BHP re-ignites South Australian Olympic Dam project

BHP re-ignites South Australian Olympic Dam project

Olympic Dam sees new activity –

BHP starts a 2-year trial

In 2013, BHP had big plans to develop their Olympic Dam site into one of the biggest mines in the world. Some 20 billion dollars worth of investment was flagged by BHP to make this project happen – then it all went sour.

The wind was knocked out of the mining investment sails and the Olympic Dam expansion was put on the shelf. This created a wave of disappointment throughout the mining industry, especially in South Australia where the state was set to benefit from the enormity of the project.

BHP unveils plans for a pilot processing plant

Over a year later, the world-class mining company BHP is back in the mining news as it unveils plans to build a pilot processing plant at the mine. It’s not the $20 billion investment of 2013 – but it’s a start; and above all, it signals renewed interest in developing the mine.

When BHP pulled the plug on the Olympic Dam expansion, it also made it clear the proposed expansion was not dead and buried; rather it stated development of Olympic Dam would be staggered over period of time.

BHP is looking like it will run a three-year trial at Olympic Dam to see if it can find a cheaper method of processing copper and uranium. The mining company had already received Federal and South Australia Government approvals to submit a revised proposal to develop the mine.

Big List Of Mining Jobs Australia - e-book iMINCO

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said BHP is a long way away before full investment will be made in terms of upgrading the mine production processes.

Construction could start late 2015

If this new project gets approved, the pilot plant construction could start late 2015 with a two-and-a-half year processing trial envisaged.

Keen to get on the good side of BHP, the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy chief executive Jason Kuchel said, “Olympic Dam is a world class ore body. One day it will be expanded “” the question is when, not if”.

A decision on the BHP expansion of Olympic Dan from the Australian Federal Government, is scheduled for August 22; should federal assessment is needed.

“If the Olympic Dam project needs approval, it will be subjected to a thorough environmental assessment that will include another opportunity for public comment,” a spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said.

What’s next?

Olympic Dam is a project waiting to happen; not unlike many other mining projects in Australia. Take the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Queensland Galilee Basin for instance. Although this mine is set to produce its first coal somewhere in 2017, the wheels have already started turning and there is activity occurring already.

Keeping up to date with Australian mining news can be difficult for most people, especially when most of the news never reaches the mainstream media. This is where iMINCO Project News comes in handy.

And guess what?….every week, over 20,000 people get their mining news delivered free to their email in-box via Project News.

The newsletter is packed with the latest information on mining projects, jobs, training and qualification advice, as well as tips on how to tackle job applications and interviews with confidence.

Let’s face it, we all know that if you’ve not got the right information at your fingertips, you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities.

You can’t always control what happens to you in life, but you can control what you read – which can make good things happen in your life!

In the meantime, give iMINCO Project News a try – you might even profit from it….

iMINCO Project News


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.

Caterpillar Haul truck 793

Caterpillar Haul truck 793

The 793F has a load cpacityof 226.8 ton (US) and a top speed of 60 kilometres an hour. It's a turbocharged air-to-air aftercooled diesel engine that has enhanced power management capability for maximum hauling performance. The C175-16 is a 16-cylinder, four-stroke design that uses long, effective power strokes for optimum efficiency.

The 793F, is an autonomous-driven truck. Over 100 793F trucks are now operating via Command for hauling, the Cat autonomous truck operations system, which is a part of Cat MineStar™

Read more about the CAT 793 automomous mining dump truck on our website.

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.

Find out more about RII Competencies here

You can transfer your nationally recognised civil Excavator, Front End Loader or Dozer tickets only to RII Black Coal Competencies.

Email this job to yourself for future reference

Add your email address and name to get the details