BHP to delay massive Aussie expansions

BHP Billiton has hinted it'll slow down development of its $20 billion Outer Harbour Development at Port Hedland, and analysts have also tipped delays at Olympic Dam.

The West Australian reports BHP CEO Marius Kloppers said the WA economy was already "pretty hot" and stretching it further was "not what [BHP] want to do".

Kloppers also said slowing commodities prices meant BHP was now looking at expanding at a slower, more even pace.

"You're probably more likely to see an outcome where you're trying to level-peg your activity over a longer period of time rather than doing lumpy things," he said.

The Australian reports analysts at JPMorgan have tipped a go-ahead for BHP's $20 billion Olympic Dam project to be three or four years away.

In a report yesterday JPMorgan also said "Olympic Dam may not happen".

Last week South Australian mineral resources Minister Tom Koutsantonis said under current contracts BHP needed to commit to Olympic Dam before the end of the year, but he may grant an extension on the timeframe under the right conditions.

"I will not grant BHP an extension just because they may want one," he said.

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