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Cuttlefish gets a Boost From Olympic Dam Delay

23 August 2012

AUSTRALIA - The shelving of BHP Billiton's A$30 billion Olympic Dam mine expansion in South Australia has caused disappointment for some, but for others it's brought relief.

BHP Billiton had proposed to construct a desalination plant and a barge passageway and landing facility within the waterways of the Upper Spencer Gulf, a narrow inlet of water that runs more than 300 kilometres from the coast of South Australia through to Port Augusta, reports ABCRural.

The two projects were hugely controversial, especially the desalination plant, with concerns it would raise the gulf's salinity levels and disturb the breeding patterns of a unique population of the giant Australian cuttlefish.

Port Augusta fishing tackle shop owner Robin Sharp says it's good news for the health of the Upper Spencer Gulf.

"From an environmental perspective I think there'll be some people rejoicing the fact that the expansion is not going ahead, especially those who were opposed to the desalination plant and the landing facility at the top of the gulf would also be pretty happy," he said.

"The Upper Spencer Gulf won't have to suffer the punishment that could've been inflicted on it by a major mining company."

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