BHP grows Olympic Dam workforce as operations ramp up

Olympic Dam. Credit: BHP

BHP is continuing a recruitment drive for the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia as it ramps up the operations to full capacity in the current quarter.

The diversified miner launched an investment of more than $350 million on a smelter upgrade project at Olympic Dam last August. The maintenance and upgrade of the surface operations was the largest planned shutdown project ever undertaken at the mine.

Smelting operations resumed late last year, BHP reported, with the first anode cast from the flash furnace in December. Operations will continue to ramp up to full capacity in the March 2018 quarter, the company added.

BHP has also undertaken major upgrade works on the refinery, concentrator, other key infrastructure and site technology at Olympic Dam.

The project spanned more than 100 days and created 3100 short-term jobs, according to BHP. The company plans to continue to grow its Olympic Dam workforce to support the development and delivery of key projects.

In November 2017, the company announced the creation of 120 new jobs in trucking, operations and engineering, in addition to the asset’s rolling requirement of 250 roles at any one time.

BHP has filled 20 of the 120 positions to this point. It held job assessment centres in South Australia last week for a further 30 roles, with the remainder to be recruited over the coming months.

Olympic Dam asset president Jacqui McGill described the mine as a multi-generational resource that continued to make a significant contribution to the South Australian economy.

“BHP is one of South Australia’s largest employers, and we continue to invest in Olympic Dam to support our sustainable growth plans,” McGill said.

“Through this latest project and other ongoing works, we are increasing the global competitiveness of Olympic Dam through continuous improvements to our infrastructure, technology and processes.”

This year marks 30 years of operations at Olympic Dam, which is around 600km from Adelaide and produces copper, uranium, gold and silver. The site has an overall workforce of 3500 people.