BHP Billiton 20-F 2010
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2010
Date of event requiring this shell company report
For the transition period from to
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act. None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act. None
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuers classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes ¨ No x
Note Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ¨ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of accelerated filer and large accelerated filer in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer x Accelerated filer ¨ Non-accelerated filer ¨
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP ¨ International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board x Other ¨
If Other has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17 ¨ Item 18 ¨
If this is an annual report, indicate by checkmark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x
Table of Contents
Form 20-F Cross Reference Table
1.1 Our business
We are the worlds largest diversified natural resources company. Our corporate objective is to create long-term value for shareholders through the discovery, development and conversion of natural resources, and the provision of innovative customer and market-focused solutions. We pursue this objective through our unchanged strategy of investing in tier one assets that are large, low-cost and long-life to provide a balanced portfolio of export-oriented commodities:
We continue to invest in the future and have a deep inventory of growth assets.
Our operations and investments are designed to ensure the Group remains stable in the long term and responsive to market volatility in the short term.
The Group is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and consists of the BHP Billiton Limited Group and the BHP Billiton Plc Group as a combined enterprise, following the completion of the Dual Listed Company (DLC) merger in June 2001. BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc have each retained their separate corporate identities and maintained their separate stock exchange listings, but they are operated and managed as if they are a single unified economic entity, with their boards and senior executive management comprising the same people.
BHP Billiton Limited has a primary listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Australia. BHP Billiton Plc has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the UK and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa. In addition, BHP Billiton Limited American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and BHP Billiton Plc ADRs trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the US.
As at 30 June 2010, we had a market capitalisation of approximately US$165.6 billion. For the year ended 30 June 2010, we reported net operating cash flow of US$17.9 billion, profit attributable to shareholders of US$12.7 billion and revenue of US$52.8 billion. We have approximately 100,000 employees and contractors working in more than 100 operations in over 25 countries.
We operate nine businesses, called Customer Sector Groups (CSGs), which are aligned with the commodities we extract and market:
1.2 Chairmans Review
I am pleased to report that in a difficult global economic and financial environment, BHP Billiton continued to perform well and strengthened its strategic and financial position.
While the global economic outlook has improved, the recovery remains fragile. Despite a near-term slowing in China, we continue to believe that the fundamentals driving Asian growth are robust. It is clear to the Board that the long-term outlook for BHP Billiton is strong. We have unique assets that are critical to the growth of the worlds developing economies, and a geographic and commodity spread that reduces risk and optimises opportunity.
During the year, your Chief Executive, Marius Kloppers, and his team focused on delivering strong production and cost performance as well as investing in new growth opportunities.
Our strategy is clear and remains unchanged since 2001. We focus on large, long-life, low-cost, upstream, high-quality assets, diversified by commodity, geography and markets. This strategy means more predictable business performance over time which, in turn, underpins the creation of value for our shareholders, customers, employees and, importantly, the communities in which we operate.
The execution of our strategy resulted in a profit from operations, excluding exceptional items, of US$19.7 billion an increase of 8.3 per cent. Net operating cash flows were US$17.9 billion, US$7.7 billion of which was reinvested in new growth projects. In addition, the Board increased dividends by 6.1 per cent to 87 cents per share, in line with our progressive dividend policy.
While the Board is pleased with these results, our progress in the critical area of safety is still below expectation. We continued to reduce the number of workplace injuries, however five people lost their lives at our operations this year. This is clearly unacceptable and a tragedy for their families, friends and colleagues.
In August 2010, we announced a fully funded takeover of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. The proposed acquisition meets our criteria of developing quality long-life assets using our existing mining skills to gain a leading position in the growing world market for fertiliser. We are committed to being a strong corporate citizen in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, Canada, and our intention is to establish a global potash business based in Canada.
Important governance developments occurred in the UK, US and Australia during the year responding to the challenges of the global recession. We support the changes, particularly the emphasis on ensuring Boards comprise Directors with the collective set of essential skills and experience to govern the Group supported by robust succession planning and performance evaluation.
As part of our Board succession, Carolyn Hewson and Malcolm Broomhead joined the Board in March 2010. Together they bring deep experience in industrial and resource companies, financial markets and investment risk management. During the year, Don Argus, Paul Anderson, Gail de Planque, David Jenkins and David Morgan retired from the Board. We thank each of them for their contribution, particularly former Chairman Don Argus AC.
We have always believed that corporate governance and executive remuneration practices are critical issues for any company and its stakeholders. We support the need for simplified and transparent executive remuneration reporting, and these have been key influences on the structure of our remuneration report this year.
Our Remuneration Committee reviewed the Groups Long Term Incentive Plan for our most senior executives. The plan was originally introduced in 2004 and, given the changes in the global environment, the Committee believed a review was warranted. We consulted widely with our shareholders as well as governance advisers. As a result, we continue to believe that the duration of our five-year, long-term plan is appropriate. However, we also believe it is important to change some design elements as the plan produced highly leveraged outcomes not reflective of our business strategy. This is a matter on which we will seek shareholder approval.
One thing that has impressed me since the time I started as a Director in 2006 has been the quality of BHP Billiton people throughout the Group. In resources, as in many other industries, results are not only a function of the quality of the assets but the quality of the people operating and managing those assets.
Marius is a talented Chief Executive and he has developed a strong and diverse team with a depth of talent to support him. On your behalf, the Board would like to thank everyone involved with our Company for the contribution they have made in this challenging year.
Finally, since becoming Chairman this year after the retirement of Don Argus, I have had the privilege of meeting many of our institutional and individual shareholders. This is a rewarding part of my role and I look forward to meeting many more of you over the coming years.
1.3 Chief Executive Officers Report
Financial year 2010 was a year that presented a broad mix of challenges and achievements. Despite continued volatility and ongoing uncertainty across the global economy, BHP Billiton delivered a strong operational and financial performance.
It is our consistent and long-term strategy of focusing on a portfolio of upstream, tier one, low-cost assets diversified by commodity, market and geography that underpinned our ability to overcome the challenges during the year. I am encouraged by the Groups performance, which is testament to our focus on creating shareholder value in the long term.
We are a leading global resources company and our successes and achievements are significant. However, we cannot say we are truly successful until we eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in our workplace. This year we continued to make progress in reducing the number of injuries, though we did not meet our targets. It is with great sadness that I report to you that five of our colleagues lost their lives at work during the year and I personally extend my condolences to the families and friends of those individuals.
This is a stark reminder that we must lead in a way that ensures a safe workplace, and we can only do this by creating operating discipline and simplifying the way we work. Safety starts with strong leadership and I cannot emphasise enough how important this is to me personally and to our Group.
I am pleased to announce that BHP Billiton operations this year delivered solid results, with annual production records achieved in our Iron Ore and Petroleum businesses. In Iron Ore, this marked the tenth consecutive annual production record, and for Petroleum, it was the third consecutive production record. Our long-life, low-cost expandable assets provide our Company with the capacity to continue to deliver and strengthen our position in a range of markets.
By operating at full capacity whenever possible and staying focused on eliminating low value activities, we maintained our low-cost position and our ability to generate robust cash flows.
Of significant note in FY2010 was the move from annually negotiated benchmark prices in metallurgical coal and iron ore to shorter-term reference pricing. We have long advocated a move to a more transparent pricing regime and will actively support the development of a wider traded market in these commodities.
This move brings metallurgical coal and iron ore into line with how the rest of our portfolio is priced globally and moves us closer to achieving our stated objective of market prices for all of our commodities. More broadly, prices for our products recovered during the year driven by demand in China and restocking in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. While government stimulus measures generally supported a gradual return to normalised global trade, the improvement in the developed economies was from a low base.
We believe that the recovery momentum of the major economies will remain uncertain as the impact of fiscal and monetary stimuli fades. Therefore, we are still cautious in our short-term view of the economy.
In the longer term, we are encouraged by the fundamentals underpinning sustained growth in China and India, which will continue to drive a strong demand for our products. This, along with our strong balance sheet, supports our capacity for future growth. We have extensive experience operating in emerging resource regions and we have the capability to capture additional opportunities as they arise.
Our disciplined approach to capital deployment has enabled BHP Billiton to both invest in the expansion of high-quality assets and further diversify our portfolio by commodity, market and geography, consistent with our unchanged strategy. The acquisition of Athabasca Potash earlier this year ensures our Group has access to more than 14,000 square kilometres of prospective exploration ground in the world-class Saskatchewan potash basin. Our all-cash bid to acquire Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, the worlds largest integrated fertiliser company and worlds largest producer of potash by capacity, is consistent with our strategy and is a natural fit with BHP Billitons greenfield land holdings in Canada. This acquisition represents an acceleration of our entry into the fertiliser industry.
This, plus the delivery of five major capital projects, is evidence of our growth capabilities.
However, we only earn the right to grow this business if we can do it safely, in an environmentally sound manner and in a way that demonstrates our unqualified commitment to working with integrity. I believe it is worth reiterating that safe growth underpinned by demonstrating our Charter values can only be achieved through leadership commitment and operating discipline. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our employees and contractors and other stakeholders for their efforts in responding to the accountabilities articulated in our operating model.
Our Company has a clear strategy for growing our value, within a disciplined framework, and using prudent decision-making. Who and what we are today is the product of the vision and efforts of previous management teams in executing a consistent strategy. It is our responsibility to not only preserve, but enhance and increase the value of that legacy.
1.4.1 Financial information
Our selected financial information reflects the operations of the BHP Billiton Group, and should be read in conjunction with the 2010 financial statements, together with the accompanying notes.
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, and as outlined in note 1 Accounting policies to the financial statements in this Annual Report. We publish our consolidated financial statements in US dollars.
1.4.2 Operational information
Our Board and Group Management Committee monitor a range of financial and operational performance indicators, reported on a monthly basis, to measure performance over time. We also monitor a comprehensive set of health, safety, environment and community contribution indicators.
1.5 Risk factors
We believe that, because of the international scope of our operations and the industries in which we are engaged, there are numerous factors which may have an effect on our results and operations. The following describes the material risks that could affect the BHP Billiton Group.
Fluctuations in commodity prices and impacts of the global financial crisis may negatively impact our results
The prices we obtain for our oil, gas, minerals and other commodities are determined by, or linked to, prices in world markets, which have historically been subject to substantial variations. The Groups usual policy is to sell its products at the prevailing market prices. The diversity provided by the Groups broad portfolio of commodities may not fully insulate the effects of price changes. Fluctuations in commodity prices can occur due to sustained price shifts reflecting underlying global economic and geopolitical factors, industry demand and supply balances, product substitution and national tariffs. The ongoing effects of the global financial crisis has impacted commodity markets in terms of lower prices, reduced demand and increased price volatility. The ongoing uncertainty and impact on global economic growth, particularly in the developed economies, may impact future demand and prices for commodities. The influence of hedge and other financial investment funds participating in commodity markets has increased in recent years, contributing to higher levels of price volatility. The impact of potential longer-term sustained price shifts and shorter-term price volatility creates the risk that our financial and operating results and asset values will be materially and adversely affected by unforeseen declines in the prevailing prices of our products.
