Company Profile: BHP Billiton

BHPbilliton logo

BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest mining and resource companies with roughly 100,000 employees in over 25 countries. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (as BHP Billiton Ltd.), as well as on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (as BHP Billiton Plc).


BHP Billiton was formed in 2001 as a result of a merger between Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) and Billiton. Billiton originated as a tin mine on Indonesia's Belitung Island in the 1860s, while BHP was first incorporated in 1885 as a silver, lead and zinc producer in Broken Hill, Australia. The two companies merged in June 2001 to become one of the world's largest diversified resource companies.


BHP Billiton is among the world's largest producers of aluminum, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium minerals. The company also has petroleum and coal assets.

Financial Summary (2010)

  • Market Capitalization: US$ 166 billion
  • Revenue: US$ 52.8 billion
  • Net Operating Cash Flow: US$ 17.9 billion

Aluminum Operations

BHP Billiton's is the world's seventh largest aluminum producer. The company's aluminum portfolio includes bauxite production, bauxite refining for the production of alumina, as well as the smelting of aluminum metal.

Aluminum Assets Include

  • The Alumar refinery and smelter - Brazil (36-40% ownership)
  • The Boddington bauxite mine and Worsley refinery - Australia (86%)
  • The Mozal smelter - Mozambique (47.1%)
  • The Hillside and Bayside smelters - South Africa (100%)
  • Mineração Rio do Norte  - Brazil (14.8%)

Base Metal Operations

BHP Billiton base metal production includes copper, silver, lead, and zinc. The Escondida mine in Chile is the world's largest single producer of copper. Base metal assets include:

  • Antamina - Peru (33.75% ownership)
  • Pinto Valley - USA (100%)
  • Spence - Chile (100%)
  • Cerro Colorado - Chile (100%)
  • Cannington - Australia (100%)
  • Escondida - Chile (57.5%)

Uranium Operations

The company's uranium assets include Olympic Dam in South Australia and the Yeelirrie uranium deposit in Western Australia. According to BHP Billiton, Olympic Dam is the world's largest uranium deposit and fourth-largest remaining copper deposit. Uranium oxide from the project is used for the generation of electricity, while copper cathodes are produced and supplied to customers Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Nickel Operations

BHP Billiton is the world's fourth largest producer of nickel, producing and selling nickel briquettes, powders, and ferronickel granules, as well as nickel matte and concentrate. The company's nickel assets include Cerro Matoso in Colombia and Nickel West in Australia.

Iron Ore Operations

BHP Billiton's iron ore operations are concentrated in Western Australia and Brazil. Producing fine and lump iron ore, the Mt. Whaleback mine in Western Australia is the biggest single-pit open-cut iron ore mine in the world and is more than 5 kilometers long and nearly 1.5 kilometers wide. More than 1000 kilometers of rail infrastructure and port facilities connect this with BHP's six adjacent mines.

The Samarco operation in Brazil produces more than 21 million tonnes of iron ore pellets and one million tonnes of concentrates.

Manganese Operations

Manganese products include ores, alloys and metal from locations in South Africa and Australia. BHP Billiton is the largest producer of seaborne manganese ore and one of the world's largest producers of manganese alloy. Manganese assets include:

  • The Hotazel mines - South Africa
  • The Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) - Australia
  • Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) - Australia
  • Wessels - South Africa
  • Mamatwan - South Africa
  • Metalloys - South Africa

Note: South African interests are held through a 60% holding in Samancor Manganese Proprietary Ltd., a partnership with Anglo American.

Other Operations

BHP Billiton produces titanium minerals at their Richards Bay operations in South Africa. These include titania slag, high-purity pig iron, rutile (ZrO2) and zircon.

Gold and silver are produced as by-products at the Olympic Dam uranium and copper mine in Australia.

BHP Billiton Group Registered Offices:

BHP Billiton Limited

  • Australia
  • BHP Billiton Centre
  • 180 Lonsdale Street
  • Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Telephone 1300 554 757 (within Australia)
  • +61 3 9609 3333 (outside Australia)

BHP Billiton Plc

  • United Kingdom
  • Neathouse Place
  • London SW1V 1BH
  • Telephone +44 20 7802 4000