BHP completes $350mn upgrade of Olympic Dam smelter in SA
Mining giant BHP has finished major work on its Olympic Dam project located 550km northwest of Adelaide.
Costing $350mn, the maintenance and upgrade of surface operations began in August 2017 and lasted 100 days, creating 3,100 short term jobs.
In addition to the investment in the Olympic Dam smelter, BHP also carried out major upgrade works on the refinery, concentrator, other key infrastructure and site technology.
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Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said: “Through this latest project and other ongoing works, we are increasing the global competitiveness of Olympic Dam through continuous improvements to our infrastructure, technology and processes.”
The Olympic Dam is one of the world’s most important deposits of copper, uranium, gold and silver, and has been in operation for 30 years.
Although smelting operations resumed late last year, the site will not be up to full capacity until the March quarter.
McGill added: “BHP is one of South Australia’s largest employers, and we continue to invest in Olympic Dam to support our sustainable growth plans.
“Through this latest project and other ongoing works, we are increasing the global competitiveness of Olympic Dam through continuous improvements to our infrastructure, technology and processes.”
The completion of these works marks a positive few days for BHP, which was named by Brand Finance as the world’s most valuable mining brand, ranking well above the likes of Glencore, Posco and Rio Tinto.
BHP’s major 2017 re-branding exercise paid off, as the world’s largest mining company’s brand value rose 29% to US$5.1bn.