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No change yet to Olympic Dam mine plans: Weatherill
07/08/2012 - South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says he still can't see any justification for granting BHP Billiton an extension to the agreement to expand the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine.
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The company has until the end of the year to give the $30 billion expansion the final go-ahead or face the need to renegotiate approvals with the state government.
There is growing concern global economic conditions will force it to put its Olympic Dam plans on hold.
"Right at the moment there is a lot of speculation about the future of BHP," Weatherill told ABC Radio on Monday.
"But one of the commitments the company has given us is that before they're in a position to take any decisions that materially change, they'll communicate that to both the government and the opposition — and they haven't done that yet.
"So, on that basis, we expect that they will make their decision before the end of the year."
Weatherill said the deadline was an intelligent thing to put in the indenture agreement and while the deal provided provision for an extension, he couldn't see any basis to change the current arrangements.
The Olympic Dam expansion would create the world's largest open cut mine with annual copper production tripling to 750,000 tonnes and uranium oxide production rising to 19,000 tonnes.
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