BHP is pouring $600 million into its Olympic Dam operations in South Australia.

Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill says 49 projects worth more than $600 million are now underway.

“This represents the most significant investment we've ever made in our South Australian operations,” Ms McGill said at a business lunch on Friday.

“These investments, in our underground infrastructure and above ground processing operations, will help us build the foundations for long-term, safe, stable and sustainable growth at Olympic Dam.

“The investment will ensure the operation is more modern, reliable and can support processing of additional tonnes in coming financial years.”

The company has begun recruiting for its South Australian operations, aiming to establish a diverse workforce that is more representative of the local community.

This includes a 20 per cent increase in the number of women over the past 12 months, Ms McGill said.

Olympic Dam - one of the largest copper and uranium deposits in the world – will see about $350 million spent on an infrastructure program over the next two years.

Other funds will go to underground development at the northern mine area and expansion of the high-grade southern area.