Archive | BHP Billiton

The 100-Day War: An oral history of BHP’s hostile takeover bid of PotashCorp – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 13, 2020)

Ten years after it happened, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix spoke with key players in what was at the time the biggest business story in the world.

It was ten years ago that BHP Billiton tried to buy Saskatchewan’s most iconic company. The Anglo-Australian mining giant’s hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. in the late summer and fall of 2010 was the biggest business story in the world at the time.

Tens of billions of dollars were at stake, not to mention a former Crown corporation at the heart of an industry that has long been considered the backbone of Saskatchewan’s identity, history and economy.

PotashCorp owned five of the nine potash mines then operating in the province, and employed thousands of people. It was also a global success, with operations around the world. And it was not for sale. Continue Reading →

UK court blocks lawsuit against BHP over Brazil dam burst – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 9, 2020)

The High Court of Manchester, northwestern England, blocked on Monday a £5 billion ($6.6bn) lawsuit against BHP over a devastating dam collapse at an iron ore mine in Brazil in 2015, which killed 19 people and became the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history.

The suit, filed last year by 235,000 Brazilian people and groups including indigenous tribes and the Catholic Church, claims the world’s no. 1 miner was “woefully negligent” in the run-up to the Samarco dam failure.

The claimants were seeking compensation for physical and psychological injury, property damage, moving costs, loss of earnings, loss of water supply and lost fishing income. Continue Reading →

BHP takes copper pledge – by Esmaire Iannucci ( – November 2, 2020)

PERTH ( – Major BHP has committed its copper operations in Chile and Australia to the Copper Mark voluntary programme, designed to hold the copper industry accountable to responsible practices in critical areas including environment, community, human rights and governance issues.

The Copper Mark is a credible assurance framework to demonstrate the copper industry’s responsible production practices and contribution to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

“We know that our long-term sustainability credentials are important to our customers and increasingly important to end consumers of copper products, such as buyers of electric vehicles and copper intensive consumer durables,” says BHP group sales and marketing officer Michiel Hovers. Continue Reading →

BHP thinks big on nickel after Musk dangles supply contract – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – October 13, 2020)

BHP fanned speculation that it is closing in on an off-take deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla after moving to boost nickel production while reducing carbon emissions in Western Australia.

Eddy Haegel, the boss of BHP’s reborn Nickel West business, said it would continue to acquire prospective nickel tenements in WA after investing in new and existing mines and boosting processing capacity.

Nickel West has also started commissioning work at its delayed nickel sulphate plant at Kwinana, south of Perth, as it doubles up on the battery metal. Continue Reading →

Resurgent WA nickel attracting battery and car manufacturers (Australian Mining – October 13, 2020)


Battery manufacturers and automakers are increasingly looking to invest in nickel projects to secure supply and the resurgent West Australian sector stands to benefit, according to Mincor Resources managing director David Southam.

Talks between miner BHP and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla over a potential nickel deal were last week reported by Bloomberg.

Both parties declined to comment but it hasn’t stopped the speculation being a key point of discussion at the annual Diggers and Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie. Continue Reading →

Why Rio Tinto and China are at loggerheads (The Economist – October 10, 2020)

China does not like to feel jealous of Japan. But in the case of iron ore it has plenty to envy. Back in the 1960s, when Japan was building up its steel industry, the world’s supply of the stuff was so fragmented that Japan could play off producers in Australia and Brazil against each other.

China, now the world’s biggest steelmaker, does not have that luxury. Though it imports 70% of the world’s iron ore, most of this comes from three companies that in the intervening six decades have become titans.

They are Rio Tinto and BHP, two Anglo-Australian firms, and Vale, a Brazilian one. They have brought about consolidation in the industry. They benefit from high barriers to entry. None is keen to undercut the other two. That puts them in a far stronger position vis à vis Chinese customers than their predecessors were with the Japanese. Continue Reading →

Tesla is in talks with top miner BHP over nickel-supply pact – by Yvonne Yue Li and David Stringer (Bloomberg News – October 6, 2020)

Tesla Inc. is in talks with BHP Group on a nickel deal as the electric-car maker targets higher production and seeks to avoid a supply crunch, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks are held up on pricing, and no final agreement has been reached so far between the automaker and BHP, the world’s largest miner, said one of the people, requesting anonymity because the talks are private.

