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BHP Billiton Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie today outlined a strategy focused on value creation and growing cash returns to shareholders.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Conference, Mr Mackenzie said BHP Billiton can create value in all market conditions.

“Although we remain confident in the long term outlook for commodities, we are not waiting for prices to recover. We have everything we need in our portfolio right now to significantly increase the value of the Company,” he said.

Mr Mackenzie outlined five areas in which the Company plans to create value:

“We will continue to improve productivity, with a further US$3.6 billion of gains expected by the end of the 2017 financial year. Unit costs in our major businesses are expected to fall to almost half the levels experienced five years ago. We are maintaining momentum with more to come.”

“We will also invest in projects to unlock the latent capacity of our assets. These could add over 1 million tonnes of copper equivalent capacity at a total capital cost of less than US$1.5 billion. This is equivalent to more than 10 percent of BHP Billiton’s total current production. We will also maximise the value of our high quality shale assets in a disciplined manner as prices recover.”

“Our quality portfolio of tier 1 assets offers attractive medium-term growth options. We have identified and quantified quality growth projects in oil and copper, with investment decisions on the Mad Dog 2 and Spence projects expected within 18 months.”

“We are increasing our exploration activity to take advantage of falling costs as others pull back. We have embarked upon one of our most significant oil exploration programs, accelerating activity in our three priority basins. Following the positive exploration results at Shenzi North, we plan to drill a further exploration well (Caicos) in July 2016 on our nearby Green Canyon 564 lease (BHP Billiton interest 100 percent). We will also increase the number of copper targets we test this year by 38 percent.”

“We have established a new global technology function to implement integrated programs to unlock resources and lower costs. We have opportunities identified at a number of our major assets that we expect to create significant value over time.”

Mr Mackenzie reiterated that BHP Billiton has the portfolio quality and financial capability to deliver on its growth strategy.

“We have the financial strength and the flexibility to pursue a diverse range of opportunities and grow value per share at all points in the cycle, and we have a clear and simple strategy in place to deliver that growth.”

For more information, see the news release, speech and presentation.

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