Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Expansion of Olympic Damn uranium mining is not yet certain

it is a lengthy process as BHP lines up all the necessary government approvals before taking the project to its board next year.

South Australia digs deep to take part in mining boom Telegraph UK 28 Sept 11, Deep in the South Australian outback, change is in the air. Quite literally in fact, since the plans under way to develop the Olympic Dam mine will create a site so vast that it is expected to affect local weather patterns.

Negotiations are now in advanced stages to give BHP Billiton the go–ahead to turn its existing operation some 560km (350 miles) north of Adelaide into the world’s biggest open cast mine.

The plans mark the “Apollo programme of mining ventures”, in the words of Tom Koutsantonis, South Australia’s mining minister, who, unsurprisingly, describes his resource–rich state as “unashamedly” pro the mining industry.

Nonetheless, it is a lengthy process as BHP lines up all the necessary government approvals before taking the project to its board next year.

Then, when the expansion finally starts, the company is expected to drill 24 hours a day for seven years to reach the ore body itself. The miner has not offered any figures on the costs, but analysts’ estimates are well into tens of billions of dollars.

The plans demand a raft of new infrastructure, including a village for the army of workers, a massive coastal desalination plant, more than 100km of railway and a ramped–up airport able to handle a standard commercial passenger plane, such as the Boeing 737–800. There is also a chance a gas–fired power station will be needed…

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September 30, 2011 - Posted by | Olympic Dam, South Australia, uranium | ,

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