Archive for the ‘BHP BILLITON’ Category


Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

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Mineweb reports a senior state official in South Australia who is also CEO of the so-called Olympic Dam Taskforce on Tuesday revived hopes that the $30 billion expansion of the existing underground operations would go ahead after all.

Doubts were raised about the viability of the project when the Chairman of owners BHP Billiton confirmed earlier comments from BHP’s top execs about scaling back its most ambitious programs saying it will not spend the $80 billion previously set aside for expansion by 2015.

While most analysts expect BHP will continue to pour money into iron ore in Australia, the company’s other megaprojects – Olympic Dam, expansion of its US shale gas operations and Jansen potash project in Canada – may be put on the back burner.

The government official Paul Heithersay told a conference in Broken Hill, New South Wales that Olympic Dam expansion was “a project with a 100 year mining life, so a glitch this year was unlikely to sway a company that thinks well ahead”:

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He said the company has already cleared a substantial amount of sand cover, has ordered a significant amount of long lead-time machinery and equipment and has begun planning for the major village expansion – for 10,000 people — and begun building a new airstrip capable of handling 737 aircraft.

The expansion will see a 270 kilometre long electricity transmission line, a 400 km pipeline, a large desalinator plant, a 105 km long railway link from Pimba to Olympic Dam.

The giant copper-gold-uranium-silver project in South Australia’s outback is set to become the world’s biggest open pit. BHP has already received government approval for the mammoth $30 billion expansion of Olympic Dam and the company’s board will make a final decision on the project this year.

The planned open pit mine would be adjacent to the current Olympic Dam underground operation. An idea of the olympian effort required to construct the mine and the size of the undertaking is clear from the fact that trucks will haul overburden 24/7 for five to six years just to reach the ore body.

The combined operations would mine 72 Mt ore per year and would produce 750,000 tonnes refined copper, 19,000 tonnes uranium oxide, 800,000 gold ounces and 2.9 Moz of silver per year.

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

BHP Billiton Approves Caval Ridge Mine Project

November 01, 2011

BHP Billiton today approved development of the Caval Ridge Mine project and expansion of the Peak Downs Mine in the northern Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. The initial project will add 8 million tonnes per year capacity (100 per cent basis) in export metallurgical coal, with the expectation of a rapid, low cost expansion to 10 million tonnes per year. This additional 2 million tonnes per year will only require the addition of mining equipment. This expansion has not yet been permitted.

The total investment in the initial project is US$4.2 billion, of which BHP Billiton’s share is US$2.1 billion. The resource life of the initial project is expected to be greater than 60 years1. First coal is expected in calendar year 2014.

The new Caval Ridge Mine will have the capacity to produce 5.5 million tonnes per year. The Peak Downs Mine will expand production by 2.5 million tonnes per year. The investment will include construction of a new coal handling and preparation plant at Caval Ridge to process production from the Caval Ridge Mine and Peak Downs expansion. Coal from the Peak Downs expansion will be transported by conveyor to the new plant. The Peak Downs Mine lies to the immediate south of the new Caval Ridge Mine.

The Caval Ridge Mine will be an open cut dragline and truck and shovel operation, with coal railed to the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Hay Point Coal Terminal. The project has received all necessary regulatory approvals.

BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal President, Hubie van Dalsen, said: “This investment in the Caval Ridge Mine was foreshadowed in March of this year when BHP Billiton announced investments in the new 4.5 million tonne per year Daunia mine, the life extension of the Broadmeadow mine and the 11 million tonne per year expansion of the Hay Point Coal Terminal.

“This is a continuation of BHP Billiton’s strategy of investing in large, low cost, expandable mines with long lives. Additional expansion projects are being advanced to follow this investment in due course,” he said.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha