|• FORM 20-F • LIST OF SUBSIDIARIES OF BHP BILLITON LIMITED AND BHP BILLITON PLC • CERTIFICATION BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MR MARIUS KLOPPERS • CERTIFICATION BY CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, MR GRAHAM KERR • CERTIFICATION BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MR MARIUS KLOPPERS • CERTIFICATION BY CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, MR GRAHAM KERR • CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRMS • DISCLOSURE OF MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION ("MSHA") SAFETY DATA|
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2012
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.
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
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):
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
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
Form 20-F Cross Reference Table
We are BHP Billiton, a leading global resources company.
Our purpose is to create long-term shareholder value through the discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of natural resources.
Our strategy is to own and operate large, long-life, low-cost, expandable, upstream assets diversified by commodity, geography and market.
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.
We are among the worlds top producers of major commodities including, iron ore, metallurgical coal, conventional and non-conventional oil and gas, copper, energy coal, aluminium, manganese, uranium, nickel and silver.
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 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 United Kingdom and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) 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 United States.
As at 30 June 2012, we had a market capitalisation of approximately US$160.6 billion. For FY2012, we reported net operating cash flow of US$24.4 billion, revenue of US$72.2 billion and profit attributable to shareholders of US$15.4 billion. We have approximately 125,000 employees and contractors working in more than 100 locations worldwide.
We operate eight businesses, called Customer Sector Groups (CSGs):
The past year was characterised by continued high levels of volatility and uncertainty in the worlds economy.
The debt issues of the Eurozone remain a global concern. European governments continue to take action to address these challenges, but until they are resolved, we expect the political and financial conditions of the region to remain volatile. While there are some signs of improvement in the United States economy, a recovery will only continue provided there are no large external shocks. Furthermore, China and other emerging economies have also seen subdued growth as they face cyclical and structural pressures.
In the midst of these challenges in the global economic environment, I am pleased to report that BHP Billiton performed well this past financial year. BHP Billitons Underlying EBIT margin remained at a robust 39 per cent, despite weakness in commodity markets and industry-wide cost pressures. These results were underpinned by the execution of our diversified strategy.
Your Board is confident that our commitment to invest in high-return growth opportunities will continue to create returns for shareholders. Our largely brownfield projects in execution will continue to drive momentum in our major businesses and create value for our shareholders in the near term. Moreover, the continued urbanisation and industrialisation of developing economies should support both demand for our products and the long-term growth of our strong pipeline of development projects across diverse commodities and geographies.
Recognising these opportunities, we will continue to prioritise investment where a sustainable competitive advantage exists, including geopolitical and fiscal stability. Our project approvals process will ensure that we allocate capital in a disciplined fashion, while the quality and diversity of our asset portfolio will continue to drive strong returns.
Investing in high-return projects, while maintaining a strong balance sheet, underpins our ability to pay a dividend that grows over time. This financial year our progressive dividend increased to 112 US cents per share. Over the last 10 years, we have returned approximately US$54 billion to shareholders through dividends and share buy-backs. That represents around 30 per cent of the Groups current market capitalisation. Moreover, our unbroken dividend generates a yield that is well in excess of our peer group.
BHP Billiton also remains committed to making a positive contribution to our communities through capital investment, supporting local industry and creating jobs. Expanding on that commitment, this year we once again contributed one per cent of our pre-tax profit to community programs by voluntarily investing US$214 million. This included a US$65 million contribution to BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, our UK-based charity, and a US$149 million investment in health (8 per cent), education and training (18 per cent), community infrastructure (25 per cent) and other initiatives (49 per cent). This was in addition to the US$11.9 billion in taxes and royalties paid to governments in the jurisdictions where we operate.
Tragically, this year three of our colleagues lost their lives at work. No fatality is acceptable and on behalf of the Board, I offer our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. This is a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant about safety and continue to live our values. Supporting our communities is part of Our BHP Billiton Charter value of Sustainability, which also includes putting the health and safety of our people first and being environmentally responsible. These are set out in Our Charter, which is the foundation for everything we do at BHP Billiton.
