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BHP Billiton reaffirms underground expansion pathway for Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton today confirmed that it will not be seeking a further extension to the Variation Deed to the Indenture, which was executed between BHP Billiton and the State of South Australia in October 2011 to accommodate an open pit development at Olympic Dam.  The Indenture is the State Agreement which governs the operation of Olympic Dam.  

As outlined in December last year, BHP Billiton is now pursuing an underground development pathway for Olympic Dam that, subject to approvals and an attractive investment environment, could see copper production increase to 450ktpa from 2025.

Therefore as BHP Billiton will not be submitting a Project Notice for a potential open pit development, the Variation Deed will cease to have effect in October this year. 

BHP Billiton has only ever operated Olympic Dam under the original Indenture and it will continue to do so.

Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said: “In FY16, Olympic Dam achieved the highest production in 10 years. The whole team has done an amazing job working together to deliver this result.”

“Our Development teams in the Mine are currently progressing with an expansion into the Southern Mine Area to deliver higher grade ore. This will help enable even better results and lays the groundwork for a potential larger underground expansion in the future.”

“We have a strong productive relationship with the South Australian Government, and we look forward to working with the Government on matters of mutual benefit, including for example any need for future amendments to the Indenture which may be required.”