Weekly Reports | Sep 12 2017
By Greg Peel
Australia’s largest diversified miner, BHP Billiton ((BHP)), announced last week the first ore had been extracted from the company’s high-grade underground expansion into the Southern Mining Area of the Olympic Dam site, and the first copper cathode had been produced from its heap leach R&D trials.
Heap leach ore processing is a low-cost option being assessed for Olympic Dam to extract copper, gold, silver and uranium to support BHP’s future growth plans.
While the suggestion is occasionally made, the Australian government has no intention of considering the construction of a nuclear power plant despite the ready availability of uranium in the country, and despite the fact Australia’s legacy coal-fired generators are one by one reaching the ends of their working lives. The government would rather continue to pursue coal-fired options.