BHP invests in Olympic Dam

BHP’s Olympic Dam mine is set to benefit from the company’s investment of more than A$600 million (US$476 million) over FY2018 on a range of important programmes of work underway in South Australia
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Olympic Dam is set to benefit from BHP's investment of more than A$600 million

Staff reporter

PRESS RELEASE: Jacqui McGill, asset president, Olympic Dam, recently spoke at an American Chamber of Commerce event in Adelaide and said that Olympic Dam had 49 projects in execution this financial year. She added: “This represents the most significant investment we’ve ever made in our South Australian operations. And these investments – in our underground infrastructure and above ground processing operations – will help us build the foundations for long term, safe, stable and sustainable growth at Olympic Dam. The investment will ensure the operation is more modern, reliable and can support processing of additional tonnes in coming financial years.”

McGill highlighted that Olympic Dam had more programmes of work in execution this financial year than any other BHP operation in Australia. She noted: “Forty of these projects are being supported by BHP’s new functional-regional model, which means Olympic Dam can draw on the incredible expertise within BHP’s Minerals Australia projects team.”

The AU$600 million capital investment is apportioned across three key areas at Olympic Dam:

  • Around 20% of the investment supports the underground expansion into the high-grade Southern Mine Area, including additional fleet, telecommunications, raise bores, power and other services;
  • Nearly 40% will underpin further underground development in the existing Northern Mine Area footprint; and
  • As announced, more than 40% is directed to a wide range of infrastructure and other programmes onsite, including the major smelter campaign – which is a A$350million construction programme spread across FY2017 and FY2018.

To support the additional work at Olympic Dam, McGill said that the company was recruiting to make sure the best people were working with the team. She added: “In addition to leveraging the expertise of our BHP colleagues internally, we’re also boosting numbers in our Olympic Dam squad, so that we have a more diverse workforce that is representative of the communities in which we operate in. I’m proud that in the last 12 months, our recruitment of new female employees to join our team has increased by 20%.

“And our recent efforts to renew our focus on effective contractor relationships has also been a success – through our Industry Capability Network Gateway online, we had a total of 226 submissions and 70% of registrations new to Olympic Dam and more than 30% were from South Australia.”