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BHP Billiton: Global Resource Company

December 28, 2015

BHP Billiton came out of a merger between BHP and Billiton. These were two small mining companies founded in the mid-1880s.

Broken Hill Proprietary’s history started in a silver, lead and zinc mine in Broken Hill, Australia. BHP was incorporated in 1885 and engaged in the discovery, production, and marketing of iron ore, copper, oil and gas, diamonds, silver, lead, zinc, and a range of other natural resources. The firm was also a market leader in value-added flat steel products.

Billiton goes back to 1851 with a tin mine in a little known island in Indonesia, Billiton (Belitung) Island. The mining company became a global leader in the metals and mining sector and a major producer of aluminium and alumina, chrome and manganese ores and alloys, steaming coal, nickel and titanium minerals. Billiton also developed a substantial growing copper portfolio.

In 2001, the companies merged to form global powerhouse BHP Billiton and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.

Today, publicly listed BHP Billiton Ltd., engages in the exploration, development, production and processing of minerals, gas and oil. Its commodities include iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, conventional and non-conventional oil and gas, copper, energy coal, aluminium, manganese, uranium, nickel and silver.

The company operates through five segments: Petroleum and Potash, Copper, Iron Ore, Coal and Aluminium, Manganese and Nickel.

The Petroleum and Potash segment includes exploration, development and production of oil and gas potash development. The Copper segment includes mining of copper, silver, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium and gold. The Iron Ore segment includes mining of iron ore. The Coal segment includes mining of metallurgical coal and thermal energy coal. The Aluminium, Manganese and Nickel segment includes mining of bauxite, refining of bauxite into alumina and smelting of alumina into aluminium metal, and also mining of manganese ore and production of manganese metal, alloys and nickel products.

BHP Billiton generates annual sales of over $63 billion and has around 47,044 employees.

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