We seek to maintain a solid A credit rating as part of our strategy. Notwithstanding our financial and capital management programs the ongoing effects of the global financial crisis may impact our future cash flows, ability to adequately access and source capital from financial markets and our credit rating.
Our profits may be negatively affected by currency exchange rate fluctuations
Our assets, earnings and cash flows are influenced by a wide variety of currencies due to the geographic diversity of the countries in which we operate. Fluctuations in the exchange rates of those currencies may have a significant impact on our financial results. The US dollar is the currency in which the majority of our sales are denominated. Operating costs are influenced by the currencies of those countries where our mines and processing plants are located and also by those currencies in which the costs of imported equipment and services are determined. The Australian dollar, South African rand, Chilean peso, Brazilian real and US dollar are the most important currencies influencing our operating costs. Given the dominant role of the US currency in our affairs, the US dollar is the currency in which we present financial performance. It is also the natural currency for borrowing and holding surplus cash. We do not generally believe that active currency hedging provides long-term benefits to our shareholders. We may consider currency protection measures appropriate in specific commercial circumstances, subject to strict limits established by our Board. Therefore, in any particular year, currency fluctuations may have a significant impact on our financial results.
The commercial counterparties we transact with may not meet their obligations and negatively impact our results
We commercially contract with a large number of commercial and financial counterparties including customers, suppliers, and financial institutions. The global financial crisis has placed strains on global financial markets, reduced liquidity and impacted business conditions generally. Our existing counterparty credit controls may not prevent a material loss due to credit exposure to a major customer or financial counterparty. In addition, customers, suppliers, contractors or joint venture partners may fail to perform against existing contracts and obligations. Non-supply of key inputs or equipment may unfavourably impact our operations. Reduced liquidity and available sources of capital in financial markets may impact the cost and ability to fund planned investments. These factors could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to discover new reserves, maintain or enhance existing reserves or develop new operations could negatively affect our future results and financial condition
The increased demand for our products and increased production rates from our operations in recent years has resulted in existing reserves being depleted at an accelerated rate. As our revenues and profits are related to our oil and gas and minerals operations, our results and financial conditions are directly related to the success of our exploration and acquisition efforts, and our ability to replace existing reserves. Exploration activity occurs adjacent to established operations and in new regions, in developed and less developed countries. These activities may increase land tenure, infrastructure and related political risks. A failure in our ability to discover new reserves, enhance existing reserves or develop new operations in sufficient quantities to maintain or grow the current level of our reserves could negatively affect our results, financial condition and prospects.
There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating ore and oil and gas reserves, and geological, technical and economic assumptions that are valid at the time of estimation may change significantly when new information becomes available. The impacts of the global financial crisis may impact economic assumptions related to reserve recovery and require reserve restatements. Reserve restatements could negatively affect our reputation, results, financial condition and prospects.
Reduction in Chinese demand may negatively impact our results
The Chinese market has become a significant source of global demand for commodities. In CY2009, China represented 56 per cent of global seaborne iron ore demand, 36 per cent of copper demand, 35 per cent of nickel demand, 39 per cent of aluminium demand, 42 per cent of energy coal demand and nine per cent of oil demand. Chinas demand for these commodities has been driving global materials demand over the past decade.
The strong economic growth and infrastructure development in China of recent years has been tempered by the global financial crisis. Sales into China generated US$13.2 billion (FY2009: US$9.9 billion), or 25.1 per cent (FY2009: 19.7 per cent), of our revenue in the year ended 30 June 2010. A slowing in Chinas economic growth could result in lower prices and demand for our products and therefore reduce our revenues.
In response to its increased demand for commodities, China is increasingly seeking strategic self-sufficiency in key commodities, including investments in existing businesses or new developments in other countries. These investments may adversely impact future commodity demand and supply balances and prices.
Actions by governments or political events in the countries in which we operate could have a negative impact on our business
We have operations in many countries around the globe, some of which have varying degrees of political and commercial stability. We operate in emerging markets, which may involve additional risks that could have an adverse impact upon the profitability of an operation. These risks could include terrorism, civil unrest, nationalisation, renegotiation or nullification of existing contracts, leases, permits or other agreements, and changes in laws and policy, as well as other unforeseeable risks. Risks relating to bribery and corruption may be prevalent in some of the countries in which we operate. If one or more of these risks occurs at one of our major projects, it could have a negative effect on the operations in those countries, as well as the Groups overall operating results and financial condition.
Our operations are based on material long term investments that anticipate long term fiscal stability. Following the global financial crisis some governments face increased debt and funding obligations and may seek additional sources of revenue and economic rent by increasing rates of taxation, royalties or resource rent taxes to levels that are globally uncompetitive to the resource industry. Such taxes may negatively impact the financial results of existing businesses and reduce the anticipated future returns and overall level of prospective investment in those countries.
On 2 May 2010, the Australian Government proposed a Resource Super Profits Tax at a rate of 40 per cent on profits made from the extraction of non-renewable resources. Subsequently, on 2 July 2010, this proposal was amended to a Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), at a rate of 30 per cent (with a 25 per cent extraction allowance effectively resulted in a 22.5 per cent additional tax on profits) for iron ore and coal, while the current Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) will be extended to all Australian oil and gas projects, including the North West Shelf. Legislation is proposed to be introduced into parliament in late CY2011, and then for the commencement date of the new tax regime to be 1 July 2012. The MRRT would operate in parallel with State and Territory royalty regimes, and those royalties in place or scheduled at 2 May 2010 would be creditable against the MRRT. The proposed MRRT would increase the effective tax rate of Australian coal and iron ore operations and the North West Shelf project. This could have a negative effect on the operating results of the Groups Australian operations. The MRRT is subject to passing by the Australian Parliament and may differ (wholly or in part) in its final form.
With the objective of raising more funds to face the reconstruction following the recent earthquake in Chile, the Chilean Government announced on 16 April 2010 an intention to increase the Corporate Income Tax rate (First Category Tax FCT) as well as changing the Mining Tax in exchange for extending the tax invariability period available to investors, from 2017 currently in place for an extra eight years to 2025. The current draft legislation proposes a temporary increase of the FCT rate for two years (2010-2011) with the change in the Mining Tax regime having been removed from the current proposed bill. Any potential tax changes in the future if implemented may impact our financial results from Chilean operations.
Our business could be adversely affected by new government regulation, such as controls on imports, exports and prices. Increasing requirements relating to regulatory, environmental and social approvals can potentially result in significant delays in construction and may adversely impact upon the economics of new mining and oil and gas projects, the expansion of existing operations and results of our operations.
Infrastructure, such as rail, ports, power and water, is critical to our business operations. We have operations or potential development projects in countries where government provided infrastructure or regulatory regimes for access to infrastructure, including our own privately operated infrastructure, may be inadequate or uncertain. These may adversely impact the efficient operations and expansion of our businesses. On 30 June 2010, the Australian Competition Tribunal granted declaration of BHP Billitons Goldsworthy rail line, but rejected the application for declaration of its Newman rail line under Part IIIA of the Trade Practices Act. Following the tribunals decision, access seekers may now negotiate for access to the Goldsworthy railway. These negotiations, and the availability and terms of access, would be governed by the Part IIIA statutory framework, and either the access seeker or BHP Billiton could refer disputed matters to the ACCC for arbitration. The outcome of this process would govern whether access would be provided and on what terms.
In South Africa, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002) (MPRDA) came into effect on 1 May 2004. The law provides for the conversion of existing mining rights (so called Old Order Rights) to rights under the new regime (New Order Rights) subject to certain undertakings to be made by the company applying for such conversion. The Mining Charter requires that mining companies achieve 15 per cent ownership by historically disadvantaged South Africans of South African mining assets by 1 May 2009 and 26 per cent ownership by 1 May 2014. If we are unable to convert our South African mining rights in accordance with the MPRDA and the Mining Charter, we could lose some of those rights. Where New Order Rights are obtained under the MPRDA, these rights may not be equivalent to the Old Order Rights in terms of duration, renewal, rights and obligations.
In May 2010, in response to the oil spill from BPs Macondo well, the United States Government announced a deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. There is uncertainty as to potential new permitting requirements that may be imposed on deepwater drilling. Our business could be adversely affected by the moratorium and any new regulatory requirements.
We operate in several countries where ownership of land is uncertain and where disputes may arise in relation to ownership. In Australia, the Native Title Act (1993) provides for the establishment and recognition of native title under certain circumstances. In South Africa, the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (1997) and the Restitution of Land Rights Act (1994) provide for various landholding rights. Such legislation could negatively affect new or existing projects.
We may not be able to successfully integrate our acquired businesses
We have grown our business in part through acquisitions. We expect that some of our future growth will stem from acquisitions. There are numerous risks encountered in business combinations. These include adverse regulatory conditions and obligations, commercial objectives not achieved due to minority interests, unforeseen liabilities arising from the acquired businesses, retention of key staff, sales revenues and the operational performance not meeting our expectations, anticipated synergies and cost savings being delayed or not being achieved, uncertainty in sales proceeds from planned divestments, and planned expansion projects are delayed or cost more than anticipated. These factors could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We may not recover our investments in mining and oil and gas projects
Our operations may be impacted by changed market or industry structures, commodity prices, technical operating difficulties, inability to recover our mineral, oil or gas reserves and increased operating cost levels. These may impact the ability for assets to recover their historical investment and may require financial write-downs adversely impacting our financial results.
Our non-controlled assets may not comply with our standards
Some of our assets are controlled and managed by joint venture partners or by other companies. Some joint venture partners may have divergent business objectives which may impact business and financial results. Management of our non-controlled assets may not comply with our management and operating standards, controls and procedures (including health, safety, and environment). Failure to adopt equivalent standards, controls and procedures at these assets could lead to higher costs and reduced production and adversely impact our results and reputation.
Operating cost pressures and shortages could negatively impact our operating margins and expansion plans
Increasing cost pressures and shortages in skilled personnel, contractors, materials and supplies that are required as critical inputs to our existing operations and planned developments may occur across the resources industry. As the prices for our products are determined by the global commodity markets in which we operate we may not have the ability to offset these cost increases resulting in operating margins being reduced. Notwithstanding our efforts to reduce costs and a number of key cost inputs being commodity price-linked, the inability to reduce costs and a timing lag may impact our operating margins for an extended period.
Changing industrial relations legislation such as the Australian Fair Work Act 2009 may impact workforce flexibility, productivity and costs. Labour unions may seek to pursue claims under the new framework. Industrial action may impact our operations resulting in lost production and revenues. Since the introduction of the Australian Fair Work Act in 2009, increasing occurrences of low-level industrial activity have been experienced across many Australian assets. The additional claims relate to increased access and coverage as provided by the legislation. If this activity continues, some negative productivity impacts may result.
A number of our operations are energy or water intensive and, as a result, the Groups costs and earnings could be adversely affected by rising costs or by supply interruptions. These could include the unavailability of energy, fuel or water due to a variety of reasons, including fluctuations in climate, significant increases in costs, inadequate infrastructure capacity, interruptions in supply due to equipment failure or other causes and the inability to extend supply contracts on economical terms.
