More than 6,000 construction workers along with 4,000 ongoing mining jobs and an estimated 15,000 indirect jobs are expected to be generated now that BHP`s expansion at S.A.’s Olympic Dam site has been approved.
BHP Billiton plans to spend around $20 billion in the expansion, making the Olympic Dam the world`s largest open pit mine.
South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) chief executive Jason Kuchel, says, “It is going to mean significant economic benefits to South Australia like we haven’t seen for many decades.”
Others too have added their support. Mineral Resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis says, “There is no doubt that this world class project is good for South Australia, good for the South Australian economy, good for South Australian jobs and good for our future prosperity.”
New town, airport, power station, railway track and electricity lines
Plans call for building a new town, airport, gas-fired power station, and construction of 105 kilometres of new railway track. To power the mine, 270 kilometres of electricity transmission line from Port Augusta is also included.
BHP Billiton`s project includes building a desalination plant at Point Lowly near Whyalla and a 320 kilometre pipeline to move the huge volume of water needed for the scheme.
There have been 150 conditions imposed on the project by the State Government to address environmental concerns.
The decision on whether to go ahead with the project is now left with BHP Billiton. Both interest groups and mining groups alike are now waiting to hear results at BHP`s general meeting slated for London on October the 20th.