Aug. 29, 2012
India's Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Corp. has dropped plans to build an ammonium nitrate plant in South Australia that would have supplied explosives for the mining industry, citing among its reasons BHP Billiton Ltd.'s (>> BHP Billiton Limited) plans to delay the expansion of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine, the state's manufacturing and trade minister said Wednesday.
"While the decision not to proceed with this proposed plant at Port Bonython is disappointing, we will continue to work with Deepak to explore other financially feasible options," Tom Koutsantonis said, adding the company had said it will continue to explore options for a possible plant in the state.
The decision by Deepak follows an initial feasibility study for a 310 hectare site, which uncovered barriers including the substantial cost of rehabilitating a former military testing ground, extending power and gas supplies to the area, the distance from the Port Bonython jetty and other spending needed to prepare the site for construction, Mr. Koutsantonis said.
"Deepak Fertiliser's major concerns are site specific," he said, adding the delay to an expansion of the Olympic Dam mine had also been mentioned in the Indian company's decision not to proceed with its plant.
BHP Billiton last week shelved its plans for Olympic Dam in the face of a jump in construction costs and a slump in commodity prices, and said it would look at less costly options that ensured a strong return on the investment. It doesn't plan to approve any new major project until at least mid-2013.