BHP has launched its first Technology and Innovation award, with Henry Muller taking it out.
According to BHP “the CTO Award recognises outstanding contribution in the field of technology and innovation”.
Muller was recognised for his work in the 1980s that made Olympic Dam a more commercially viable operation, allowing it to extract four major products from the polymetallic deposit.
“Mr Muller, a former employee, developed a single process flow sheet to mine and process one of the largest, most complex mineral deposits in the world,” BHP said.
BHP chief technology officer Diane Jurgens added, “Mr Muller’s process proved that economic benefit could be derived from Olympic Dam and other similar deposit styles.”
“The process flow sheet he created had never been done before. It was a creative and unique application of metallurgical technologies and allowed the Company to produce all four products at the one mine site,
“This is an example of how technology can create value by unlocking resources and lowering costs.
“Importantly, Mr Muller’s work opened up opportunities for mining of other similar complex ore bodies.”
Olympic Dam is one of the pillars of BHP’s asset portfolio, and was the first discovery of an iron oxide copper gold uranium orebody, and is the largest uranium, 5th largest copper, and third largest single gold deposit in the world.
The mine has recently undergone a spate of development as it seeks to tap its massive, newly discovered Southern Mine Area, which increased its resource by 70 per cent almost overnight.