On 28 January 2015 the Svedala mill, part of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam surface processing operations in South Australia, suffered an electrical failure and was safely placed in the maintenance position.
A complete diagnostic review was undertaken and revealed damage to the motor stator coil. The repair and remediation plan is being developed and the Company can confirm the mill will be out of service for approximately six months.
BHP Billiton plans to use this period to bring forward some of the maintenance activities and preparatory work required to support the underground extension of the Southern Mine Area.
The Svedala mill is the largest of three mills onsite. The two smaller grinding mills at Olympic Dam will continue to operate at full capacity. However, as a result of the suspension of the primary mill other processing activities on site will be scaled back.
Based on current information, BHP Billiton estimates a reduction in copper production of between 60 and 70kt with the majority of the loss anticipated this financial year.
A return to full production is anticipated by the end of the September 2015 quarter. Any subsequent updates to production guidance as a result of the mill outage will be communicated in forthcoming financial reporting and quarterly operational reviews.
For more information, please see the News Release.