BHP’s Olympic Dam smelter will be enhanced through a A$350 million investment in the operations, which produce copper products for global markets.
Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said the smelter maintenance campaign was the largest planned shutdown by BHP in the South Australia.
“There will be 1,300 contractors at Olympic Dam during the peak of construction as teams work around the clock to dismantle, rebuild and upgrade integral components of the facility,” McGill said. “Work is under way on-site with teams preparing to dismantle old infrastructure and starting to take delivery of more than 350 material loads to support the project.”
The shutdown across the surface operations will start in August with the maintenance campaign running for more than 100 days total, McGill said.
“As always, the safety of our people and our contractors is paramount as we focus on this demanding and complex project, which will help underpin stability and growth at Olympic Dam for many years to come,” she added.
The smelter campaign involves combined investment in the following three key areas to ensure the ongoing integrity of critical infrastructure and to continue to deliver safe and reliable performance: rebuilding key elements of the smelter flash furnace; demolishing and building a new electric slag furnace; and removing and replacing the five-story high electro static precipitator.
Olympic Dam is also using the planned downtime to undertake further refinery asset maintenance.