Lastly, it is important to note that as part of our Board succession, in June 2012 Mr Pat Davies was appointed to the Board as a Non-executive Director. Pats appointment is a welcome addition to an already strong Board, providing corporate experience in the natural resources sector across a number of commodities and markets.
In summary, while we continue to live with the uncertainty of the global economic environment, we expect the demand from emerging economies, our disciplined approach to capital management and our value-focused strategy to maintain our momentum in delivering strong results long term for our shareholders. On behalf of the Board and everyone involved in the Company, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of BHP Billiton, as we continue to deliver on our commitments to you, our shareholders.
Jac Nasser AO
I am pleased to report that BHP Billiton delivered a solid set of results in FY2012 against a backdrop of challenging industry and macro-economic conditions. Our commitment to investing through the cycle allowed us to reach new production records at 10 of our operations and was key to our financial results.
We continue to focus on safety with a commitment to establish best practice in this area. In this regard, our total recordable injury frequency rate declined by six per cent in FY2012. However, despite this rate now being at its lowest level on record, the tragic loss of three colleagues over the past year is a stark reminder of the inherent risks in our industry and the need to relentlessly pursue the elimination of all fatal risks. Any fatality has a devastating effect on family, friends and colleagues, and the impact of this is felt in every corner of this Company. We truly believe that BHP Billiton can be a business that operates free of work-related fatalities, and it is for this reason that fatality prevention remains our number one priority.
From a global perspective, FY2012 was characterised by uncertainty and volatility surrounding the European debt crisis which, in turn, affected global economic growth and the key markets for our products. The resulting weaker commodity prices coupled with stronger producer currencies and capital and operational cost pressures presented challenges for the global mining industry.
In response to the prevailing market conditions, over the past year we have implemented prudent measures that will safely and substantially reduce operational costs and non-essential expenditure across our entire business. FY2013 will see the benefits of these significant cost reduction measures, along with substantial volume growth, flow through to our financial results.
Despite the volatility in global economic conditions and commodity prices we have experienced in the past financial year, we see significant opportunity for our Company in the near term. While we achieved pleasing production results and production records at 10 of our operations, three of our key assets operated below capacity in FY2012 due to temporary, one-off issues. This was largely due to industrial action in our Queensland Coal business, shut-ins at our non-operated joint venture fields in the Gulf of Mexico and a temporary decrease in grades at our Escondida copper operation. With these businesses expected to return to full capacity, we are confident we will continue to produce industry leading returns for our shareholders now and into the future.
The diversification of the BHP Billiton portfolio continues to be our defining attribute. The quality of our people, our asset base and our unchanged strategy of owning and operating large, long-life, low-cost, expandable, upstream assets diversified by commodity, geography and market, together with our ability and commitment to investing through the cycle and delivering projects on budget and to schedule, is what sets us apart from our peers.
In line with this strategy, over the next two years we will continue to invest in and grow our business. With 20 major projects currently in execution, these well advanced, low-risk, brownfield projects will deliver substantial volume growth and underpin our industry-leading returns in the future. As a result of our disciplined investment strategy and our commitment to maintaining our strong balance sheet, we are largely committed for FY2013 and do not plan to approve any additional major projects in this period.
We remain confident in the long-term outlook and future demand for our products, which will continue to be driven by the urbanisation and industrialisation in the developing world. As current capital commitments reduce, we will allocate future capital to projects that maximise shareholder value and balance both short-term and long-term returns. We are in a fortunate position, with growth options unparalleled in the global resources industry, and together with our proven strategy, we will continue to deliver sustainable and superior long-term returns for our shareholders.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our host communities, who continue to support our activities, and our shareholders, customers, suppliers and the many others who help contribute to our success. I would especially like to thank our more than 125,000 employees and contractors around the world. It is their commitment to giving their very best efforts to us each and every day that is the cornerstone of the success of this Company.
Chief Executive Officer
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 2012 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 (GMC) 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 (HSEC) contribution indicators.
