BHP to begin repairs at Olympic Dam, contractor numbers to shrink

The damaged shaft at Olympic Dam forces BHP to move its maintenance forward

BHP has stated that repairs on its haulage shaft will begin in Mid November.

It currently has a damaged haulage system in its Clarke shaft, which is responsible for approximately 75% of the mine’s output.

This has forced BHP to push forward its maintenance date from 2010 to November 16th, and will now run through until mid January 2010.

This will encompass major maintenance work, including a smelter reline

While repairs have begun on the damaged haulage system, temporary equipment that will allow for repair of the shaft will not be in place until November 18th.

To date, the haulage system’s winder has been removed.

The temporary closure of the shaft will also impact the contractor numbers. However, BHP has stated that this will be offset by new contractors coming on-site for the maintenance of the smelter.

Ore production is still continuing via the secondary Whenan shaft, which is expected to produce around 25% of projected output.

BHP expects to achieve full production by no later than March 2010.

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