These factors could lead to increased operating costs at existing operations.
Increased costs and schedule delays may impact our development projects
Although we devote significant time and resources to our project planning, approval and review process, we may underestimate the cost or time required to complete a project. In addition, we may fail to manage projects as effectively as we anticipate, and unforeseen challenges may emerge. Any of these may result in increased capital costs and schedule delays at our development projects impacting anticipated financial returns.
Health, safety, environmental and community exposures and related regulations may impact our operations and reputation negatively
We are a major producer of carbon-related products such as energy and metallurgical coal, oil, gas, and liquefied natural gas. Our oil and gas operations are both onshore and offshore.
The nature of the industries in which we operate means that our activities are highly regulated by health, safety and environmental laws. As regulatory standards and expectations are constantly developing, we may be exposed to increased litigation, compliance costs and unforeseen environmental rehabilitation expenses.
Potential health, safety, environmental and community events that may materially impact our operations include rockfall incidents in underground mining operations, aircraft incidents, light vehicle incidents, explosions or gas leaks, incidents involving mobile equipment, uncontrolled tailings breaches, escape of polluting substances, community protests or civil unrest.
Longer-term health impacts may arise due to unanticipated workplace exposures by employees or site contractors. These effects may create future financial compensation obligations.
We provide for operational closure and site rehabilitation. Our operating and closed facilities are required to have closure plans. Changes in regulatory or community expectations may result in the relevant plans not being adequate. This may impact financial provisioning and costs at the affected operations.
We contribute to the communities in which we operate by providing skilled employment opportunities, salaries and wages, taxes and royalties and community development programs. Notwithstanding these actions, local communities may become dissatisfied with the impact of our operations, potentially affecting costs and production, and in extreme cases viability.
Legislation requiring manufacturers, importers and downstream users of chemical substances, including metals and minerals, to establish that the substances can be used without negatively affecting health or the environment may impact our operations and markets. These potential compliance costs, litigation expenses, regulatory delays, rehabilitation expenses and operational costs could negatively affect our financial results.
We may continue to be exposed to increased operational costs due to the costs and lost time associated with the HIV/AIDS and malaria infection rate mainly within our African workforce. Because we operate globally, we may be affected by potential pandemic influenza outbreaks, such as A(H1N1) and avian flu, in any of the regions in which we operate.
Despite our best efforts and best intentions, there remains a risk that health, safety, environmental and/or community incidents or accidents may occur that may negatively impact our reputation or licence to operate.
Unexpected natural and operational catastrophes may adversely impact our operations
We operate extractive, processing and logistical operations in many geographic locations both onshore and offshore. Our operational processes may be subject to operational accidents such as port and shipping incidents, fire and explosion, pitwall failures, loss of power supply, railroad incidents, loss of well control, environmental pollution and mechanical failures. Our operations and geographic locations may also be subject to unexpected natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, flood, hurricanes and tsunamis. Based on our claims, insurance premiums and loss experience, our risk management approach is to maintain self-insurance for property damage and business interruption related risk exposures. Existing business continuity plans may not provide protection for all of the costs that arise from such events. The impact of these events could lead to disruptions in production and loss of facilities more than offsetting premiums saved and adversely affect our financial results and prospects. Third party claims arising from these events may also exceed the limit of liability insurance policies we have in place.
Climate change and greenhouse effects may adversely impact our operations and markets
Carbon based energy is a significant input in a number of the Groups mining and processing operations and we have significant sales of carbon based energy products.
A number of governments or governmental bodies have introduced or are contemplating regulatory change in response to the impacts of climate change. The December 1997 Kyoto Protocol established a set of greenhouse gas emission targets for developed countries that have ratified the Protocol. The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which came into effect on 1 January 2005, has had an impact on greenhouse gas and energy-intensive businesses based in the EU. Our Petroleum assets in the UK are currently subject to the EU ETS, as are our EU based customers. Elsewhere, there is current and emerging climate change regulation that will affect energy prices, demand and margins for carbon intensive products. The Australian Governments plan of action on climate change includes the introduction of a national emissions trading scheme by 2013 and a mandatory renewable energy target of 20 per cent by the year 2020. From a medium to long-term perspective, we are likely to see some changes in the cost position of our greenhouse-gas-intensive assets and energy-intensive assets as a result of regulatory impacts in the countries in which we operate. These regulatory mechanisms may impact our operations directly or indirectly via our suppliers and customers. Inconsistency of regulations particularly between developed and developing countries may also change the competitive position of some of our assets. Assessments of the potential impact of future climate change regulation are uncertain given the wide scope of potential regulatory change in the many countries in which we operate.
The physical impacts of climate change on our operations are highly uncertain and will be particular to the geographic circumstances. These may include changes in rainfall patterns, water shortages, rising sea levels, increased storm intensities and higher average temperature levels. These effects may adversely impact the productivity and financial performance of our operations.
Our human resource talent pool may not be adequate to support our growth
Our existing operations and especially our pipeline of development projects in regions of numerous large projects, such as Western Australia, when activated, require many highly skilled staff with relevant industry and technical experience. In such a competitive environment, the inability of the Group and industry to attract and retain such people may adversely impact our ability to adequately meet demand in projects. Skills shortages in engineering, technical service, construction and maintenance may impact activities. These shortages may adversely impact the cost and schedule of development projects and the cost and efficiency of existing operations.
Breaches in our information technology (IT) security processes may adversely impact the conduct of our business activities
We maintain global IT and communication networks and applications to support our business activities. IT security processes protecting these systems are in place and subject to assessment as part of the review of internal control over financial reporting. These processes may not prevent future malicious action or fraud by individuals or groups, resulting in the corruption of operating systems, theft of commercially sensitive data, misappropriation of funds and disruptions to our business operations.
A breach in our governance processes may lead to regulatory penalties and loss of reputation
We operate in a global environment straddling multiple jurisdictions and complex regulatory frameworks. Our governance and compliance processes, which include the review of internal control over financial reporting, may not prevent future potential breaches of law, accounting or governance practice. Our BHP Billiton Code of Business Conduct, anti-bribery and corruption, and anti-trust standards may not prevent instances of fraudulent behaviour and dishonesty nor guarantee compliance with legal or regulatory requirements. This may lead to regulatory fines, litigation, loss of operating licences or loss of reputation.
1.6 Forward looking statements
This Annual Report contains forward looking statements, including statements regarding:
Forward looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as intend, aim, project, anticipate, estimate, plan, believe, expect, may, should, will, continue or similar words. These statements discuss future expectations concerning the results of operations or financial condition, or provide other forward looking statements.
These forward looking statements are not guarantees or predictions of future performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, and which may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this Annual Report. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements.
For example, our future revenues from our operations, projects or mines described in this Annual Report will be based, in part, upon the market price of the minerals, metals or petroleum produced, which may vary significantly from current levels. These variations, if materially adverse, may affect the timing or the feasibility of the development of a particular project, the expansion of certain facilities or mines, or the continuation of existing operations.
Other factors that may affect the actual construction or production commencement dates, costs or production output and anticipated lives of operations, mines or facilities include our ability to profitably produce and transport the minerals, petroleum and/or metals extracted to applicable markets; the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on the market prices of the minerals, petroleum or metals we produce; activities of government authorities in some of the countries where we are exploring or developing these projects, facilities or mines, including increases in taxes, changes in environmental and other regulations and political uncertainty; and other factors identified in the description of the risk factors above.
We cannot assure you that our estimated economically recoverable reserve figures, closure or divestment of such operations or facilities, including associated costs, actual production or commencement dates, cost or production output or anticipated lives of the projects, mines and facilities discussed in this Annual Report, will not differ materially from the statements contained in this Annual Report.
Except as required by applicable regulations or by law, the Group does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or review any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information or future events.
Diamonds and Specialty Products
Stainless Steel Materials
BHP Billiton office locations
Projects and exploration activities are not shown on this map
2.2.1 History and development
Since 29 June 2001, we have operated under a Dual Listed Company (DLC) structure. Under the DLC structure, the two parent companies, BHP Billiton Limited (formerly BHP Limited and before that The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited) and BHP Billiton Plc (formerly Billiton Plc) operate as a single economic entity, run by a unified Board and management team. More details of the DLC structure are located under section 2.11 of this Report.
BHP Billiton Limited was incorporated in 1885 and is registered in Australia with ABN 49 004 028 077. BHP Billiton Plc was incorporated in 1996 and is registered in England and Wales with registration number 3196209. Successive predecessor entities to BHP Billiton Plc have operated since 1860.
The registered office of BHP Billiton Limited is 180 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia, and its telephone number is 1300 55 47 57 (within Australia) or +61 3 9609 3333 (outside Australia). The registered office of BHP Billiton Plc is Neathouse Place, London SW1V 1BH, UK, and its telephone number is +44 20 7802 4000. Our agent for service in the United States is Earl K. Moore at 1360 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77056.
2.2.2 Petroleum Customer Sector Group
Our Petroleum CSG comprises a base of large, long-life, low unit cost production operations that are located in six countries throughout the world. We pursue significant upstream opportunities with multiple options for growth to ensure continued success.
During FY2010, Petroleum delivered its third consecutive annual production record by realising 158.56 million barrels of oil equivalent following the successful delivery of a series of growth projects in the Gulf of Mexico and Australia. The Pyrenees facility (Australia) was brought on stream on schedule during the third quarter FY2010 and our deepwater Shenzi field (US) performed at or above design capacity during the year. We also realised strong reservoir performance from Atlantis North (US). All three factors plus strong base operating uptime worldwide contributed to a 27 per cent increase in high margin crude oil and condensate production over the previous year. This was accomplished while keeping our unit operating cost below US$6 per barrel.
Production in FY2010 from our Gulf of Mexico projects has not been materially impacted by events following the oil spill from BPs Macondo well. However, our current understanding of the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium, updated by the US Department of the Interior on 12 July 2010, indicates that it will be extremely unlikely for any new producing wells to commence drilling until at least very late in CY2010 which is expected to have a significant impact on FY2011 production.
We continue to invest in our business through economic cycles and maintain a long-term view. Our consistently strong project execution over the past four years has led us to successfully deliver four major operated projects, the latest one being the Pyrenees floating production storage and offtake facility offshore Western Australia. Combined with Shenzi and Neptune in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and Stybarrow in Western Australia, we have proven our ability to safely deliver large, technically-challenging projects in diverse and challenging environments.
Our financial strength allows us to continue to aggressively pursue exploration opportunities around the globe. Our focus is on capturing and operating large acreage positions in areas that are material to BHP Billiton. Over the past four years, we have substantially grown our captured acreage position and commenced one of the most aggressive drilling campaigns in the Groups history that will continue into the coming years.
Information on Petroleum operations
The following table contains additional details of our production operations. This table should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.1) and reserve tables (see section 2.14.1).
