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Olympic Dam investment creates foundation for the future

BHP has today marked a major investment of more than AU$350 million in Olympic Dam with a visit to site by the South Australian Premier, the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, and the Treasurer and Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, the Hon Tom Koutsantonis MP.

The maintenance and upgrade of the Company’s surface operations was the largest planned shutdown project ever undertaken by the Asset.

The project began in August 2017, ran for over 100 days and created 3100 short-term jobs in addition to Olympic Dam’s 3500-strong South Australian workforce.

In addition to the A$350 million investment in the Olympic Dam smelter, BHP also used the opportunity to carry out major upgrade works on the refinery, concentrator, other key infrastructure and site technology.

Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said, ‘Olympic Dam is a multi-generational resource that continues to make a significant contribution to the South Australian economy.

‘BHP is one of South Australia’s largest employers, and we continue to invest in Olympic Dam to support our sustainable growth plans.

‘Through this latest project and other ongoing works, we are increasing the global competitiveness of Olympic Dam through continuous improvements to our infrastructure, technology and processes.’

Smelting operations resumed in late 2017 with the first anode cast from the flash furnace in December. Operations will continue to ramp up to full capacity in the March 2018 quarter.

Ms McGill highlighted the important contribution of the project workforce and the valuable support from the Roxby Downs community and the South Australian Government. 

‘The upgrade project has been a truly collaborative effort and we greatly appreciate the ongoing support from our key stakeholders here in South Australia,’ she said.

This year marks 30 years of operations at Olympic Dam, which is located nearly 600km north north-west of Adelaide and is one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, uranium, gold and silver. 

Recruitment for the operation has increased over the past 12 months and will continue to grow to support Olympic Dam’s development and delivery of key projects.

In November 2017, at South Australia’s largest free career fair, JOBEX, BHP announced the creation of 120 new jobs in trucking, operations and engineering – on top of the asset’s rolling requirement of 250 roles at any one time.

To date, 20 of the 120 new positions have been filled. BHP held job assessment centres in Port Augusta and Adelaide last week for a further 30 roles, with the remainder to be recruited over the coming months.

Find out more about opportunities at Olympic Dam.