Company is assessing the impact of an ongoing outage at the processing plant.
OLYMPIC DAM Mining News
The world’s No.1 miner is targeting as much as $1.6 billion in productivity gains at its iron ore, copper and coal units in the country over the next two years.
The mining giant will add those jobs during the next 12 months.
Red metal production at the copper-uranium mine is expected to hit around 230,000 tonnes by 2021, but there is potential for up to 450,000 tonnes per year.
BHP wants find a way to up output for the industrial metal from its Olympic Dam by 40% even before a proposed and long-awaited mega-expansion of the operation takes place.
The cuts represent 14% of what was once a 4,300 workforce.
The cuts at the Adelaide support office for the Olympic Dam operations come about six months after BHP scrapped about 90 permanent positions and 210 contractor jobs.
The decision caps off a dreadful month for South Australia’s mining sector.
The miner blamed low metals prices and productivity inefficiencies for the decision.
The company revealed it will take four years to trial a processing method it hopes will help make the expansion profitable.
South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, has reproached the federal government for saying BHP could resume its Olympic Dam expansion within months, calling it a "cruel hoax."
Adelaide Now reports BHP Billiton wants to "future-proof" its massive Olympic Dam project, including using driverless haulage trucks and this week put out a recruitment ad for an executive to oversee the high-tech initiative. The system would mean operators can be in a control room on the site or even in the comfort of a city office hundreds of kilometres away. BHP Billiton is in the final stages of the approval process for the $30 billion expansion of its existing underground operation at Olympic Dam to create a new open pit mine that would be the worlds biggest – trucks will haul overburden 24/7 for five to six years just to reach the ore body. The combined operations would mine 72 Mt ore per year and would produce 750,000 tonnes refined copper, 19,000 tonnes uranium oxide, 800,000 gold ounces and 2.9 Moz of silver per year.
Boart Longyear has been recognised as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Olympic Dam Vendor of the Year award for 2009. In commenting on the award, a BHP spokesperson indicated, “Boart Longyear has been operating at Olympic Dam for approximately 10 years and in the 2009 financial year displayed admirable performance in key evaluation criteria including [...]
BHP has issued the long awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its Olympic Dam project in South Australia. Industry experts have guessed the proposed expansion could cost between AU$10 and 15 billion.
Mining company BHP Billiton expects it will have to look overseas to fill extra jobs for a planned expansion of its Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia….more at ABC News