Our production assets are as follows:
Together with our 5050 joint venture partner, Esso Australia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, we have been producing oil and gas from Bass Strait, off the south-eastern coast of the Australian mainland, for 40 years, having participated in the original discovery of hydrocarbons there in 1965. We dispatch the majority of our Bass Strait crude oil and condensate production to refineries along the east coast of Australia. Gas is piped ashore to our Longford processing facility, from where we sell our production to domestic distributors under contracts with periodic price reviews.
North West Shelf
We are a domestic gas joint venture participant in the North West Shelf Project in Western Australia. The North West Shelf Project was developed in phases: the domestic gas phase, which supplies gas to the Western Australian domestic market mainly under long-term contracts, and a series of LNG expansion phases, which supply LNG to buyers in Japan, Korea and China under a series of long-term contracts. The North West Shelf Project also produces LPG and condensate.
We are also a joint venture participant in four nearby oil fields. Both the North West Shelf gas and oil ventures are operated by Woodside Petroleum Ltd.
We are the operator of two oil fields offshore Western Australia and one gas field in Victoria.
The Pyrenees asset came on line in the third quarter FY2010 and is an oil development which consists of three fields (Crosby, Stickle and Ravensworth) located offshore Western Australia. The project uses a floating production storage and offtake facility.
The Stybarrow asset (50 per cent BHP Billiton share) is an oil development located offshore Western Australia. The project uses a floating production storage and offtake facility.
The Minerva asset (90 per cent BHP Billiton share) is a gas field located offshore Victoria. The asset consists of two subsea producing wells which pipe gas onshore to a processing plant. The gas is delivered into a pipeline and sold domestically.
Gulf of Mexico
We operate three fields in the Gulf of Mexico (Neptune, Shenzi and consolidated operations in the West Cameron area), and hold non-operating interests in a further three fields (Atlantis, Mad Dog and Genesis). We also own 25 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, of the companies that own and operate the Caesar oil pipeline and the Cleopatra gas pipeline which transport oil and gas from the Green Canyon area, where a number of our fields are located, to connecting pipelines that transport product to the mainland. We deliver our oil production to refineries along the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Liverpool Bay and Bruce/Keith
The Liverpool Bay integrated development consists of six offshore gas and oil fields in the Irish Sea, the Point of Ayr onshore processing plant in North Wales, and associated infrastructure. We deliver all of the Liverpool Bay gas by pipeline to E.ONs Connahs Quay power station. We own 46.1 per cent of and operate Liverpool Bay. We also hold a 16 per cent non-operating interest in the Bruce oil and gas field in the North Sea and operate the Keith field, a subsea tie-back, which is processed via the Bruce platform facilities.
Our Algerian assets comprise our effective 45 per cent interest in the Ohanet wet gas development and our effective 38 per cent interest in the ROD Integrated Development, which consists of six satellite oil fields that pump oil back to a dedicated processing train.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Greater Angostura project is an integrated oil and gas development located offshore east Trinidad. We are the operator of the field and have a 45 per cent interest in the production sharing contract for the project.
We hold a 38.5 per cent working interest in and operate the Zamzama gas project in Sindh province of Pakistan. Both gas and condensate are sold domestically.
North West Shelf North Rankin gas compression project
In March 2008, the Board approved the North West Shelf gas compression project to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields. A new gas compression platform, North Rankin B, capable of processing 2,500 million cubic feet of gas per day will be constructed adjacent to the existing North Rankin A platform, 135 kilometres offshore from Karratha on the northwest coast of Western Australia. The two platforms will be connected by a 100 metre long bridge and operate as a single facility. Our 16.67 per cent share of development costs is approximately US$850 million, of which US$257 million was incurred as of 30 June 2010. First gas is expected in 2012.
North West Shelf Cossack, Wanaea, Lambert, Hermes (CWLH) life extension
In December 2008, approval was announced to undertake a redevelopment project to replace and refurbish CWLH facilities because the existing operation had performed above expectation and had an expected field life much longer than originally planned. The project consists of the replacement of the existing Cossack Pioneer floating production storage and offtake vessel and selected refurbishment of existing subsea infrastructure and the existing riser turret mooring. Our 16.67 per cent share of the cost is approximately US$245 million, of which US$111 million was incurred as of 30 June 2010. First production through the redeveloped facilities is expected in CY2011.
Bass Strait Kipper gas field development
Initial development of the Kipper gas field in the Gippsland Basin located offshore Victoria was approved by the Board in December 2007. The first phase of the project includes two new subsea wells, three new pipelines and platform modifications to supply 10 thousand barrels of condensate per day and 80 million cubic feet of gas per day. Gas and liquids will be processed via the existing Gippsland Basin joint venture facilities. Our share of development costs is approximately US$500 million, of which US$216 million was incurred as of 30 June 2010. The initial production target date is CY2011. The schedule and budget are currently under review following advice from the operator.
We own a 32.5 per cent interest in the Kipper Unit Joint Venture, with Esso Australia and Santos owning the remaining 67.5 per cent. We own a 50 per cent interest in the Gippsland Basin joint venture.
Bass Strait Turrum field development
Further expansion of the Gippsland Basin facilities is underway with the Board approving the full field development of the Turrum oil and gas field in July 2008. The project consists of a new platform, Marlin B, linked by a bridge to the existing Marlin A platform. The Turrum field, which has a capacity of 11 thousand barrels of oil per day and 200 million cubic feet of gas per day, is located 42 kilometres from shore in approximately 60 metres of water. Our share of development costs is approximately US$625 million, of which US$270 million was incurred as of 30 June 2010. The initial production target date is CY2011. The schedule and budget are currently under review following advice from the operator.
Greater Angostura Phase 2
In September 2008, we announced the signing of a gas sales contract with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) for the purchase of gas from the second phase of the Greater Angostura field. In August 2008, we sanctioned an investment of approximately US$400 million (US$180 million our share, of which US$117 million was incurred as of 30 June 2010) to construct and install a new gas export platform alongside the Companys existing facilities within the Greater Angostura Field. Fabrication of the 280 million cubic feet per day facility started in February 2009 and is expected to be online during CY2011.
The development also includes modifications to the existing Greater Angostura facilities and the installation of a new flowline. NGC will take delivery of the gas at the new gas export platform and will transport it in their proposed 36 inch diameter Northeastern Offshore Pipeline to Trinidad and a 12 inch diameter Tobago pipeline.
The Greater Angostura field includes oil and gas discoveries at Aripo, Kairi and Canteen. We hold a 45 per cent interest in the joint venture. Other partners are Total (30 per cent interest) and Chaoyang Petroleum (BVI) Limited (25 per cent interest), a consortium between CNOOC and Sinopec.
Exploration and appraisal
We focus on capturing and operating large acreage positions in areas that are material to the Group. We have exploration interests throughout the world, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, Australia, South East Asia, and Latin America. During the year, our gross expenditure on exploration was US$817 million, of which US$563 million was expensed. Our major exploration interests are as follows:
We have a 50 per cent interest in the Gippsland Basin joint venture with Esso Australia Ltd. Operations for the South East Remora-1 wildcat well commenced in December 2009 and the well encountered a hydrocarbon-bearing interval. The well has been plugged and abandoned and continues to be evaluated for development potential.
In October 2009, exploration block WA-346-P was renewed for an additional five years following the expiry of the initial six-year term. WA-346-P contains the existing Thebe and Jupiter gas fields and the northern portion of the Scarborough gas field. The work program in the five year term includes one exploration well as well as continued evaluation of the development potential of the existing discoveries. We operate WA-346-P and hold a 100 per cent interest.
Exploration block WA-351-P, located on the Exmouth Plateau south of Scarborough, was also renewed in June 2010 for an additional five years following the initial six-year term. The work program includes one exploration well and geological and geophysical studies within the five-year term. We operate WA-351-P and hold a 55 per cent interest with Tap Oil (25 per cent) and Roc Oil (20 per cent) holding the remainder.
In June 2009, we farmed into block WA-335-P to the south of WA-351-P, acquiring 30 per cent equity from the joint venture partners Apache (45.5 per cent) and Kufpec (24.5 per cent). A 3D seismic survey covering all of block WA-335-P has commenced.
In August 2009, Woodside Browse Pty Ltd farmed into the AC/RL8 retention lease over the Argus gas field, acquiring a 43.33 per cent working interest from us. Woodside subsequently acquired Petronas equity in the block, taking their interest to 60 per cent with BHP Billiton retaining a 40 per cent interest.
Knotty Head - Green Canyon 512
We currently own a 25 per cent interest in the Knotty Head prospect, located in Green Canyon Block 512. Partners in the field are Nexen (25 per cent), Unocal (25 per cent) and Statoil (25 per cent). Knotty Head appraisal well-2 was drilled in October 2009 and concluded in March 2010. The appraisal well was drilled to a total of 33,227 feet measured depth or 32,446 feet true vertical depth and evaluated the western portion of the block. Development options for the field are currently being evaluated.
Deep Blue - Green Canyon 723
We currently own a 31.875 per cent interest in the Deep Blue prospect located in the Green Canyon area. Partners in the well are Noble (33.75 per cent), Statoil (15.625 per cent), Samson (9.375 per cent) and Murphy (9.375 per cent). Deep Blue exploration well-1 was drilled in November 2009 and concluded in May 2010. The sidetrack drilling started in May and was suspended in June 2010 due to the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium issued by the US Federal Government. The Green Canyon 723 #1 original hole drilled to a total depth of 32,684 feet measured depth and encountered hydrocarbons. The forward plan is to complete the sidetrack operations once the moratorium is lifted. There is insufficient information to confirm the extent of hydrocarbons until drilling operations have been completed.
Gulf of Mexico - Other
We drilled the Double Mountain (70 per cent interest) and Firefox (50 per cent interest) exploration wells which were completed in April 2010. Both wells were plugged and abandoned and expensed as dry holes.
In January 2010, we were awarded two offshore non-operated licenses in the Laurentian Basin, Newfoundland, Canada - E.L. 1118 (45 per cent interest) and E.L. 1119 (36 per cent interest). ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp. is the operator and holds the balance of the interests.
In April 2010, the East Wolverine well was plugged and abandoned and expensed as a dry hole. We had 45 per cent interest with ConocoPhillips holding the remaining 55 per cent. In June 2010, we and ConocoPhillips relinquished our interest in Laurentian Basin Newfoundland Licenses E.L. 1081R, 1082R, 1086R and 1087R and also relinquished interest in Laurentian Basin St. Pierre-et-Miquelon (SPM) exploration permit and pending SPM Langlade permit application.
In April 2006, we entered into two Exploration and Production Contracts for the Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur blocks located offshore Colombia. We held a 75 per cent operating interest in each block with Ecopetrol holding the remaining 25 per cent. The joint venture has completed acquisition and processing of 3D seismic over the area as part of the Phase 2 work program commitment. In October 2009, we elected not to enter into Phase 3 of Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur projects and transferred all of our interest to Ecopetrol in December 2009.
