BHP – History

Broken Hill Proprietary Company

The Broken Hill Proprietary Company or BHP was founded en1885, operating the silver and lead mine located in Broken Hill in western New South Wales. In 1915, he embarked on the manufacture of steel, with operations primarily located in Newcastle, Australia. The company grew to become the largest corporation in Australia.

The company began oil exploration in the sixties with discoveries in Bass Strait an activity that became an increasing focus of interest.

BHP began to diversify its portfolio in various projects. One was the Ok Tedi copper mine in Papua New Guinea, where the company was successfully sued by the indigenous inhabitants due to environmental damage caused by mining operations. BHP has had more success with the large copper mine Escondida in Chile (the owner of 57.5%) and the Ekati Diamond Mine in northern Canada.

Due to the inefficiency of small steel operations, the company decided to close its operations in Newcastle in 1999. The steel business was derived to form the company OneSteel in 2000.

In 2001, BHP merged with the British mining company Billiton BHP Billiton to form, becoming the largest mining company in the world. In 2002, the steel business led to BHP Steel. In 2003, BHP Steel to comply with a condition for the derivation when it changed its name to BlueScope Steel.


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