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5 November 1988 Olympic Dam

5 November 1988      Olympic Dam

The Premier, John Bannon, officially opened the Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs on 5 November 1988. The Western Mining Company discovered the mineral deposit, which contains copper, gold, silver and uranium oxide, in 1973 and the total resource is estimated at 2000 million tonnes, one of the largest metallic mineral occurrences discovered in modern times. The presence of uranium brought protests from some areas of the community but the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act was passed on 21 June 1982 and the final decision to proceed with the project was made in 1985. Construction work on the plant and the new township which is built on the red soil of the desert some 13 kms away and 600 kms north of Adelaide was begun in 1986. The mine which has about 30 kms of underground tunnels has the capacity to produce annually 45,000 tonnes of copper cathode, 1900 tonnes uranium oxide, 27,000 ounces gold and 555,000 ounces silver. There is a grinding and flotation mill, hydro- metallurgical plant and a copper smelter and refinery to treat the ore.

Advertiser, 5 November 1988, pp.20-4.

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