BHP Billiton confirmed that the Svedala mill, part of its Olympic Dam surface processing operations in South Australia, has safely resumed operation ahead of schedule. In January, the mill suffered an electrical failure and was safely placed in the maintenance position. A complete diagnostic review was undertaken and revealed damage to the motor stator coil.

Subsequently, a repair and remediation plan was implemented and this week the mill has re-commenced operation, having passed all commissioning checks. The mill’s operations will be ramped up over the coming weeks and a return to full production at Olympic Dam is expected by the end of July. As previously advised, BHP Billiton estimated there will be a reduction in copper production of between 60,000 and 70,000 metric tons (mt).

Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill congratulated the team who worked on the Svedala stator repair project. “This week we reached the final milestone in the repair project and it is with sincere gratitude that I offer my thanks to the team and each and every employee at Olympic Dam who continue to contribute to our success,” McGill said. “The project has been a fantastic example of what Olympic Dam can achieve when we all work together.”