BHP expects price decline for mining commodities


The world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, expects “long-term” price declines for its commodities as slower economic expansion in China weighs on demand, chief executive Marius Kloppers has said.

“We go through a pretty rigorous process to pick those long-term prices,” Kloppers said in an Australian TV interview. “They are, by and large, lower. Some products are going to be more attractive than others.”

BHP last week put on hold approvals for about €54 billion of projects, including the Olympic Dam mining centre expansion in south Australia, after second-half profit slumped. Kloppers said he is seeking to control costs and will not allocate new capital to sectors such as aluminium and nickel as exploration focus narrows.

Australia’s economy has been bolstered in recent years by the biggest resources bonanza since a gold rush in the 1850s. Mining investment will peak within two years, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said last Friday. – (Bloomberg)