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BHP to establish Base Metals office in Adelaide

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BHP Billiton has announced it will establish a Base Metals Australia office in Adelaide to oversee its newly acquired interests in the Olympic Dam copper/uranium mine in South Australia, as well as the Cannington lead/silver/zinc mine in Queensland.

Base Metals president Diego Hernandez announced the appointment of Roger Higgins as vice president and chief operating officer Base Metals Australia.

"Roger is well-equipped to oversee the significantly increased Base Metals portfolio in Australia, having most recently been responsible for the development of our major copper projects in Chile," Mr Hernandez said.

"Roger's management experience across our spread of Base Metals assets will bring a depth and breadth of knowledge to the Olympic Dam team, particularly as WMC completes its feasibility study for the expansion of Olympic Dam and looks to implement an associated exploration program," he said.

Mr Hernandez said that the Base Metals Australia office would be located in BHP Billiton's existing Adelaide offices, which would be expanded in line with plans to provide functional support at the local level.

"We are very pleased to become a significant private sector employer in Adelaide, with control of one of the world's great minerals assets in Olympic Dam," he said.

BHP Billiton's global Base Metals headquarters is in Santiago, Chile.

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