In September 2008, we entered into a technical evaluation assignment for the evaluation of hydrocarbons in Block 5 in the Llanos basin onshore Colombia. We are the operator of the project and hold a 71.4 per cent working interest in the joint venture, with SK Energy Co holding the remaining 28.6 per cent interest. The minimum work program includes the acquisition of 1,000 kilometres of 2D seismic plus the drilling of five stratigraphic wells. The airborne survey was completed in January 2010, and plans to complete the 2D seismic drilling program are currently underway.
In December 2007, we farmed into Northern and Southern area licences offshore the Falkland Islands. We acquired a 51 per cent interest from our joint venture partner Falkland Oil and Gas Limited and assumed operatorship in January 2008. The minimum exploration work program includes drilling two wells in the first phase by the end of 2010. Site surveys on both blocks were completed in 2009. The first exploration well began drilling in June 2010 and was plugged and abandoned and expensed as a dry hole in July 2010.
In December 2008, we were awarded seven offshore blocks in India. We are the operator of all seven blocks, each with its own production sharing contract. The minimum exploration program includes the acquisition and processing of 2D seismic data across the seven blocks. We currently own a 26 per cent interest in all seven blocks, with our partner GVK holding the remaining 74 per cent. In June 2010, we were awarded three additional offshore blocks. The minimum work program associated with the three blocks includes the acquisition and processing of 2D and 3D seismic data. We hold a 100 per cent interest in each of these three blocks.
In March 2007, we were awarded offshore Blocks N and Q in Malaysia with a 60 per cent interest and operatorship, with Petronas Carigali holding the residual 40 per cent. The minimum exploration program includes the acquisition and processing of seismic data across the two blocks and the drilling of four exploration wells within the first seven years. The initial seismic acquisition program commenced in June 2008 and was completed in September 2008. The first exploration well was drilled in February 2010 and was plugged, abandoned and expensed as a dry hole.
In November 2009, we acquired a 75 per cent interest in Service Contract 59, located offshore Philippines and assumed operatorship in April 2010. PNOC Exploration Corp owns the remaining 25 per cent interest. As part of the minimum work program, the joint venture completed the acquisition and processing of a 2D seismic survey in April 2010. Plans to complete a 3D seismic survey are currently underway.
In August 2009, we exercised our option with partner Mitra Energy (25 per cent) to acquire a 25 per cent non-operating interest in Service Contract 56 located offshore Philippines. The joint venture completed drilling of the first exploration well in December 2009, and the second consecutive well was completed in February 2010. Both wells were expensed as dry holes. The block is operated by ExxonMobil (50 per cent).
In October 2009, we became operator of Vietnam Blocks 28 and 29/03 that are located approximately 200 kilometres offshore southern Vietnam. We have a 50 per cent interest in each of the blocks, with Mitra Energy holding the remaining 50 per cent. The minimum work program for the first sub-phase includes 2D seismic data and two wells. In addition to the 2D seismic data requirement, we acquired and processed 3D data.
The number of wells in the process of being drilled as of 30 June 2010 was as follows:
Other significant activities
The Browse LNG Development comprises the development of the Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance gas fields, which were discovered in 1971, 1979, and 2000, respectively. The fields are approximately 270 kilometres from the Kimberley coast and 440 kilometres north-northwest of Broome, Australia in water depths ranging from 30 to 800 metres. Retention Leases were renewed during FY2010. Evaluation of an LNG plant located at James Price Point in the Kimberley area of Western Australia is underway in addition to the upstream development. Woodside is the operator and we currently own 8.33 per cent in East Browse and 20 per cent in West Browse; however, the partnership is currently working to align the equity interests for the overall development.
The Macedon project is in the final stages of evaluation and is a lean dry gas field that is ideally placed to meet growing Western Australian domestic gas demand. The project is scheduled to meet a market window governed by the end of existing gas supply contracts and the start of supply from green field LNG projects.
The Macedon field was discovered in 1992. The field lies in Production Licence WA-42L. We are operator with a 71.43 per cent share and Apache Northwest Pty Ltd holds a 28.57 per cent share.
The development planning for the large Scarborough gasfield offshore Western Australia is in progress. Development options are being evaluated for an LNG plant and offshore production facilities. Esso is the operator of the WA-1-R lease and we hold a 50 per cent working interest. We also have a 100 per cent working interest in the WA-346-P block.
Shenzi Water Injection
The Shenzi Water Injection program includes drilling and completion of five water injection wells and provides facilities to inject up to 125 thousand barrels of water per day at 7,000 psi. The Shenzi Water Injection program was approved as part of the original sanctioned Shenzi project which began producing in 2009 and is intended to supplement aquifer pressure for additional recovery.
Atlantis South Water Injection
The Atlantis South Water Injection project, which is in the execution phase, involves drilling four subsea water injectors, tying them into the existing infrastructure and commissioning the 75 thousand barrels of water per day injection facilities. This water injection project mitigates low aquifer pressure which could result in a swift production decline. BP is the operator and we hold a 44 per cent working interest.
Atlantis North Phase 2B
The Atlantis North Flank began production in July 2009; and the North Phase 2B is a brownfield capital investment program being developed to improve production rates. Phase 2B includes a three well program and associated subsea infrastructure. As with the original Atlantis North project, BP is the operator, and we hold a 44 per cent working interest.
Mad Dog Phase 2
The Mad Dog Phase 2 project is in response to the successful Mad Dog South appraisal well, which confirmed significant resource in the southern portion of the Mad Dog field. We are working with our partners in the project to select the optimum concept for development.
Zamzama Front End Compression
Zamzama Front End Compression is a brownfield project which allows for the additional drawdown of the reservoir, adding reserves and extending the plateau. Development is currently underway.
We have delivery commitments of natural gas and LNG of approximately 2,594 billion cubic feet through 2031 (67 per cent Australia and 33 per cent Other) and crude, condensate and NGL commitments of 33.3 million barrels through 2011 (72 per cent Australia, 27 per cent United States and 1 per cent Other). We have sufficient proved reserves and production capacity to fulfil these delivery commitments. Further information can be found in Section 2.14.1.
2.2.3 Aluminium Customer Sector Group
Our Aluminium business is a portfolio of assets at three stages of the aluminium value chain: we mine bauxite, we refine bauxite into alumina, and we smelt alumina into aluminium metal. We are the worlds seventh-largest producer of aluminium, with total production in FY2010 of 1.2 million tonnes of aluminium. We also produced 13.9 million tonnes of bauxite and 3.8 million tonnes of alumina.
During FY2010, 52 per cent of our alumina production was used in our aluminium smelters and we sold the balance to other smelters. Our alumina sales are a mixture of long-term contract sales at London Metal Exchange (LME)-linked prices and spot sales at negotiated prices. Prices for our aluminium sales are generally linked to prevailing LME prices.
As with our other businesses, our strategy with bauxite and alumina is to own large, low-cost assets that provide good returns through the investment cycle and provide us with options for brownfield development. With aluminium smelters, where the availability and cost of power are critical, our investment decisions have been driven in part by the availability of stranded power generation capacity.
We have interests in one integrated bauxite mining/alumina refining asset:
The Boddington bauxite mine in Western Australia supplies bauxite ore via a 51 kilometre long conveyor to the Worsley alumina refinery. Worsley is one of the largest and lowest-cost refineries in the world, and is currently undergoing a major expansion (see Development projects below). Our share of Worsleys FY2010 production was 3.054 million tonnes of alumina. Worsleys export customers include our own Hillside, Bayside and Mozal smelters in southern Africa. Boddington has a reserve life of 23.9 years at current production rates. We own 86 per cent of the mine and the refinery.
On 31 July 2009, we executed transaction agreements to pass all of our 45 per cent interest in the Suriname bauxite and alumina joint venture that comprised bauxite mines in the Kaaimangrasie, Klaverblad, Caramacca and Coermotibo areas of Suriname and the nearby Paranam alumina refinery to Suralco effective on that date. Our share of Paranams FY2010 production to the date of sale was 78,000 tonnes of alumina.
We also own 14.8 per cent of Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) which owns and operates a large bauxite mine in Brazil.
We have interests in the Alumar integrated alumina refinery/aluminium smelter and three stand-alone aluminium smelters:
We own 36 per cent of the Alumar refinery and 40 per cent of the smelter. Alcoa operates both facilities. The operations, and their integrated port facility, are located at São Luís in the Maranhão province of Brazil. Alumar sources bauxite from MRN. During FY2010, approximately 46 per cent of Alumars alumina production was used to feed the smelter, while the remainder was exported. Our share of Alumars FY2010 saleable production was 709,000 tonnes of alumina and 174,000 tonnes of aluminium. The Alumar refinery completed a significant expansion in October 2009.
Our Hillside and Bayside smelters are located at Richards Bay, South Africa. Hillsides capacity of approximately 715,000 tonnes per annum makes it the largest aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere and it is one of the most efficient. Bayside has a smelting capacity of approximately 96,000 tonnes per annum, but it also uses its own aluminium and liquid aluminium from Hillside to produce various slab products. Both operations import alumina predominantly from our Worsley refinery and source power from Eskom, the South African state utility, under long-term contracts with prices linked to the LME price of aluminium except for Hillside Potline 3, the price of which is linked to the South African and US producer price indices.
In January 2008, Eskom determined that it had insufficient power to meet the national demand in South Africa, and mandated an emergency 10 per cent reduction in power consumption by many large industrial users, including BHP Billiton. Although our contracts with Eskom specify that power supply to our aluminium smelters can only be interrupted approximately one per cent of the time per calendar year, we have respected the emergency situation faced by the country and reduced our demand by the requested 10 per cent. To achieve this in the most economically efficient way, we have mothballed the B and C potlines at Bayside, reducing production there by approximately 90,400 tonnes per annum. Across both South African smelters, associated production losses were approximately 86,000 tonnes per annum.
We own 47.1 per cent of and operate the Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique, which has a total capacity of approximately 563,000 tonnes per annum. Mozal sources power generated by Hydro Cahora Basa via Motraco, a transmission joint venture between Eskom and the national electricity utilities of Mozambique and Swaziland. Our share of Mozals FY2010 production was 259,000 tonnes.
Information on the Aluminium CSGs bauxite mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. This table should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserve tables (see section 2.14.2).
Information on the Aluminium CSGs aluminium smelters and alumina refineries
Worsley Efficiency and Growth Project
In May 2008, we announced approval for an expansion project to lift capacity of the Worsley refinery from 3.5 million tonnes per annum of alumina to 4.6 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent capacity) of alumina through expanded mining operations at Boddington, additional refinery capacity and upgraded port facilities. The project is budgeted to cost US$1.9 billion (our share), with first production anticipated in first half of CY2011 and with mechanical completion in the second half of CY2011. To date we have spent US$1.2 billion.
We have a one-third interest in a joint venture that is undergoing a feasibility study into the construction of a 10 million tonnes per annum bauxite mine, an alumina refinery with processing capacity exceeding 3.3 million tonnes per annum and associated infrastructure approximately 110 kilometres from the port of Kamsar in Guinea.