1.5.1 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 ongoing global economic volatility may negatively affect 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 volatility. Our usual policy is to sell our products at the prevailing market prices. The diversity provided by our broad portfolio of commodities does 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 global economic volatility following the global financial and European sovereign debt crises has negatively affected commodity market prices and demand. Sales into European countries generated US$8.4 billion (FY2011: US$9.4 billion), or 11.6 per cent (FY2011: 13.1 per cent), of our revenue in the year ended 30 June 2012. The ongoing uncertainty and impact on global economic growth, particularly in the developed economies, may adversely affect future demand and prices for commodities. 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.
Our financial results 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. The appreciation in recent years of currencies in which the majority of our operating costs are incurred, (in particular the Australian dollar, if sustained relative to US dollar denominated commodity prices), has and may continue to adversely impact our profit margins. 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. From time to time, we consider currency protection measures appropriate in specific commercial circumstances, subject to strict limits established by our Board. Therefore, in any particular year, our financial results may be negatively affected by currency exchange rate fluctuations.
Reduction in Chinese demand may negatively impact our results
The Chinese market has become a significant source of global demand for commodities. In CY2011, China represented 61 per cent of global seaborne iron ore demand, 39 per cent of copper demand, 40 per cent of nickel demand, 43 per cent of aluminium demand, 48 per cent of energy coal demand and 10 per cent of oil demand. Chinas demand for these commodities has been driving global materials demand and price increases over the past decade. Sales into China generated US$21.6 billion (FY2011: US$20.3 billion), or 29.9 per cent (FY2011: 28.2 per cent), of our revenue in the year ended 30 June 2012. A slowing in Chinas economic growth could result in lower prices and demand for our products and negatively impact our results.
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, 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, restrictions on repatriation of earnings or capital and changes in laws and policy, as well as other unforeseeable risks. Risks relating to bribery and corruption, including possible delays or disruption resulting from a refusal to make so-called facilitation payments, may be prevalent in some of the countries in which we operate. If any of our major projects are affected by one or more of these risks, 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 and European sovereign debt crises, some governments face increased debt and funding obligations and have sought additional sources of revenue and economic rent by increasing rates of taxation, royalties or resource rent taxes such as the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) extension in Australia. These may continue 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.
The Australian Government through the Business Tax Working Group is considering measures to reform tax law to provide relief for certain industry sectors. The basis of any law change is a revenue neutral outcome and as such, it is possible the mining and petroleum industries may be negatively impacted by disproportionately funding any measures that may eventually become law. The Business Tax Working Group will make its recommendations to the Australian government by the end of CY2012, with any potential law change happening thereafter.
Our business could be adversely affected by new government regulations, 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 affect the economics of new mining and oil and gas projects, the expansion of existing operations and results of our operations.
We have oil and gas operations located in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States. In October 2010, the United States Government lifted the deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico initially put in place in May 2010 in response to the oil spill from BPs Macondo well. Although the moratorium was lifted, and BHP Billiton was among the first to return to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the industry now faces more stringent permitting requirements. Delays or additional costs may occur in receiving future permits for deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
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 our 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, are governed by the Part IIIA statutory framework, and either the access seeker or BHP Billiton can refer disputed matters to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for arbitration. The outcome of this process will govern whether access will be provided and on what terms.
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.
Our Cerro Matoso Operation in Colombia operates under mining concessions that are due to expire on 30 September 2012 and we have applied, in accordance with the law and its contracts, for an extension of these mining concessions. If this extension is not granted, Cerro Matoso has an underlying agreement with the Colombian Government that grants it rights to continue mining and producing through to 2029 under a lease arrangement, with a further extension of 15 years possible. While our operating rights are maintained, there is no established precedent in Colombia for bringing a reversion of title under contract and therefore the situation remains uncertain.
These regulations are complex, difficult to predict and outside of our control and could negatively affect our business and results.
Failure to discover new reserves, maintain or enhance existing reserves or develop new operations could negatively affect our future results and financial condition
The demand for our products and production from our operations results in existing reserves being depleted over time. As our revenues and profits are derived from our oil and gas and minerals operations, our results and financial condition 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.
Future deterioration in commodities pricing may make drilling some acreage and existing reserves uneconomic. Our actual drilling activities and future drilling budget will depend on drilling results, commodity prices, drilling and production costs, availability of drilling services and equipment, lease expirations, gathering system pipeline transportation and other infrastructure constraints, regulatory approvals and other factors.
