More uncertainty on BHP expansions

Deutsche Bank has joined a chorus of analysts calling on BHP Billiton to push back plans for its massive outer harbour development at Port Hedland.

In an investor note yesterday Deutsche Bank said the outer harbour had "questionable affordability" and BHP would be wise to shelve the project.

The call follows news BHP's head of iron ore Jimmy Wilson has told staff to prepare for possible "extended project development timelines".

Some analysts have also predicted Australia's mining companies will "hurt considerably" as demand from China slows.

So far BHP has made no official announcement on the future of the outer harbour but initial work on the project has continued at Port Hedland since earlier this year.

The company is expected to update the market about its expansion plans when it releases results next week.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.