10 October 2011
BHP Billiton today noted the announcement by the South Australian and Commonwealth
Governments to formally approve the Environmental Impact Statement for the Olympic Dam
The project aims to develop a new open pit copper, uranium and gold mine and creates the
potential to increase copper production from around 180,000 to 750,000 tonnes per annum
for decades to come.
BHP Billiton Uranium President, Dean Dalla Valle, said: “Today’s announcement is the
culmination of one of the most comprehensive and rigorous environmental assessment
processes undertaken in Australia and is another important milestone as we seek to develop
this world class ore-body.
“The first phase of the Olympic Dam project is currently in feasibility and its progression into
execution remains dependant on these approvals, the completion of all required studies and
on BHP Billiton Board approval.
“We are confident that, if approved, the project will generate significant new employment
opportunities for South Australia in terms of direct employment, construction jobs, and
additional flow-on employment across the state for many years to come.
The scale of this project will allow the Company to continue to invest heavily in South
Australian businesses and services, especially in the Upper Spencer Gulf region of Whyalla,
Port Pirie and Port Augusta.”
Mr Dalla Valle also noted that the approval comes with a number of conditions.
“We recognise the approval conditions and the requirement to meet all of them across the
life of the project, including those for the construction and operation of the desalination plant
at Point Lowly.
“We will undertake a range of monitoring measures, including real time monitoring of salinity,
to ensure we have no adverse impact on the marine environment of Spencer Gulf.
“We will now take these conditions into account and incorporate them into our final
assessment and recommendation to the Board next year,” he said.