BHP today celebrated its 50 year partnership with Japan at an event with representatives from the Japanese, Australian and British governments, customers, joint venture partners and employees at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo.
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie was joined by Australian Ambassador to Japan, Hon. Richard Court AC and joint venture partners Mitsubishi Development, ITOCHU Corporation, JFE and Mitsui & Co., Ltd to mark the milestone.
Mr Mackenzie acknowledged the importance of long-term business relationships and two-way trade between BHP and Japan in building economic growth.
“Both BHP and Australia owe much to Japan for the development of the resources industry. Just as it was 50 years ago, Japan remains a critical market for BHP and the industry as a whole, and I am delighted to celebrate this important milestone.”
“In 1967 BHP and Japan became partners when Japanese steel mills signed long-term contracts for coking coal from our Blackwater mine in Queensland. It was also the year that we entered into partnership with Mitsui and ITOCHU in the Western Australian Mount Whaleback iron ore project.
“As trading companies they were a crucial link into Japanese markets. As Japan’s economy grew the iron ore and coal we exported came back to Australia as high-quality manufactured products such as motor vehicles and Komatsu trucks and the rolling stock and rail equipment our industry relies on.
“ A few years later Mitsubishi and JFE partnered in our iron ore and copper assets in Australia and Chile turning a trading relationship into a business partnership.”
Today BHP supplies iron ore, coal, copper, nickel, uranium, LPG and LNG to Japan.
“These commodities produced by BHP and our joint venture partners have helped Japan become one of the world’s largest economies,” Mr Mackenzie said.
“Together we have helped to create jobs and stimulate investment around the world. Our partnership with Japan is closer and stronger than ever. We look forward to partnering with Japan for decades to come.”