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By Rhiannon Hoyle
SYDNEY--Plans to expand BHP Group Ltd.'s (BHP.AU) Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in South Australia have been granted major project status by the state government.
BHP has spent years developing plans to increase annual production at the mine as high as 350,000 metric tons, from about 200,000 tons now, and intends to seek board approval for an expansion project in mid-to-late 2020.
The declaration of major-project status helps to streamline planning applications to the government. It is "an important step" towards lifting BHP's Australian copper production, the miner said.
Olympic Dam is a key part of BHP's strategy to grow its output of copper, an industrial metal forecast to be in short supply in coming years, tacking away from commodities such as iron ore in which it has already expanded heavily. It is the world's biggest deposit of uranium and one of the biggest known sources of copper and gold.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 14, 2019 01:12 ET (06:12 GMT)
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