Mining giant BHP has shelved long-held plans for an expansion of its Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.
There’s a desperation on the part of the SA government and business community, which has put so much false hope in the BHP basket.
Back in 2012, BHP initially shelved the expansion and it was again put on the back burner in 2017.
BHP’s quarterly report said, “We have decided the optimal way forward for now is through targeted de-bottlenecking investments, plant upgrades and modernisation of our infrastructure.”
The expansion project may have created 1800 jobs during construction and 600 ongoing positions in SA.
South Australians need to look elsewhere for jobs..
It was bad timing for the SA Marshall Government, which was flogging its new Mining and Energy strategy on the day of the announcement.
Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan insisted it remained “a terrific day for our energy and mining industries”.
He claimed mining in SA would generate 30,000 jobs by the end of the decade… sure, and Marilyn Monroe sang me ‘happy birthday’.
Currently, the ABS unemployment rate in SA is 7.9 per cent but in real terms it is closer to 17 per cent.
The Olympic Dam expansion project, which BHP said would cost up to $3.5 billion, was proposed in 2017 and was hoped to significantly increase copper production.
In June, Prime Minister Scott Morrison picked the project as one of 15 across the country to be fast-tracked to help support 66,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the Prime Minister had “picked a dud”.
“SA has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country and no jobs plan.” She said.
Instead of “propping up the mining industry”, Ms Hanson-Young said the Prime Minister should be investing public funds in a clean energy-led economic recovery.