EbeneNews – UA – BHP draws up another Olympic dam plan


BHP has signaled it will not move forward with its $ US2 5 billion expansion of Olympic Dam Brownfield as the company’s flagship iron ore division gets off to a good start the new exercise

BHP shipped 74 million tonnes of iron ore from Western Australia in the three months to September 30, including tonnes held by joint venture partners, allowing it to exceed its target annual

Strong iron ore exports were achieved despite maintenance interruptions at the port, and BHP warned that exports in the three months leading up to December 31 would be slowed by continued port maintenance and works of « connection » to the mines

The Olympic Dam copper, gold, silver and uranium mine in South Australia had its most productive quarter since 2015, but BHP has confirmed the demise of another plan to mine expansion

Launched in 2017, the brownfield expansion, known as BFX, promised to expand surface infrastructure, including the smelter, factory, and refinery, while unlocking larger volumes of higher grade copper ore in the southern area of ​​the mine

BHP was originally supposed to make a final investment decision on BFX this year, but the timeline was pushed back to 2019 when BHP revealed that BFX may not be as attractive as it was thought because the geology of the Olympic dam was not as « contiguous » as previously believed

On Tuesday, BHP reported it would continue with the bottleneck instead of BFX after further drilling showed the geology was unsuitable for the plan

«  This has posed challenges for the economics of the BFX project and we have decided that the best way forward at the moment is to invest in a targeted way in reducing the bottlenecks, to upgrade factories and modernize our infrastructure,  » said the miner

BFX is the latest in a long line of Olympic Dam expansion projects that have failed to stack up; it overtook a plan to create a giant heap leach at the mine, which itself replaced plans to spend more than $ 30 billion to build the world’s largest surface mine

BHP has not completely abandoned heap leaching, a process by which chemicals separate valuable minerals from waste, at Olympic Dam and continues to explore the option

Encouraging drilling results at neighboring Oak Dam copper deposit also change how BHP views the future of Olympic Dam

BHP has reported a cost explosion of US $ 272 million for one of its other major growth options; Canada’s Jansen Potash Project

Foundation work at Jansen, which involves sinking and lining the wells, was expected to cost around US $ 2.7 billion, but will now cost US $ 2.97 billion due to well lining delays and impacts from the coronavirus

Once the foundation work at Jansen is completed, BHP will decide whether to spend an additional US $ 5US $ 3 billion to US $ 5 billion build the first floor of the mine; a process that will take five years before BHP sells potash

The disclosure on Tuesday of an additional cost of $ 272 million at Jansen comes after the miner announced $ 345 million in additional spending on the project in October 2019

That the October 2019 expenses were not part of the foundation work budget, but rather were described as expenses necessary to help BHP’s board of directors make an informed investment decision on the approval from the first stage of the mine

Good news for BHP, the management of its best copper mine reached a deal with the unions last week to avoid a strike

The new agreement for workers at the Escondida mine in Chile comes in a year when production at the mine has already been hampered by measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Australia’s biggest iron ore rival, Brazilian miner Vale, appears to be finding shape but the company’s iron ore sales remain well below top speed

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EbeneNews – UA – BHP draws up another Olympic dam plan

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/ebenenews-ua-bhp-draws-up-another-olympic-dam-plan/?remotepost=439440


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