The Oak Dam deposit, located on Kokatha country, 65km south-east of Olympic Dam, is a deep iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) mineralised system.
Exploration undertaken to date has indicated the presence of high-grade copper and associated minerals that may be economically viable to mine. Further exploration is required to better define the resource and enable BHP to make decisions about possible future development activity.
The copper deposit at Oak Dam is deep in the ground and underground access is required for BHP to complete advanced exploration activity. BHP is applying to South Australia’s Department for Energy and Mining seeking approval for a Retention Lease (RL) and Miscellaneous Purposes Licences (MPLs) for the Oak Dam Underground Access Project. If granted, the tenements will enable the construction of twin declines and the supporting infrastructure needed to allow underground access to the Oak Dam deposit where controlled, targeted exploration can continue much closer to the ore body.
Conceptual schematic of Oak Dam underground access
BHP Oak Dam
Oak Dam underground access project is the next step in unlocking South Australia's copper resources
Why BHP is investing in the Oak Dam Underground Access ProjectBHP’s purpose is clear, we want to bring people and resources together to build a better world. We’re focused on sustainably supplying the resources the world needs to develop and decarbonise. Our copper operations are crucial to achieving this goal.
BHP is Australia’s largest copper producer through its operations at Olympic Dam. The recent acquisition of OZ Minerals adds the Prominent Hill and Carrapateena assets to its portfolio, providing an opportunity to create an integrated copper province in South Australia - driving further efficiencies in resource exploration and production. BHP’s investment in Oak Dam represents a potential further growth opportunity in this location.
Where is Oak Dam located?
Oak Dam is located in the north of South Australia in a known copper province.
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Key project elements
Copper is used in everyday household products due to its electricity conducting, corrosion resistance and antimicrobial properties.