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BHP provides update on progress to grow value and improve returns

BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie today updated progress on the Company’s roadmap to grow long-term shareholder value.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference, Andrew Mackenzie said: “At this conference one year ago, I outlined ambitious plans to improve returns and grow the value of BHP. Since that time, we have made consistent progress and we are confident that continued delivery of these plans, from our stronger base today, could grow the value of our Company by up to 50 per cent and almost double the return on capital.”

Mr Mackenzie outlined key contributors to value creation. These include the following:

  • Further cost reductions support a 10 per cent value uplift as we continue to leverage our simple portfolio, standardised systems and greater connectivity across the Company to further improve safety and productivity.
  • The release of more latent capacity across the portfolio offers attractive returns for low-risk. For a total investment of US$5 billion, these opportunities could add over 20 per cent to current production at an average return of 75 per cent.
  • Substantial advances in the operating capability and capital productivity of our shale assets continue to lower drilling and completion costs, supporting returns on invested capital in excess of 30 per cent on incremental investments. All options to fully realise the value of our shale acreage will be pursued, including further appraisal, new technology and additional asset sales and swaps. We will be flexible with our plans and commercial in our approach.
  • Major growth projects valued at up to US$25 billion offer potential average returns of over 16 per cent at consensus prices. The Spence Growth Option will be considered by the Board in August 2017. Studies on the Olympic Dam expansion are progressing well. A phased expansion of our Jansen potash project is expected to generate competitive returns in stage 1, with significant potential upside in subsequent stages.
  • Our focused Petroleum exploration program has an unrisked value of over US$20 billion, close to a quarter of which sits in low to medium risk prospects to be tested in the next two years . Recent successes in the Gulf of Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, along with the successful Trion bid, give us the confidence to accelerate our counter-cyclical investment.
  • Technology programs to improve safety, lower costs and unlock resource with an unrisked value of up to US$12 billion are among the most capital efficient options in the portfolio. Attractive options include leaching optimisation, mass mining methods and precision extraction.

“We have achieved a great deal over the past year but we are not standing still. Our roadmap today contains an enhanced set of opportunities that will see us prosper and grow value per share throughout the cycle, and in multiple price scenarios.

“Above all, we will remain disciplined, and drive consistent and transparent application of our capital allocation framework, which includes cash returns to shareholders.

“Our path is deliberate, with value and returns at the centre of everything we do.”

For more information, see the presentation or listen to the audio webcast.