A new letter from BHP Billiton to the minister for mineral resources and energy, Tom Kotsantonis, has requested an extension for the Olympic Dam expansion approval.
Speaking after a meeting with BHP today, “very careful consideration” will be given to the request and the reasons for seeking an extension to the original date of 15 December 2012, said Mr Koutsantonis.
“This careful consideration will include our own due diligence into the changes now being suggested by BHP Billiton as a lower-cost alternative to the proposed expansion comprehensively set out in the company's EIS," he said.
The $30 billion was previously shelved by BHP, who are now requesting an extension until 2016.
CEO of Positive Real Estate, Sam Saggers, told Smart Property Investment that he feels "certain" BHP will develop it "one day" due to the mass of resources at the site.
"As for the investors who got [have already bought into this] market that still has an average property value around $230,000 – they will be happy if they are prepared to wait. Unlike other uncertain mining towns at least the base value of real estate in Whyalla is low, so investors who have bought there have bought low priced properties - by mining market standards.
"The lesson is, when you shop at the bottom of the value pool, it's a lot harder to lose money than the top of the pool," Mr Saggers said.
Patience, he explained, is what is required when investing in Whyalla.
"The market is soft and, unlike the Gladstones of the mining boom, it is not a capital growth market.
"The strategy for this market is definitely “buy well” and make your money buying. Get a discount off the asking price of up to 10 per cent and recycle your equity - then be ready to wait for the growth."
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