$30 billion Olympic Dam expansion approved

South Australia is preparing to ride the next wave of the nation’s mining boom. As the state gears up to meet infrastructure demands, environmental strategies including the use of eco-friendly industrial products remain critical.

A $30 billion expansion of BHP’s Olympic Dam uranium mine near Roxby Downs is the centerpiece of new mining and energy projects earmarked for South Australia.

Preparations are taking place ahead of the projected boom including:

  • Government and industry working to meet demands for improved infrastructure including upgraded highways and airport terminals;
  • Environmental impact statements being developed and implemented. As a heavy polluter, the mining industry has been required to embrace green revolution strategies ranging from alternate fuel sources and sustainable waste management to the use of environmental cleaning products;
  • Regional towns and cities being promoted as fly-in,-fly-out or drive-in, drive-out bases for the mining workforce;
  • Water requirements being investigated. As the nation’s driest state, SA’s water resources are scarce. Mining projects will be required to use eco-friendly liquid products to reduce the risk of water contamination.

Glue Remover, Industrial Hand CleanerThe South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy has warned the mining boom will only be realised if infrastructure can match demand.

“If the Government’s not prepared to take some sort of a stake in key infrastructure – not everything, just some key ones – then I think half of the potential jobs out there associated with the infrastructure and mining could be either not realised at all or put off for several decades,” SACME chief executive Jason Kuchel warned.

The 2011 Resources and Energy Infrastructure Demand report has predicted SA’s gas use will increase 20-fold by 2014 and power and water use will quadruple. Pressure on its airport and road system will be intense.

“It’s very clear the Government is going to have to take a greater role than just purely relying on the private sector to provide infrastructure,” Mr Kuchel said.

“In many areas the government can be justified about putting in dollars, especially where those dollars would be less than the royalties that they would otherwise not see had they not made the investment.”

The Olympic Dam expansion is predicted to create an estimated 6000 jobs during its construction phase and bring in taxes and royalties.

Its approval late last year was subject to 150 conditions aimed at ensuring environmental issues were addressed.

Environmentally friendly liquids including eco-friendly industrial cleaners reduce the threat of water and soil pollution from spills and contaminated wastewater.

Leading Perth-based environmental cleaning products supplier Envirosafe Solutions has a range of biodegradable products including hand wash, mineral deposit remover, dust suppressor, solvent-free degreaser and low-phosphate laundry powders.

While SA prepares for the economic benefits of the predicted mining boom the need for sound environmental practices has never been more critical. For more information on eco-friendly liquid products contact Envirosafe Solutions’ on 1300 88 90 70 or email info@evss.com.au.