BHP unveils huge profit but says it wont affect Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton has announced a record profit as it rises on the back of high iron ore prices with a net profit of US$23.6 billion, nearly doubling from the previous years $12.7 billion profit.

Despite the huge profit, the company says rising labour and raw materials costs made them cautious about the short term outlook.

"We expect robust demand in the short and medium term, supported by commodities intensive emerging economic growth," the company said in a statement.

"In the current environment, tight labour and raw materials markets are presenting a challenge for all operators, and BHP Billiton is not immune from that trend."

Olympic Dam unaffected 

Despite calls from the Greens an unions, the SA govt said the announcment would not affect Olympic Dam expansion negotiations.

The Greens speak with a forked tongue on this. I don’t believe that the Greens support uranium mining, they certainly haven’t in the past, SA Mineral Resources Development Minister Tom Koutsantonis  told the ABC.

"I think that [in] the best long-term interest of this state, we negotiate the indenture calmly, quietly, behind the scenes.

"Once we’ve finished negotiating it we’ll debate it in the Parliament for all to see."

Unions were also critial of the record profit, saying BHP should be putting more money into the local area.

"We just keep rolling over like bloody dead dogs all the time instead of standing up and having a bloody red hot go at these companies," he said.

"Jason Kuchel from the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy says the company’s huge profit will benefit the state.

"The Olympic Dam project is a multi-billion-dollar project and of course requires a company that’s making good profits to be able to afford to invest that back into South Australia," Martin O’Malley from the mining union said.

"We just keep rolling over like bloody dead dogs all the time instead of standing up and having a bloody red hot go at these companies," he said.

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