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BHP Completes Heap Leach Technology Trial For Olympic Dam

Metal News - Published on Tue, 25 Jun 2019

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BHP has successfully completed its heap leach research and development trial in South Australia, confirming the viability of the technology to extract copper, uranium, gold and silver at Olympic Dam. The program began in 2012 and was conducted at a purpose-built, small-scale heap leach facility at Wingfield run by Bureau Veritas, under direction from BHP and with support from the South Australian Government.

BHP’s General Manager of Olympic Dam’s surface processing, Ms Chris Barnesby, made the announcement at the Copper to the World conference in Adelaide. She said that “The promising results from this trial supports our positive outlook for Olympic Dam, given forecast demand increases for copper and the optionality we are building for this world-scale resource.”

She added that “We safely and successfully produced 19 tonnes of good quality copper, most of which went back into the smelter and off to customers, though we kept a little to ourselves to commemorate the achievement. Whether we deploy heap leach at Olympic Dam is a matter for future consideration, as there are many factors involved including passing through our Capital Allocation Framework.”

She added that “As it stands today, we have confirmed the viability of a technology with the potential to join our suite of growth options. However, our immediate focus is on operating safely and reliably, and setting a foundation to unlock more value for BHP and for South Australia over the long term.”

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Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Tue, 25 Jun 2019
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