Major mining discovery in SA’s north
Australian mining giant BHP may have found a major new mineral deposit - which includes copper, iron and gold - near its Olympic Dam mine in South Australia's north.
The potential find, located about 65km southeast of its Olympic Dam uranium, copper and gold mine, was announced on Tuesday morning.
However, the company said the exploration project was at an early stage and there was "currently insufficient geological information to assess the size and quantity" of the discovery.
It may be a boon for one of the world's most valuable companies - with copper heavily used in everyday products including smartphones, electrical wiring and electric vehicles.
The Stuart Shelf in South Australia has been one of the main focuses of BHP's exploration program, which has particularly targeted the mineral as well as oil.
Other areas of exploration include Ecuador, Canada, Peru, Chile and the south west of the United States.
Earlier this year, BHP marked 30 years of mining at Olympic Dam and celebrated the community created around one of the world's great mineral deposits.
The mine currently employs about 3500 people in South Australia and aims to lift its annual production to up to 330,000 tonnes in the mid-2020s, with scope to increase to 450,000 tonnes over the longer term.