SA passes Olympic Dam bill
BHP Billiton will be free to commence its Olympic Dam expansion after the South Australian Government passed legislation in support of the plan.
The Olympic Dam indenture legislation passed through state parliament, giving BHP Billiton the go ahead for its $30 billion expansion of its exisiting copper and uranium projects.
The legislation passed unopposed by the State Opposition, with Premier Jay Weatherill saying the legislation gave international mining companies confidence to invest in the state’ booming mining sector.
"This gives BHP Billiton the certainty it needs to proceed with a project that is of a scope never seen before in Australia,” Mr Weatherill said.
"This will transform the state's economic future and underpin thousands of jobs for South Australians."
BHP Billiton Uranium President, Dean Dalla Valle, welcomed the passage of the Bill, describing it as a major milestone.
“The passage of this Bill provides the Company with greater certainty for what would be a significant investment and demonstrates South Australia’s support for the project,” Mr Dalla Valle said.
The Olympic Dam Project will create one of the world’s largest open pit mines with the potential to increase copper production from around 180,000 tonnes per annum to 750,000 tonnes per annum and beyond.
The expansion is expected to generate in excess of 6000 new jobs during the 11-year construction period, with a further 4000 operations jobs to bring the mine to full production.