BHP Billiton Ltd has recently sought the government's approval to expand its iron ore areas in the Pilgabra region, a move that could give it more access to Australia's copper and other mineral reserves for the long term.
Global miner BHP Billiton has imposed office rules among employees to maintain high standards
In a report by The Australian, BHP Billiton Ltd. said it has filed with the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia an environmental review over its iron ore expansion plans in the Pilbara.
The global miner further pointed out it is studying a number of possibilities, including launching new operational ore bodies at its prevailing sites as well as building new mines. All these, it said, meant to aid production to jump more than double the current capacity to 350 million tonnes a year by 2020, and furthering it to 450 million tonnes annually.
Such aggressive actions run contradictory to a May 2012 pronouncement when Jacques Nasser, BHP Billiton Ltd.'s very own chairman, declared the company will suspend spending the $80 billion it had earlier planned to invest on new mining projects by 2015, pointing to the dismal prices of commodities prevailing in the world markets today as major motive.
The $80 billion suspended spending likewise disputes the global miner's recent amassing of several prospecting licenses from small operators in South Australia, where the highly resource-rich Olympic Dam deposit is located.
The resource hoarding, according to analysts, is but part of a strategy to prevent rival miners to step into the Olympic Dam deposit as BHP Billiton Ltd. buys time to gather enough capital investment to pursue its myriad expansion development plans.
The Federal and South Australian governments gave BHP Billiton Ltd. in October 2011 the environmental approval to proceed with its plan to expand and develop the Olympic Dam mine which is seen to yield copper and uranium oxide production by more than quadruple to about 750,000 tonnes and about 19,000 tonnes, respectively, every year.
Based on that dated approval, BHP Billiton Ltd.'s board of directors was expected to make a final decision early on 2012 if it will push through with its expansion plans of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine project.
But this has been moved to mid-December 2012.
Tom Koutsantonis, minister of mining of South Australia, has laid down in May that he will grant BHP Billiton Ltd.an extension unless some evidence of construction work has been made by year end on the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine project.
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