2.2.4 Base Metals Customer Sector Group
Our Base Metals CSG is one of the worlds top producers of copper, silver, lead and uranium, and a leading producer of zinc. Our portfolio of large, low-cost mining operations includes the Escondida mine in Chile, which is the worlds largest single producer of copper, and Olympic Dam in South Australia, which is already a major producer of copper and uranium and has the potential to be significantly expanded.
In recent years, we have commissioned the Spence copper mine and the Escondida Sulphide Leach projects. Our total copper production in FY2010 was 1.0 million tonnes. In addition to conventional mine development, we continue to pursue advanced treatment technologies, such as the leaching of low-grade chalcopyrite ores, which we believe has the potential to recover copper from ores which were previously uneconomic to treat.
We market five primary products:
We sell most of our copper, lead and zinc concentrates to smelters under long-term volume contracts with prices based on the LME price for the contained metal three or four months after shipment, less treatment charges and refining charges (collectively referred to as TCRCs) that we negotiate with the smelters on an annual or bi-annual basis. Some of the ores we mine contain quantities of silver and gold, which remain in the base metal concentrates we sell. We receive payment credits for the silver and gold recovered by our customers in the smelting and refining process.
We sell most of our copper cathode production to rod and brass mills and casting plants around the world under annual contracts with premiums to LME prices. We sell uranium oxide to electricity generating utilities, principally in western Europe, north America and north Asia. Uranium is typically sold under long-term contracts. A significant portion of production is sold into fixed price contracts although increasingly sales are based on flexible pricing terms.
We have seven production assets:
Our 57.5 per cent owned and operated Escondida mine is the largest and one of the lowest-cost copper producers in the world. In FY2010, our share of Escondida production was 448,111, tonnes of payable copper in concentrate and 174,199 tonnes of copper cathode. Current reserves will support mining for a further 30 years at current production rates. Availability of key inputs like power and water supply at competitive prices is an important focus at Escondida. To ensure security of supply and competitive power costs in the long term, we supported the construction of an LNG facility to supply gas to the Northern grid system, which has been operating since June 2010 and have signed-off-take agreements underwriting the construction of a 460 megawatt coal-fired power plant, which is scheduled for completion in CY2011. To address limitations on the availability of water, we carefully manage our use and re-use of available water, and explore for alternative sources including desalination of seawater.
During FY2009, Escondida experienced an electrical motor failure at the SAG Mill in the Laguna Seca concentrator plant. This impacted the throughput at the plant given the increased maintenance requirements. A permanent repair was successfully completed in the first quarter of FY2010.
While it is already a significant producer of copper cathode and uranium oxide, and a refiner of smaller amounts of gold and silver bullion, we are continuing to explore a series of staged development options that would make our wholly owned Olympic Dam operation one of the worlds largest producers of copper, the largest producer of uranium and a significant producer of gold (see Development projects below).
During the second quarter of FY2010, the haulage system in the Clark Shaft at Olympic Dam was damaged. Ore hoisting operated at approximately 25 per cent of capacity until the fourth quarter of FY2010, when hoisting from the Clark Shaft resumed achieving a return to full production following the completion of repair works. Production in FY2010 was impacted due to this incident with Olympic Dam producing 103,253 tonnes of copper cathode, 2,279 tonnes of uranium oxide, 65,494 ounces of refined gold and 500,346 ounces of refined silver.
We own 33.75 per cent of Antamina, a large, low-cost, long-life copper/zinc mine in Peru. Opened in 2001, its reserves will support mining at current rates for a further 20 years. Our share of Antaminas FY2010 production was 98,600 tonnes of copper in concentrate, and 135,573 tonnes of zinc in concentrate. In addition to its primary copper and zinc concentrate products, Antamina also produces smaller amounts of molybdenum and lead/bismuth concentrate.
We completed our wholly owned greenfield Spence copper mine development in Chile and began ramping up cathode production in December 2006. During FY2010, we produced 159,604 tonnes of copper cathode which was impacted by industrial action during the second quarter. Spence´s current reserves will support mining at current rates for a further 16 years.
Our wholly owned Cerro Colorado mine in Chile remains a significant producer of copper cathode, although production levels have declined in recent years as grades have declined. Production in FY2010 was 85,200 tonnes of copper cathode. Our current mine plan sees production continuing until FY2021, although we are currently evaluating the extent of hypogene mineralisation that may support further extension options.
Our wholly owned Cannington mine in northwest Queensland has grown to become the worlds largest and, we believe, one of the lowest-cost producers of silver and lead. In FY2010, Cannington produced concentrates containing 245,445 tonnes of lead, 62,706 tonnes of zinc and approximately 37 million ounces of silver. The current mine plan sees production continuing until 2019.
As a result of the global economic slowdown in FY2009, we made the decision to stop sulphide mining and milling operations at our Pinto Valley Mine located in Arizona, US, placing the operations in care and maintenance.
We continue to produce copper cathode at the Pinto Valley site and the neighbouring Miami Unit from our residual solvent extraction electrowinning (SXEW) operations. Current reserves would support mining operations for approximately four years.
Information on the Base Metals CSGs mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. This table should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserve tables (see section 2.14.2).
Pre-feasibility study work on the proposed expansion of Olympic Dam has addressed production capacities, mining methods, processing (including smelting) options and supporting infrastructure requirements. The proposed expansion would be a progressive development requiring construction activity to increase production to up to 750,000 tonnes per annum of copper, 19,000 tonnes per annum of uranium oxide and 800,000 ounces of gold. The Group released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in May 2009 and received more than 4,000 public submissions on the project. The issues raised in the public submissions are addressed in a Supplementary EIS which the Group expects to complete by the end of CY2010. Government decisions on the project are expected in the second half of CY2011. After that, the expansion project will depend on successfully completing all required feasibility studies and on Board approval of the final investment case.
Pre-feasibility study work relating to the proposed Yeelirrie uranium oxide mine is in progress and will be reviewed by the Group to determine whether feasibility study work should commence in early 2011. The work currently underway includes resource definition drilling, test work, process plant concept design, environment impact assessment, capital and operating costing and economic evaluation.
Exploration of the Escondida lease and early drilling results suggest that there is extensive additional mineralisation in close proximity to existing infrastructure and processing facilities, including a prospect known as Pampa Escondida. In FY2010 Escondida has expensed US$125 million (US$72 million our share) in exploration. Escondida is planning to invest a further estimated US$541 million (US$311 million our share) in drilling, assaying and metallurgical test work in exploration over the next five years.
The Laguna Seca Debottlenecking project which will provide additional processing capacity has moved into feasibility. It is expected that this project will move into execution during FY2011. Development of Organic Growth Project 1 continues which is the replacement of the Los Colorados concentrator allowing access to higher grade ore and additional processing capacity.
In FY2010 Antamina announced the approval of the Expansion project. With a total investment of US$1.3 billion (US$434.7 million our share), the project will expand milling capacity by 38 per cent to 130,000 tpd. The Expansion project includes a new SAG mill, a new 55 kilometre power transmission line, an expanded truck shop facility and upgrades to the crushing and tailing systems, flotation circuit and port capacity. Commissioning of the project is scheduled to start at the end of CY2011. Our share of the capital expenditures in the Antamina expansion project totalled US$47 million in FY2010.
We hold a 45 per cent interest in the Resolution Copper project in Arizona, which is operated by our partner, Rio Tinto, which owns the other 55 per cent. Resolution Copper is currently undertaking a pre-feasibility study into a substantial underground copper mine and processing facility.
Resolution Copper continued to advance the sinking of the No. 10 Shaft in order to gain access to the ore deposit for characterisation work of mineralisation and geotechnical conditions. In addition to work completed at the project site, efforts continued towards gaining approval within the US Congress for a Federal Land Exchange to access the ore deposit.
2.2.5 Diamonds and Specialty Products Customer Sector Group
Our Diamonds and Specialty Products CSG operates our diamonds and titanium minerals businesses and the exploration and development of a potash business.
The cornerstone of our diamonds business is the EKATI diamond mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, of which we own 80 per cent. EKATI has produced on average over three million carats per year of rough diamonds over the last three years. However, the grade of ore we process fluctuates from year to year, resulting in variations in carats produced. In addition, the proportion of our production consisting of high-value carats (larger and/or higher-quality stones) and low-value carats (smaller and/or lower-quality stones) will fluctuate from year to year. During the year mining of the higher grade Panda underground was completed. The mine life based on the mine plan is eight years.
Annual sales from EKATI (100 per cent terms) represent approximately three per cent of current world rough diamond supply by weight and approximately nine per cent by value. We sell most of our rough diamonds to international diamond buyers through our Antwerp sales office. We also sell a smaller amount of our diamond production to two Canadian manufacturers based in the Northwest Territories.
Our principal interest in titanium minerals consists of our 37.76 per cent interest in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). RBM is one of the largest and lowest-cost producers of titania slag, high-purity pig iron, rutile and zircon from mineral sands. Approximately 90 per cent of the titanium dioxide slag produced by RBM is suitable for the chloride process of titanium dioxide pigment manufacture and is sold internationally under a variety of short, medium and long-term contracts.
In December 2009, RBM completed its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) transaction by transferring 26 per cent to the BBBEE Consortium. The BBBEE Consortium includes investors, local communities and RBM employees.
We believe potash has significant growth potential underpinned by increasing demand for food and decreasing arable land, which is largely driven by growing economies in developing countries.
On 18 August 2010, BHP Billiton announced its intention to make an all-cash offer, and on 20 August 2010 formally commenced the offer, to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) at a price of US$130 in cash per PotashCorp common share (the Offer). The Offer values the total equity of PotashCorp at approximately US$40 billion on a fully diluted basis.
On 23 March 2010, we completed the acquisition of all the issued and outstanding common shares of Athabasca Potash Inc (API) for C$8.35 cash per common share. This acquisition provided us with 100 per cent control of the Burr project and various additional potash exploration properties in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our permit positions for potash extend over 14,000 square kilometres in the Saskatchewan basin and have expiry dates between 2013 and 2016. We are currently studying development opportunities (see Development projects below).
Information on Diamonds and Specialty Products mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. This table should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserve tables (see section 2.14.2).
We continued advancing the Jansen Project, a greenfield potash project near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada which is being designed to produce approximately eight million tonnes per annum of saleable potash. The Project is nearing the end of its pre-feasibility study and is anticipated to progress to feasibility in the first half of FY2011. Based on the current schedule and subject to investment approval, the project is expected to produce saleable potash from CY2015. We have also allotted pre-commitment funding of US$240 million to support the development of the first stages of the Jansen Potash Project. This pre-approval expenditure will facilitate the early stage work for the establishment of the production and service shafts.
Jansen is the most advanced of our multiple development options in potash, with nearby Young and Boulder projects both in the concept study phase. We continued exploration activities in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Burr project, acquired with Athabasca Potash on 23 March 2010, is currently under review in the context of our full potash development portfolio. Exploration in the Melville area, also acquired with Athabasca Potash, began in July 2010.