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 uncertain global financial outlook may affect economic assumptions related to reserve recovery and require reserve restatements. Reserve restatements could negatively affect our results and prospects.
We may not be able to successfully complete acquisitions or 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 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 acquisition projects being cancelled, delayed or costing more than anticipated. These factors could negatively affect our future results and financial condition.
We may not be able to attract and retain the necessary people
Our existing operations and especially our pipeline of development projects in regions of numerous large projects, such as Western Australia, Queensland and the United States, if activated, require many highly skilled staff with relevant industry and technical experience. In the competitive labour markets that exist in these regions, the inability of the Group to attract and retain such people may adversely impact our ability to complete projects under development on time and budget or successfully respond to new development opportunities. The lack of short- and long-term suitable accommodation in regional centres and townships adjacent to development projects and community reactions to development and potential workforce fly in, fly out arrangements may impact costs and the ability to optimise construction and operating workforces. Skills shortages in engineering, technical service, construction and maintenance may adversely impact the cost and schedule of current development projects, the cost and efficiency of existing operations and our ability to execute on development opportunities.
Increased costs and schedule delays may adversely affect our development projects
Although we devote significant time and resources to our project planning, approval and review process, and have established a number of project hubs to provide continuity to capital programs, 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, adversely affecting our development projects and impacting anticipated financial returns.
If our liquidity and cash flow deteriorate significantly it could adversely affect our ability to fund our major capital programs
We seek to maintain a solid A credit rating as part of our strategy; however, fluctuations in commodity prices and the ongoing global economic volatility, and European sovereign debt crises, may continue to adversely impact our future cash flows and ability to access capital from financial markets at acceptable pricing. Despite our portfolio risk management strategies and monitoring of cash flow volatility, if our key financial ratios and credit rating were not maintained, our liquidity and cash reserves, interest rate costs on borrowed debt, future access to financial capital markets and the ability to fund current and future major capital programmes could be adversely affected.
We may not recover our investments in mining and oil and gas projects
Our strategy is to maintain an asset portfolio diversified by commodity, geography and market. Despite the benefits arising from this diversification, one or more of our assets 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 cause us to fail to recover all or a portion of our investment in mining and oil and gas projects and may require financial write-downs adversely impacting our financial results.
The commercial counterparties we transact with may not meet their obligations which may negatively impact our results
We contract with a large number of commercial and financial counterparties, including customers, suppliers and financial institutions. The ongoing global economic volatility and European sovereign debt crises have placed strains on global financial markets, reduced liquidity and adversely affected business conditions generally. We maintain a one book approach with commercial counterparties to ensure that all credit exposures are quantified.
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, such as tyres, mining and mobile equipment and other key consumables, may unfavourably impact costs and production at our operations. These factors could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Operating cost pressures, reduced productivity and labour 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 have occurred and may continue to occur across the resources industry. As the prices for our products are determined by the global commodity markets in which we operate, we do not generally have the ability to offset these operating cost increases through corresponding price increases, which can adversely affect our operating margins. 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 adversely impact our operating margins for an extended period.
Our Australian-based operations may continue to be affected by the Australian Fair Work Act 2009 as labour agreements expire and businesses are required to negotiate labour agreements with unions. In some instances labour unions are pursuing claims in the bargaining process about union access and involvement in some areas of operational decision-making. These claims may adversely affect workplace flexibility, productivity and costs. Industrial action in pursuit of claims associated with the bargaining process has occurred in some businesses, in particular our BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance coal operation in Queensland, Australia, and is likely to continue to occur as unions press for new claims as part of the negotiation process.
A number of our operations, such as aluminium and copper, 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 and could negatively impact our operating margins and expansion plans.
