|7/30/2014 by mdc|
|Mining giant BHP Billiton is unlikely to approve a long awaited expansion of its Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia outback this decade. This news comes as the biggest miner disclosed plans to build a pilot processing plant at the mine and conduct a four-year long trial of a processing method BHP hopes will help make the project profitable.|
The miner, which put the US 33 billion dollar expansion plan on hold two years ago, as a result of falling commodity prices and higher costs, was supposed to begin work at the site last year. Doubts about the lauded project first emerged in early 2012 when BHP told markets of its intention to cut back an 80 billion dollars capex program. A JP Morgan research note out a few weeks later also suggested the Olympic Dam would not go ahead for at least three or four years, if at all.