Infrastructure Industry (RII)
Commonly refered to as Black Coal Competency (BCC), the RII competency is one that can be attained by an operator who has previously worked in the industry and has completed a number of operating hours on various types of machinery.
RII competency is granted to prove correct and safe operation of mine site machinery. It is a very useful qualification to have, as it confirms the operator has the required experience and expertise.
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