We are working on pre-feasibility and concept studies for developments at EKATI. Because of the nature of the kimberlite pipes in which diamonds are found, individual pipes are relatively short-lived, so we are continually working on options to bring new pipes on-stream.
2.2.6 Stainless Steel Materials Customer Sector Group
Our Stainless Steel Materials business is primarily a supplier of nickel to the stainless steel industry. Nickel is an important component of the most commonly used types of stainless steel. In addition, we supply nickel to other markets, including the specialty alloy, foundry, chemicals, and refractory material industries. We are the worlds fourth-largest producer of nickel and we sell our nickel products under a mix of long-term, medium-term and spot volume contracts, with prices linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME) nickel price.
For the duration of FY2010, our nickel business comprised two sets of production assets:
Nickel West is the name for our wholly owned Western Australian nickel assets, which consist of an integrated system of mines, concentrators, a smelter and a refinery. We mine nickel-bearing sulphide ore at our Mt Keith, Leinster and Cliffs operations north of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. We operate concentrator plants at Mt Keith and at Leinster, which also concentrates ore from Cliffs. Leinster and Mt Keith have reserve lives of eight and 14 years respectively at current rates of production, and both have options for further expansion. Cliffs is a high-grade underground mine with an expected reserve life of three years. The extraction of ore at Cliffs commenced in FY2008.
We also operate the Kambalda concentrator south of Kalgoorlie, where ore is sourced through tolling and concentrate purchase arrangements with third parties in the Kambalda region. In addition, we have a regular purchase agreement in place for the direct purchase of concentrate, which we dry and blend with other concentrate processed at Kambalda.
We transport concentrate from Leinster, Mt Keith and Kambalda to our Kalgoorlie smelter, which processes it into nickel matte, containing approximately 66 per cent nickel. In FY2010, we exported approximately 43 per cent of our nickel matte production. We processed the remaining nickel matte at our Kwinana nickel refinery, which produces nickel metal in the form of LME grade briquettes and nickel powder, together with a range of saleable by-products.
During FY2010, production of nickel metal from the Kwinana nickel refinery was impacted by a restriction in hydrogen supply, resulting in the redirection of matte feed stocks for external sale. A new hydrogen plant is under construction at the Kwinana nickel refinery and construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of FY2012.
Cerro Matoso, our 99.94 per cent owned nickel operation in Colombia, combines a lateritic nickel ore deposit with a low-cost ferronickel smelter. Cerro Matoso is the worlds second-largest producer of ferronickel and one of the lowest-cost producers of ferronickel. The smelter produces high-purity, low-carbon ferronickel granules. Cerro Matoso has an estimated current reserve life of 39 years, based on current production levels.
Significant changes to the Stainless Steel Materials business
During FY2010 Stainless Steel Materials made two significant business divestments. In July 2009 we completed the sale of the Yabulu nickel refinery. In February 2010 we completed the sale of the Ravensthorpe nickel operation following the suspension of production activities in January 2009.
Information on Stainless Steel Materials mining operations
Information on Stainless Steel Materials smelters, refineries and processing plants
Cerro Matoso Nickel Ore Smelting System
During FY2010, the Nickel Ore Smelting System project was approved to progress into execution phase. The project will deliver a replacement of the 27-year-old Line 1 furnace to improve operational reliability and accommodate changes in the mineralogy of the ore feed. The construction phase will take approximately six months, followed by heating and ramp-up of the new furnace over a further three months. The shutdown is planned to commence during the second half of FY2011.
Cerro Matoso expansion options
Cerro Matoso has undertaken conceptual studies on options for expanding production, including a heap leaching operation. A completed feasibility study and Board approval would be required before any project based on these studies proceeds.
Mt Keith Talc co-processing
In September 2009 the Mt Keith Talc re-design project was approved to move into execution phase. This will enable Mt Keith to process talcose ore to supplement the current ore supply. The general scope of this project is the installation of additional grinding and flotation equipment within the existing circuits at Mt Keith and the addition of a high magnesium oxide concentrate flotation circuit. This project allows us to treat talcose ores which make up approximately 15 per cent of the Mt Keith orebody and which were not previously able to be processed economically with existing technology. The project is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of FY2012.
2.2.7 Iron Ore Customer Sector Group
Our Iron Ore CSG consists of our Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) business and a 50 per cent interest in the Samarco joint venture in Brazil.
Western Australia Iron Ore
WAIOs operations involve a complex integrated system of seven mines and more than 1,000 kilometres of rail infrastructure and port facilities, all located in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. Our strategy is to maximise output utilising available infrastructure at our disposal.
In response to increasing demand for iron ore, we have been expanding our WAIO operations. Since 2001, we have completed six expansion projects to increase our system production capacity from 69 million tonnes per annum to 155 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis). We now have a project under construction to further increase system capacity to 205 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis). Additional projects now undergoing pre-feasibility or feasibility studies would further increase system capacity. Our share of FY2010 production was 113.9 million tonnes of ore.
Our Pilbara reserve base is relatively concentrated, allowing us to plan our development around a series of integrated mining hubs joined to the orebodies by conveyors or spur lines. The mining hub approach enables us to maximise the value of installed infrastructure by using the same processing plant and rail infrastructure for a number of orebodies. Blending ore at the hub gives us greater flexibility to respond to changing customer requirements and changing properties in the ore being mined, as well as reducing the risk of port bottlenecks.
In conjunction with our capacity expansion, we have continued to explore and refine our understanding of existing tenements. Our proven ore reserves are high-grade, with average iron content ranging from 57.1 per cent at Yandi to 63.0 per cent at Mt Newman. The reserve lives of our mines at current production levels range from 11 years at Mt Goldsworthy (JV Northern) to 72 years at Jimblebar.
We are a 5050 joint venture partner with Vale at the Samarco operations in Brazil. During the FY2008, Samarco completed an expansion project consisting of a third pellet plant, a mine expansion, a new concentrator, port enhancements and a second slurry pipeline.
In FY2010, our share of production was 10.35 million tonnes of pellets. Samarcos total ore reserve is about 2.11 billion tonnes. In addition, Samarco completed the selection (pre-feasibility) study for its fourth pellet plant which is expected to increase the iron ore pellet capacity by 8.2 million tonnes per annum to 30.7 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent share). This project is still subject to shareholder and Samarco Board approval.
Information on Iron Ore mining operations
Western Australia Iron Ore
Construction of Rapid Growth Project (RGP) 5 is ongoing. Project expenditure of US$4.8 billion was approved in November 2008 for RGP 5, our share of spend to date amounts to US$3.1 billion. The focus of this expansion project is to substantially double track the Newman mainline rail, construction of two new shipping berths on the Finucane Island side of the Port Hedland harbour and additional crushing, screening and stockpiling facilities at Yandi. RGP 5 is expected to increase the installed capacity of our WAIO operations by a further 50 million tonnes per annum to 205 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent share).
In January 2010, we announced approval of US$1.93 billion (100 per cent share) of capital expenditure to underpin further growth activities in the business. This expenditure represents early spend for the Groups RGP 6. The capital will allow for early procurement of long lead items and detailed engineering to continue the expansion of the inner harbour at Port Hedland, progress rail track duplication works and expand the mining operations. As at 30 June 2010, our capital spend on this project amounted to US$687 million.
Western Australia Iron Ore Rio Tinto Joint Venture
On 5 June 2009, BHP Billiton signed a Framework Agreement, including non-binding core principles, with Rio Tinto to form a 5050 production joint venture combining the economic interests of both companies current and future iron ore assets in Western Australia. On 5 December 2009, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto signed binding agreements that set out the terms that will regulate the establishment of the joint venture and its ongoing operation. Those terms are consistent with the core principles set out in the Framework Agreement, except that the joint marketing of 15 per cent of output contemplated by the core principles will not take place: all output will be sold by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto separately.
The joint venture offers an excellent opportunity to capture substantial production and development synergies from the companies overlapping world-class resources. These synergies are anticipated to come from:
It is intended that BHP Billitons Iron Ore President, Ian Ashby, will be appointed as the initial Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture, while Sam Walsh, currently Rio Tintos Chief Executive Iron Ore and Australia will be appointed as initial Chairman of the non-executive owners council.
Pre-conditions for formation of the joint venture include receipt of regulatory and relevant governmental clearances and approval from the shareholders of both Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The Framework Agreement and the binding agreements will terminate if the pre-conditions are not satisfied by 31 December 2010 unless extended by agreement of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
Heads of Agreement with Western Australian Government
On 21 June 2010, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto announced that they had signed a non-binding Heads of Agreement with the Government of Western Australia (HoA).
Based on the HoA, the State will proceed with amendments to the State Agreement Acts covering operations managed by BHP Billiton and operations managed by Rio Tinto, to require payment of royalties on iron ore shipments at the rates specified in the WA Mining Regulations with effect from 1 July 2010. Royalty rates will increase from 3.75 per cent of sales revenue to 5.625 per cent for fine ore and from 3.25 per cent to five per cent for beneficiated ore. The lump ore royalty will be 7.5 per cent, which is already the prevailing rate in most cases. The rates as amended will apply to all existing operations and future projects covered by the State Agreements.
Additionally, the HoA permits sharing of infrastructure and blending of products across the network operated by BHP Billiton and the network operated by Rio Tinto, and (subject to agreement between the parties) across both networks.
The State Agreement amendments are subject to the approval of relevant co-venturers under existing joint venture arrangements and the passage of ratifying legislation by the Western Australian Parliament. The amendments are not conditional on finalisation of the joint venture.
In recognition of the value that the amendments to the State Agreements are expected to generate and the need to support local communities, the parties to the relevant State Agreements will make a contribution totalling A$350 million to the consolidated revenue of the State.
We are currently carrying out exploration activities in the West African countries of Guinea and Liberia. At Nimba in Guinea, we are conducting concept studies to determine economic viability, sustainability impacts and management implications of operations in this area. During the year, we signed a Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia to enable the further exploration and development of our mineral leases in that country, this is currently before the Legislature for ratification.
2.2.8 Manganese Customer Sector Group
Our Manganese operations produce a combination of ores and alloys from sites in South Africa and Australia. The Manganese CSG is the worlds largest producer of manganese ore and among the top three global producers of manganese alloy.
Manganese alloy is a key input into the steelmaking process. Manganese high-grade ore is particularly valuable to alloy producers because of the value in use differential over low-grade ore, which is the degree to which high-grade ore is proportionately more efficient in the alloying process than low-grade ore.
Our strategy is to focus on upstream resource businesses which have been significant contributors to our profit in FY2010. However, our alloy smelters add value to the overall manganese business because they enable us to access markets with an optimal mix of ore and alloy, optimise production to best suit market conditions and give us insight into the performance of our ores in smelters.
Approximately 80 per cent of ore production is sold directly to external customers and the remainder is used as feedstock in our alloy smelters.
