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BHP puts Olympic Dam on ice

In a sign of faltering Chinese industrial demand, BHP Billiton said it was delaying the planned $20bn (£12.7bn) expansion of the Olympic Dam copper/uranium site in South Australia. The announcement was made in tandem with the Anglo-Australian mining group's full-year results, which featured a 25 per cent slide in operating profits to $23.7bn and post-tax earnings a third lower than last year. The group's share price hardly stirred, suggesting that the downbeat news had already been priced in, or perhaps that an accompanying 11 per cent hike in the full-year dividend to $1.12 a share was enough to placate investors.

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By Mark Robinson,
23 August 2012

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