Aussie Uranium Mine Plan OK’d

Monday, October 10, 2011 @ 06:10 PM gHale


BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine may soon become the world’s biggest mining operation after the Australian government and South Australia state approved a massive expansion project.

BHP’s board should give final approval to $29 billion expansion by March after everyone reaches an agreement on royalties for South Australia, said State Mineral Resources Development Minister Tom Koutsantonis.

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The open pit mine in South Australia state “has the potential to become one of the world’s largest mines, if not the largest,” said Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.

The size and scale is unprecedented for a single mining project in Australia, he said.

The Olympic Dam mine’s expansion will occur over 11 years and will lift copper production by more than fourfold to about 825,000 tons (750,000 metric tons) a year. Uranium oxide production will increase by about 21,000 tons (19,000 metric tons) a year.



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