The discussions come as Tesla works to raise the amount of the metal used in vehicle batteries to improve performance, and as it makes a push into in-house cell production. Continue Reading →

BHP expands nickel search with SensOre – by Vanessa Zhou (Australian Mining – September 22, 2020)


BHP has hired SensOre to target mineral deposits in support of its Nickel West operations in Western Australia. SensOre will apply its data cube and discriminant predictive targeting (DPT) technology on commodity-specific deposits as part of resource exploration with the major miner.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry has often reiterated the company’s intention to develop its growth options, particularly in future-facing commodities such as copper and nickel.

“… In the case of nickel and copper we would like more resource, although another thing that (BHP chief financial officer Peter Beaven) often talks passionately about is the potential for us to unlock more options within the resource that we already have, though a focus on innovation,” he told investors during BHP’s financial year results release in August. Continue Reading →

BHP nears completion of Nickel West plant – by Salomae Haselgrove (Australian Mining – September 16, 2020)


BHP has confirmed that it will open its Nickel West sulphate plant in Western Australia this financial year after the development was delayed.

The delay means the first product from the plant is now expected in the second half of the 2021 financial year, a year behind the original schedule.

The facility that is located at the Kwinana nickel refinery is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per annum during its stage one development. Continue Reading →

BHP says traditional owners free to weigh in on cultural heritage inquiry – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 16, 2020)

Mining giant BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) has told Australian Aboriginal groups to freely speak their mind about the way it manages cultural heritage as the miner readies to appear before a federal inquiry launched following rival Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) destruction of two 46,000-year-old sacred shelters.

Both companies have been criticized for having gag clauses in land agreements preventing traditional owners from publicly objecting to developments.

“BHP has confirmed to traditional owners that it does not regard any term of its agreements with them as preventing them from making public statements about cultural heritage concerns,” it said in the statement. Continue Reading →

BHP’s Road To Reduced Emissions Should Be Electric – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – September 3, 2020)

(Bloomberg Opinion) — As oil companies flesh out plans to cut carbon emissions, their peers in the mining sector risk being left behind.

BHP Group, Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA are already among the world’s largest emitters, thanks to the vast amounts of carbon spewed out turning their key product of iron ore into steel. Among producers with listings on major developed exchanges, only Royal Dutch Shell Plc sits higher than the big three miners in terms of so-called Scope 3 emissions.

(This describes pollution generated when a company’s products are used, such as when gasoline is burned in a car or steel is produced in a mill. It comprises the vast majority of total emissions in the resources sector.(1)) Continue Reading →

BHP CEO eyes pivot to potash, but Nutrien chief warns new mines make ‘no sense’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – August 31, 2020)

Potash is one of the few “future-facing” commodities that BHP Group, one of the world’s largest miners, expects to produce in the future, according to Mike Henry, the chief executive of BHP Group.

Henry said that when the company takes stock of the “megatrends” occurring in the world, such as decarbonization and the electrification of vehicles, it sees potash, a fertilizer salt that enriches crop quality and quantity, as a smart bet.

“I’ve been clear that BHP needs to increase its exposure to future facing commodities and that includes things like copper, nickel and potash,” Henry said in an exclusive interview with the Financial Post. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

BHP to fund Canada’s Midland nickel exploration – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 24, 2020)

Canadian junior Midland Exploration (TSX-V: MD) said on Monday it had struck a new funding deal with a subsidiary of BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) for nickel exploration activities in the northern part of Quebec.

BHP’s unit Rio Algom Limited will fund 100% of Midland’s exploration for the battery metal within the Nunavik territory up to C$1.4 million ($1.06 million), on an annual basis, for a minimum of two years.

The objective, the junior said, is to identify, test and develop high-quality exploration targets towards the discovery of new significant nickel deposits within the targeted area. Continue Reading →

BHP defers decision on Jansen potash mine – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – August 18, 2020)

BHP (ASX, NYSE: BHP), the world’s largest miner, will decide whether to go ahead with its long-delayed $17 billion Jansen potash project in Canada by mid-2021, about a decade after completing the feasibility study for the operation.

The company had planned to make an investment decision in February 2021, but delays relating to the completion of shafts have pushed out the date by a few months.

BHP said initial challenges with placement of shaft lining, rectified since, as well as the group’s covid-19 response plan impacted Jansen’s progress during the quarter ended June 30. Continue Reading →