BHP axing up to 300 Olympic Dam jobs
BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is laying off hundreds of workers at its Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine in South Australia as part of a restructuring process aimed to reduce costs and combat falling commodity prices.
It is understood that BHP is axing 90 permanent positions and 210 contractor roles, but it has vowed to redeploy some staff to other roles at the mine or another operation.
The decision caps off a dreadful month for South Australia’s mining sector, with Arrium (ASX:ARI) announcing last week almost 600 jobs would go at its iron ore operations and OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) letting go about 80 contractors earlier in the month.
In 2012, BHP cancelled a US$33 billion expansion of the operation, already Australia's largest underground mine, which currently employs about 4,300 people.
The ambitious development was expected to create the world's largest uranium mine within 11 years. It included the construction of 270km of power lines, a 400 km pipeline, a new desalination plant and a 105km railway.