The Group owns and manages all manganese mining assets and alloy plants through a joint venture with Anglo-American in which the Group owns 60 per cent. The joint venture assets are Samancor Manganese, which owns 74 per cent of Hotazel Manganese Mines (Pty) Ltd (HMM) and Metalloys, both situated in South Africa and the Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd (GEMCO) and Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company Pty Ltd (TEMCO) located in Australia. In July 2009, Samancor Manganese (Pty) Ltd sold 26 per cent of HMM in a series of transactions designed to comply with South Africas Black Economic Empowerment requirements. In May 2010, Samancor Manganese sold its 51 per cent equity stake in Manganese Metal Company (Pty) Ltd to Agattu Trading 195 (Pty) Ltd.
HMM owns the Mamatwan open-cut mine and the Wessels underground mine. The ore contained in these mines require only crushing and screening to create saleable product with no further upgrade steps required. During FY2010, production was increased in response to higher demand.
As a result of its location near our own port facilities and its simple, open-cut mining operation, GEMCO is one of the lowest-cost manganese ore producers in the world. Simple operations combined with its high-grade of ore and relative proximity to Asian export markets, make GEMCO unique among the worlds manganese mines. During FY2010, production was increased in response to higher demand.
The Samancor Manganese Metalloys alloy plant is one of the largest manganese alloy producers in the world. Due to its size and access to high-quality feedstock from the Hotazel operations, it is also one of the lowest-cost alloy producers. Metalloys produces high and medium-carbon ferromanganese and silicomanganese.
TEMCO is a meduim-sized producer of high-carbon ferromanganese, silicomanganese and sinter using ore shipped from GEMCO, primarily using hydro-electric power.
Information on Manganese mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. These tables should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserve tables (see section 2.14.2).
Information on Manganese smelters, refineries and processing plants
The selection study (pre-feasibility study) into a further expansion of the GEMCO mine (GEMCO 2nd expansion) from 4.2 to 4.8 wet million tonnes per annum (100 per cent, or about 2.9 wet million tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share) is reaching its conclusion. The project is subject to approval and is expected to advance into execution at the end of second quarter in FY2011. The total investment amount is approximately US$130 million (BHP Billiton share).
Hotazel Manganese Mines
The central block development project at Wessels mine is expected to be completed in FY2013. The project will enable Wessels mine to increase production from 1 million tonnes per annum to 1.5 million tonnes per annum of capacity (100 per cent, or about 0.7 million tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share). The forecast capital expenditure to completion of the project is an estimated US$26 million (BHP Billiton share).
The definition study (feasibility study) for the High Carbon Ferro Manganese furnace M14 at the Metalloys smelter in Meyerton, South Africa is reaching its conclusion. This furnace would add an additional 130,000 tonnes per annum capacity (100 per cent, or about 78,000 tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share) to the smelter for capital at a cost of US$54 million (BHP Billiton share).
Samancor Gabon Manganese project
The selection study (pre-feasibility study) for the establishment of a manganese mine in Gabon was completed in July 2010. A small entry mine of approximately 300,000 tonnes per annum (100 per cent, or about 180,000 tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share) was selected as the preferred option. The small entry mine requires growth capital investment of US$43 million (BHP Billiton share) to establish the asset producing approximately 300,000 tonnes per annum of manganese ore by FY2012.
2.2.9 Metallurgical Coal Customer Sector Group
Our Metallurgical Coal CSG is the worlds largest supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal, along with iron ore and manganese, is a key input in the production of steel.
We have production assets in two major resource basins: the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia and the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia.
In comparison with other coal producing regions, the Bowen Basin is extremely well positioned to supply the seaborne market because of:
We also have access to key infrastructure, including a modern, integrated electric rail network and our own coal loading terminal at Hay Point, Mackay. This infrastructure enables us to maximise throughput and blending of products from multiple mines to optimise the value of our production and satisfy customer requirements.
Our Bowen Basin mines are owned through a series of joint ventures. We share 5050 ownership with Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd in BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), which operates the Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Blackwater and Gregory Crinum mines, together with the Hay Point terminal. The two BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) operations South Walker Creek and Poitrel mines are owned by BHP Billiton (80 per cent) and Mitsui and Co (20 per cent). The reserve lives of the Bowen Basin mines at target production rates range from six years to 65 years.
Our export customers are steel producers around the world. In FY2010 most of our contracts were long-term or annual volume contracts with prices negotiated annually, however we are now moving predominantly to short-term pricing.
Total attributable production in FY2010 was approximately 30.8 million tonnes, compared with 30.1 million tonnes in FY2009. Production in FY2010 was higher due to improved operational and supply chain performance, supported by strong demand.
We own and operate three underground coal mines in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, which supply metallurgical coal to the nearby BlueScope Port Kembla steelworks, and other domestic and export markets. Total production in FY2010 was approximately 6.5 million tonnes and the reserve lives of the Illawarra mines at target production rates range from four years to 19 years.
Production figures for both the Bowen Basin and Illawarra include some energy coal (less than six per cent and 13 per cent, respectively).
Information on Metallurgical Coal mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. The tables should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserves tables (see section 2.14.2).
IndoMet Coal Project (Indonesia)
Indomet Coal includes the Maruwai and Juloi metallurgical coal concessions in Kalimantan, Indonesia and was discovered by BHP Billiton Exploration in the 1990s. Following a strategic assessment of the importance of local participation in the development of the project in 2010, a 25 per cent interest in the project was sold to a subsidiary of PT Adaro Energy TBK. We retain 75 per cent of the project.
Study work is underway to identify development options across our mining areas of interest (Coal Contracts of Work).
Bowen Basin Expansions
BMA is currently investigating a number of brownfield and greenfield expansion options in the Bowen Basin, including:
Daunia, located to the east of the Poitrel mine, has been designed with capacity to produce up to 4 million tonnes per annum, and the production capacity of Caval Ridge, located to the north of the Peak Downs mine, would be up to 5.5 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent, or 2.75 million tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share) in addition to potential expansion of Peak Downs mine of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent, or 1.25 million tonnes per annum BHP Billiton share). Both developments would include coal handling preparation plants. We are assessing the optimal time to advance these projects and we are continuing to progress owner and government approvals.
To support this growth, BMA is progressing owner and government approvals to increase the capacity of the Hay Point Coal Terminal from 44 million tonnes per annum to 55 million tonnes per annum in a first phase expansion (HPX3). We have committed pre-approval expenditure for further project studies and items requiring long lead times. A potential further stage (HPX4) would increase capacity from 55 million tonnes per annum to approximately 75 million tonnes per annum. We were also awarded preferred developer status for the construction of a new coal terminal at the X80 site at Abbot Point, with a capacity of at least 30 million tonnes per annum.
2.2.10 Energy Coal Customer Sector Group
Our Energy Coal CSG is one of the worlds largest producers and marketers of export energy coal (also known as thermal or steaming coal) and is also a significant domestic supplier to the electricity generation industry in Australia, South Africa and the United States. Our global portfolio of energy coal assets, our insights into the broader energy market through our sales of other fuels such as gas, uranium and oil, and our control of options for bulk freight provide our business with key advantages as a supplier. Like our other businesses, our Energy Coal CSG owns large, long-life assets with substantial options for expansion.
We generally make our domestic sales under long-term fixed-price contracts with power stations that are located in close proximity to the mine. We make export sales to power generators and some industrial users in Asia, Europe and the United States, usually under contracts for delivery of a fixed volume of coal. Pricing is either index-linked, or fixed, in which case we use financial instruments to swap our fixed-price exposure for exposure to market indexed prices.
We recognise that the need to control carbon dioxide emissions has substantial implications for the use of thermal coal as an energy source. We have committed to invest US$300 million over five years from June 2007 to support the research, development and demonstration of low-emissions technologies, including clean coal and carbon sequestration technologies.
We operate three sets of assets: a group of mines and associated infrastructure collectively known as BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA); our New Mexico Coal operations in the United States; and our NSW Energy Coal operations in Australia. We also own a one-third share of the Cerrejón Coal Company, which operates a coal mine in Colombia.
BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa
BECSA operates three coal mines in the Witbank region of Mpumalanga province of South Africa, which produced a total of approximately 30.5 million tonnes in FY2010. We have a major mine expansion project underway in South Africa (see Development projects below). In FY2010, BECSA sold approximately 64 per cent of its production to Eskom, the government-owned electricity utility in South Africa, and exported the rest via the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, in which we own a 24 per cent share. The reserve lives of the BECSA mines at current production rates range from 11 to 24 years.
New Mexico Coal
We own and operate the Navajo mine, located on Navajo land in New Mexico, and the nearby San Juan mine. Each of these mines transports its production directly to a nearby power station. The reserve lives of Navajo and San Juan at current production rates are 21 and 10 years, respectively. New Mexico Coal produced approximately 13.5 million tonnes in FY2010.
NSW Energy Coal
Our NSW Energy Coal operating asset is the Mt Arthur open-cut coal mine located in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, which produced approximately 12 million tonnes in FY2010 and has a reserve life at current production rates of 55 years. We have a project in execution and a number of studies underway to evaluate expansion opportunities for this operation (see Development projects below). In FY2010, we delivered approximately 18 per cent of Mt Arthurs production to a local power station and exported the rest via the port of Newcastle.
Cerrejón Coal Company
Cerrejón Coal Company owns and operates one of the largest open-cut export coal mines in the world in La Guajira province of Colombia, together with integrated rail and port facilities through which the majority of production is exported. In FY2008, Cerrejón completed an expansion that increased capacity to 32 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent terms). At Cerrejóns current rate of production, Cerrejón has a reserve life of 21 years.
Information on Energy Coal mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. The tables should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserves tables (see section 2.14.2).
Douglas-Middelburg Optimisation Project
This project involves works to optimise the development of existing reserves across the Douglas and Middelburg collieries, the development of additional mining areas and the construction of a new 14 million tonnes per annum coal processing plant, which will replace the less efficient existing plant at Douglas. The work will enable us to maintain energy coal exports from the combined Douglas and Middelburg colliery at around current levels (approximately 10 million tonnes per annum) while also fulfilling our domestic contractual commitments. The capital investment is expected to be within budget and the new plant is currently being completed with the first train load of coal railed on 30 July 2010.
Mt Arthur open-cut expansions
On 24 July 2009, we announced the Mt Arthur Coal (MAC) mine expansion, which is designed to increase production of saleable thermal coal by an increment of approximately 3.5 million tonnes per annum. Known as the MAC 20 Project, it is expected to commence operation in the first half of CY2011 at an estimated capital investment of US$260 million.
We have submitted a development consent application to expand the production capacity of the mine to 32 million tonnes per annum open-cut and 4 million tonnes per annum underground. Studies are underway to examine the expansion of the mine to utilise this capacity.
The table below details Petroleums historical net crude oil and condensate, natural gas and natural gas liquids production, primarily by geographic segment, for each of the three years ended 30 June 2010, 2009 and 2008. We have shown volumes of marketable production after deduction of applicable royalties, fuel and flare. We have included in the table average production costs per unit of production and average sales prices for oil and condensate and natural gas for each of those periods.
The table below details our mineral and derivative product production for all CSGs except Petroleum for the three years ended 30 June 2010, 2009 and 2008. Production shows our share unless otherwise stated.