This week, BHP announced it had started operations on its multi-million dollar crane, which took nearly five years to build.
The 95-ton crane lifts copper anodes at 360 kologranm into the electrolysis cells of the 768 refineries to extract purified copper.
It is an important infrastructure, the engineering of which only began in 2016 before being built two years later. This was part of the underground mine and manufacturing facility upgrade.
The crane can lift 20 tons at a time and uses automatic laser positioning to feed anodes into the refinery at a speed of three meters per second.
Jennifer, president of BHP Olympic Dam, said the crane’s commissioning is evidence of BHP’s commitment to long-term production from the mine.
“The new refinery crane will improve the operational stability and reliability of our refinery, making us safer, more efficient and supporting higher production volumes over the long term,” said Purdie.
“Olympic Dam’s copper cathode is in demand for its quality and purity and is increasingly in demand as an essential product for global decarbonization.”
In the latest quarterly study, BHP found that Olympic Dam’s production had increased nearly 25% to 150,000 tons of copper in the nine months ended March 31.
The company expects the mine to produce around 205,000 tons of copper in the 2021 financial year.
Operation of the giant crane is expected to increase production this final quarter.
BHP is expected to undertake major maintenance and shutdown the mine smelter in the next quarter.
The maintenance project will be a $ 500 million operation that will impact future copper production starting in August.
A few months ago, BHP announced that it would not advance the planned expansion of the copper mine on the fallow land by 2.5 billion US dollars.