,Chief executive officer Mike Henry (pic), who took over in January last year, is pivoting toward what BHP calls “future facing” commodities – metals and minerals vital to global efforts to reduce emissions, electrify cities and feed a growing global population.
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MONTREAL: BHP Group will merge its oil and gas operations with Woodside Petroleum Ltd as the biggest miner positions itself for a global shift away from fossil fuels and prepares to plow US$5.7bil (RM24.16bil) into a massive new fertiliser mine in Canada.
After the deal, BHP shareholders will own about 48% of Woodside, the miner said in a statement yesterday. The company also announced it would eradicate its dual-listing structure and move to a single primary listing in Australia.
Chief executive officer Mike Henry, who took over in January last year, is pivoting toward what BHP calls “future facing” commodities – metals and minerals vital to global efforts to reduce emissions, electrify cities and feed a growing global population.
Yesterday’s announcements also help clarify a number of question marks for investors, who have been waiting years for a decision on Jansen, while the company has said previously its dual listing was up for discussion.
BHP generates the bulk of its profits from iron ore and copper – a metal that’s central to the green-energy transition – and benefited from soaring prices for both commodities over the past year.
The company reported record free-cash flow for the year through June and announced yesterday it would pay a final dividend of US$10.1bil (RM42.80bil)
The commodities giant is getting out of oil and gas as the fossil-fuel industry grapples with global pressure from investors and governments over climate action, prompting some larger oil rivals to shrink their core production and add renewable energy assets.
While BHP has said it expects demand to remain strong for at least another decade, the company wants to avoid getting stuck with assets that will become more difficult to sell.
BHP has also finally approved the first stage of construction of the Jansen potash mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, after years of wavering over the huge price tag. The operation, expected to start production in 2027, will make it one of the world’s top producers of the crop nutrient.
“Potash provides BHP with increased leverage to key global mega-trends, including rising population, changing diets, decarbonisation and improving environmental stewardship,” the company said.
It’s also the latest sign that the biggest miners are ready to open their wallets to invest in new mines after years of austerity. The industry has been focused on shareholder returns and debt reduction after being penalised by investors for overspending. — Bloomberg