BHP has officially celebrated the shipment of 3bn tonnes of high-quality iron ore to China, hosting key customer representatives on a tour of BHP’s Pilbara and Port Hedland operations in Western Australia, and at a gala event in Perth.
Chief Commercial Officer Vandita Pant and Asset President WA Iron Ore Brandon Craig were joined by China Iron and Steel Association Vice Chairman Luo Tiejun and key customer representatives at the Mining Area C and South Flank mine sites in the Pilbara, and at the Port Hedland export facility to view the loading of a 210,000mt Capesize bulk carrier.
The group also joined West Australian Premier Roger Cook, Australia’s Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King and representatives of the Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in WA, at a gala dinner in Perth to celebrate the milestone.
A "significant milestone" in steelmaking capability
Vandita Pant said: “BHP’s relationships with our customers in China have been fundamentally important to our company over the past 50 years. Through the reliable delivery of our high-quality iron ore resources and significant investment in steelmaking capability, together we have grown trade and provided the materials necessary for economic development globally.
"We look forward to building on our strong partnerships through collaboration to innovate and advance technologies with the potential to help decarbonise the steelmaking industry.”
Brandon Craig commented: “This is a significant milestone for BHP’s iron ore business and for Western Australia, and we are delighted to commemorate the achievement, celebrate our partnerships and showcase our world-class WA operations. We are fully focused on continuing to produce and deliver our high-quality iron ore resources safely, reliably and sustainably.”
It took nearly 30 years for BHP to deliver its first 100m tonnes of iron ore to China following the first shipment in 1973. By 2014, BHP had shipped one billion tonnes and, following significant investment and growth in BHP’s WA Iron Ore business, has now delivered three billion tonnes just nine years later.
Massive economic upside for Australia
In the 2023 financial year BHP contributed $60bn (AUD) in economic value to the Australian economy, through wages, dividends, supplier payments, taxes, royalties and community investments. BHP disclosed the figures in its 2023 Economic Contribution Report, which highlighted:
- $19.1bn spent with Australian suppliers. This includes $400m spent with Indigenous suppliers as part of a commitment to invest $1.5bn with Indigenous businesses by 30 June 2027.
- $18bn in taxes, royalties and other payments to Australian governments – bringing BHP’s total tax and royalty payments in Australia to over $100bn in the past 10 years.
- $17.5bn in dividends to Australian shareholders. More than 17m Australians benefit from BHP dividends either directly as shareholders or indirectly through superannuation.
- $5.3bn in employee wages.
- The BHP FutureFit Academy, launched in 2020 with a $300m commitment to create 2,500 new traineeships and apprenticeships over five years, has to date welcomed more than 1100 people and turned out 500 graduates who have joined BHP in permanent jobs.
- $86m in community investments.
- BHP remains one of the largest taxpayers in Australia and expects to fund approximately 8% of total Australian company tax for the 2023 financial year – at an adjusted effective tax rate of 32.1% rising to 44.9% when royalties were included.
- BHP operated projects contributed 10% and 11% of all revenue (excluding grants) in Queensland and Western Australia, respectively.
BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery said: “Australia’s regional and remote communities are so important to BHP, and operating in a way that benefits the areas where we operate is at the heart of our approach. BHP is a major contributor to Australia’s national economy and regional communities through jobs, training, local and Indigenous suppliers, taxes, royalties and social investments.
"We will continue to work in partnership with our many stakeholders to support Australia’s economic prosperity as we deliver the minerals needed for global economic development and decarbonisation.”
Chief Financial Officer David Lamont said: “BHP remains one of the largest taxpayers in Australia, delivering over $100m in taxes and royalties to federal and state governments over the past 10 years. BHP’s dividends benefit roughly 17m Australians who hold shares in the company, either as direct investors or through their superannuation. BHP was the largest dividend payer on the ASX100 over the past two financial years, paying around one fifth of all dividends on that index.”