BHP maps out priorities in quest for ‘future-facing’ commodities – by Nick Toscano (Brisbane Times – August 31, 2020)

The head of Australian mining giant BHP says new plans to boost exposure to the “future-facing” commodities nickel and copper will focus first on exploring for new deposits and finding ways to extract more from existing assets, rather than looking for acquisitions.

As BHP embarks on a clean-up of its portfolio by seeking to sell several coal mines, quit thermal coal and exit the Bass Strait oil and gas fields, it has also laid out plans to lift exposure to commodities that chief executive Mike Henry believes will be increasingly required to meet the world’s evolving needs, such as the manufacture of clean energy technologies.

Asked whether BHP would seek acquisitions to secure more options in commodities like nickel, copper and potash, Mr Henry said “maybe”, but only if the right opportunities presented.

“It has to be really attractive assets in the places that we like and for an attractive price, and those factors don’t line up that frequently,” he said. “So we don’t have a strategy that is reliant on acquisitions, rather, our first focus is going to be securing more options through innovation.”

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