BHP dumps plans to buy exploration land

BHP Billiton has dropped plans to buy a swathe of exploration land around the Olympic Dam project off junior miner Tasman Resources.

In a tight lipped statement yesterday Tasman said the sale had been terminated but offered no reason for the change of plans.

Earlier this year BHP made a number of deals to pick up exploration tenements around Olympic Dam amid rumours it was searching for "dominant control" of the region.

At the time BHP said some of the tenements were untested and "believed to be deep and relatively high risk".

The company's plan to axe the contracts represents another move to cut costs and risk amid falling commodity prices.

Last month BHP cancelled its $US20 billion Olympic Dam expansion, blaming weak commodity prices and spiraling costs.

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