BHP Group is on the verge of finalising talks with the South Australian government for a multibillion-dollar desalination plant in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

The aim is to boost copper production by 55%, targeting over 500,000 tonnes annually in its South Australian copper division.

The company is exploring new smelting technology for potential capacity increases.

BHP plans to invest in a desalination plant near Port Augusta to address water challenges, with an investment decision on a smelter upgrade expected by 2026.