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Olympic Dam has commenced operation of its new electro-refinery crane, further strengthening the asset’s stability and reliability.

The 95-tonne crane with 32-metre span will be used to submerge 360-kilogram copper anodes into the refinery’s 768 individual electrolytic cells, which extract the purified final copper product that Olympic Dam exports to global customers.

With dual lift capability and automatic laser positioning, the crane has the capacity to carry over 20 tonnes at a time, at a maximum travel speed of three metres per second.

The multi-million dollar crane replacement project commenced engineering in 2016 and started construction in 2018, creating 130 jobs in South Australia during construction.

BHP Olympic Dam Asset President Jennifer Purdie said: “The new refinery crane will improve operational stability and reliability in our refinery, allowing us to operate more safely and efficiently, and support increased production volumes over the long term.

“Copper cathode from Olympic Dam is sought-after for its quality and purity, and will be increasingly in demand as an essential product for global decarbonisation.

“This project shows BHP’s commitment to our long-term future in South Australia by continuing to make significant investments, creating local jobs and opportunities for regional businesses.”


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