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BHP expects to more than double Olympic Dam copper output with new technology

BHP Billiton Group expects annual output from its Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia to more than double on the back of using heap leach technology, which is being tested in a pilot plant, The Australian Financial Review reported Aug. 4.

The annual production from the mine is expected to reach 450,000 tonnes on the back of the new technology, according to the asset president at Olympic Dam, Jacqui McGill.

The diversified miner recently announced a A$350 million investment at Olympic Dam to upgrade the smelter operations.

McGill noted that total capital expenditure at the copper mine is expected at A$600 million in 2017 through 2018, with 20% of the funds slated for underground expansion of Olympic Dam's Southern Mine Area.

The company also intends to conduct underground development of the current northern mine area footprint.