BHP Billiton Olympic Dam mine expansion in South Australia has received a go ahead from Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke on 10th October 2011. This will create the world's largest open pit mine, over 1km deep, 4.5km long and 3km wide. The export of uranium is expected to increase from an average of 4,000 tonnes per year to 19,000 tonnes per year, and the production of copper, gold and silver also expected to increase. Olympic Dam already consumes an inordinate amount of ground water extracted from the Great Artesian Basin every day - for free. The mine expansion will entail BHP Billiton expanding groundwater extraction and building a 280 megalitres-a-day desalination plant at Point Lowly, northeast of Whyalla on Spencer's Gulf which will impact the only known breeding ground of the giant Australian cuttlefish, prawn fisheries and the sensitive marine environment.
Save Point Lowly | Save the Great Artesian Basin |
Events: National Day of Action against BHP Billiton - Thursday, October 20 - Melbourne Facebook page or Adelaide Facebook page | BHP Billitons Annual General Meeting at the Melbourne convention centre on November the 17th at 10:30am.