Olympic Dam mine expansion end of year deadline could be doubtful

In not even two weeks the sentiment in the South Australian Government has changed from

BHP likely to meet Olympic Dam deadline: Weatherill – 18 May 12

to

SA warns BHP over Olympic Dam approval – 29 May 12

I note the SA Mines minister speaking tough about not bluffing – but I wonder if a more cooperative and quiet relationship between Govt and BHP is needed at this time of global financial uncertainty and turmoil.

The Olympic Dam mine expansion could make South Australia into a minerals superstate. Deadlines set with the best of intentions in 2011 should not get in the way of BHP and SA getting this thing up when the time is right.

Does the SA Labor Govt have to emulate Canberra Labor ?

6 comments to Olympic Dam mine expansion end of year deadline could be doubtful

  • cementafriend

    There have been a few changes which could affect the project during the feasibility study.
    1/ the carbon tax 2/ the attack on large mining companies 3/ the mining royalties tax 4/ minister Albersleezy’s(?) move on shipping 5/ unions’ push on BHP coal mines 6/ the Fair Work act in general 7/ the outcry about skilled labour imports for construction 8/ the handing over of the Lake Eyre area to aborigines (royalties on bore water which supplies Olympic dam) 9/ giant squids off Port Augusta 10/ uncertainty about State and Federal government directions 11/ uncertainty about global economics
    It is likely that BHP will wait to finalise decisions until after the SA state elections and the Federal elections to get more certainty of future direction.

  • Graeme Inkster

    cementafriend:
    I think 9/ should read cuttlefish.
    Sepia apama, also known as the Australian giant cuttlefish, is the world’s largest cuttlefish species, growing to 50 cm in mantle length and over 10.5 kg (23 lb) in weight.[1] Using cells known as chromatophores, the cuttlefish can put on spectacular displays, changing colour in an instant. S. apama is native to the southern coast of Australia, from Brisbane in QUEENSLAND to Shark Bay in WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

    Discovered by divers in the late 1990s, the upper Spencer Gulf population is the world’s only known mass cuttlefish spawning aggregation and the Sepia apama congregate around Point Lowly near Whyalla between MAY and AUGUST. 50% of the grounds being closed to commercial fishing in 1998. In 2005 the closure was expanded to the entire spawning grounds.[3]

    In 2011 the cuttlefish failed to return to breed. ecologist Bronwyn Gillanders believes the cuttlefish to be in danger, stating that it is hard to determine whether this a natural phenomenon or something else and that the cause requires more research. But that hasn’t stopped the predictable outcries about “overfishing” and “climate change”.

  • cementafriend

    Yes, Graeme my knowledge is a bit defective. I mentioned the cuttlefish because of suggestions to have a desalination plant at Port Augusta to replace or augment the bore water. The greens want the Olympic dam mine closed because it recovers uranium ore. They will do anything to stop the mine expanding.

  • Graeme Inkster

    cementafriend;

    Agreed as to their intentions, but even the greenies could hardly blame the poor turnout for mating in 2011 on a desalination plant yet to be built. Or do I rate their intelligence too highly?

    What I found interesting was the claim that a species found half way around the australian coast was IN DANGER because only 10% of the usual numbers turned up at ONE SPOT in ONE YEAR!
    Should the usual numbers turn up this year it would take a lot of explaining, if data contradicting AGW ever made it onto the ABC etc.

  • WSH

    I see this news item re BHP freezing all project approvals for six months.
    BHP Billiton freezes major project approvals
    Coming the morning after the PM on steroids trying to appear tough talking at the mining industry – see post on 31st May above.
    How she thinks the national interest is being served by what she says – I can not fathom.

  • WSH

    I see over at Business Spectator an article – Alarm bells sound on Rinehart’s hill by Robert Gottliebsen. Towards the end he quotes the SA Mines Minister Tom Koutsantonis saying “….that if BHP does not go ahead at the end of this year the deposit will be taken off it.”
    I have heard some crazy things in my time but – TAKEN OFF IT – takes the cake.
    If anybody has a URL to an accurate quote of this – please add it to comments.

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