JOHANNESBURG – For some time BHP was in the news for all the wrong reasons. The dam disaster in Brazil haunted them for years. According to the new chief executive appointed this month, BHP is in great shape.
Mike Henry plans to “accelerate” the miner’s productivity push and unlock higher value from its ore bodies and petroleum basins as he prepares to lead the company through a challenging period including a feared slowdown in demand from China.
BHP is one of the world's biggest resources companies. BHP explores, discovers, develops and processes minerals, oil and gas; and is amongst the top producers of major commodities such as iron ore, copper, metallurgical coal as well as oil and gas. Of their revenue, 39 percent is derived from iron ore, 24 percent from copper and 21 percent from coal.
Copper is also an industrial metal and incremental demand for copper is sensitive to GDP growth. However, declining copper reserves threatens copper supply in the future. Possible tight supply of copper will result in increased copper prices due to scarcity of supply.
Copper's desirable properties mean it is one of three primary industrial metals in terms of consumption in the world. Its thermal and electric conductivity and its resistance to corrosion give it wide-ranging uses. New technologies such as electric vehicles and alternative power generation need a significant amount of copper.