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Roxby Downs, South Australia

Roxby Downs may not be famous, but the mine it was built to service certainly is. Ask any Australian to name a mine and you’ll usually get one of two answers: If they’re from WA they’ll tell you “the Superpit”. If they’re from anywhere else, they’re likely to say “Olympic Dam”.

The town was purpose built in the late 80s to service Olympic Dam and is now home to about 4500 people. Another 1000 or so work at the mine, but work fly-in fly-out (FIFO). Most FIFO workers will come from Adelaide, 570km to the south.

Olympic Dam contains a massive iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposit producing copper, uranium, gold and silver.

Roxby Downs is controlled by BHP Billion, the company that owns the mine. But there is an incredibly active local community. They have a great website, jam-packed with information, if you fancy checking it out. The town has a lot of facilities, especially for families and young people - about 38 per cent of the population is younger than 15.

While the town might look on the map like it is a long way from anywhere, BHP Billiton has gone out of its way to make sure the people who live at Roxby Downs don’t feel isolated. It has the highest number of broadband connections in South Australia, good schools, and you can buy all the essentials at the local shops (they have a Woolworths, as well as specialty stores). It’s also a town without traffic lights.

Visit our Life in Australia section for guides to more Key Industry Locations.

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