BHP asks for extension of mine expansion agreement

Mining giant BHP Billiton has sought an extension to the indenture agreement to cover the $30 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam mine that had been shelved.

South Australian mineral resources and energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said he met the company officials yesterday who handed over a letter requesting an extension to the 15 December deadline for approval of the expansion.

The company is seeking an extension to 10 October 2016.

"I won't be making any public comments about whether we will accept that request or not other than to say I will be carefully considering it," Koutsantonis told reporters.

"Obviously what the request means is that BHP are serious about staying in South Australia developing that asset and that mine.

"What they are debating is how they will do that, what it will cost to do that."