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, underground mine and processing plant fire and explosion, open-cut pit wall failures, loss of power supply, railroad incidents, loss of well control, environmental pollution and mechanical critical equipment failures. Our key port facilities are located at Port Hedland and Hay Point in Australia. We have 13 underground mines, including seven underground coal mines. Our operations may also be subject to unexpected natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, flood, hurricanes and tsunamis. Our Western Australia Iron Ore, Queensland coal and Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations are located in areas subject to cyclones or hurricanes. Our Chilean copper operations are located in a known earthquake and tsunami zone. Based on our claims, insurance premiums and loss experience, our risk management approach is not to purchase insurance for property damage, business interruption and construction 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, increased costs and loss of facilities more than offsetting premiums saved, which would adversely affect our financial results and prospects. Third party claims arising from these events may exceed the limit of liability insurance policies we have in place.
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. Management of our non-controlled assets may not comply with our management and operating standards, controls and procedures (including our HSEC standards). 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.
Breaches in our information technology security processes may adversely impact the conduct of our business activities
We maintain global information technology (IT) and communication networks and applications to support our business activities. Our extensive IT infrastructure and network may experience service outages that may adversely impact the conduct of our business activities. IT security processes protecting these systems are in place and subject to regular monitoring and assessment, and are included as part of the review of internal control over financial reporting. These security processes may not prevent future malicious action or fraud by individuals, groups or organisations resulting in the corruption of operating systems, theft of commercially sensitive data, including commercial price outlooks, mergers and acquisitions and divestment transactions, misappropriation of funds and disruptions to our business operations.
HSEC impacts, incidents or accidents and related regulations may adversely affect our people, operations and reputation or licence to operate
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 many of 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 safety events that may have a material adverse impact on our operations include fire, explosion or rock fall incidents in underground mining operations, personnel conveyance equipment failures in underground operations, aircraft incidents, incidents involving light vehicles and mining mobile equipment, ground control failures, well blowouts, explosions or gas leaks, isolation, working from heights or lifting operations.
Environmental incidents that have the potential to create a material impact include uncontrolled tailings breaches, subsidence from mining activities, escape of polluting substances, and uncontrolled releases of hydrocarbons.
Our operations by their nature have the potential to impact biodiversity, water resources and related ecosystem services. Changes in scientific understanding of these impacts, regulatory requirements or stakeholder expectations may prevent or delay project approvals and result in increased costs for mitigation, offsets or compensatory actions.
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, including a commitment to one per cent of pre-tax profits invested in community programs. Notwithstanding these actions, local communities may become dissatisfied with the impact of our operations or oppose our new development projects, including through litigation, potentially affecting costs and production, and in extreme cases viability. Community related risks may include community protests or civil unrest, delays to proposed developments and inadvertent breaches of human rights or other international laws or conventions.
Health risks faced include fatigue and occupational exposure to noise, silica, manganese, diesel exhaust particulate, fluorides, coal tar pitch, nickel and sulphuric acid mist. Longer-term health impacts may arise due to unanticipated workplace exposures or historical exposures to hazardous substances by employees or site contractors. These effects may create future financial compensation obligations.
We invest in workplace and community health programs, where indicated by risk assessment. However, infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria may have a material adverse impact upon our workers or on our communities, primarily in Africa. 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.
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.
During FY2011, BHP Billiton acquired Chesapeake Energy Corporations interests in the Fayetteville Operation in the United States, and in August 2011, acquired Petrohawk Energy Corporation, a US shale development company. Both businesses include operations that involve hydraulic fracturing, an essential and common practice in the oil and gas industry to stimulate production of natural gas and oil from dense subsurface rock formations. Hydraulic fracturing involves using water, sand and a small amount of chemicals to fracture the hydrocarbon-bearing rock formation to allow flow of hydrocarbons into the wellbore. We routinely apply hydraulic fracturing techniques in our drilling and completion programs.
Increased regulation and attention given to the hydraulic fracturing process could lead to greater opposition to oil and gas production activities using hydraulic fracturing techniques, including regulations that could impose more stringent permitting, public disclosure and well construction requirements on hydraulic fracturing operations. Additional legislation or regulation could also lead to operational delays or increased operating costs in the production of oil and natural gas, including from the developing shale plays, or could make it more difficult to perform hydraulic fracturing. The adoption of any federal, state or local laws or the implementation of regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing could potentially cause a decrease in the completion of new oil and gas wells, increased compliance costs and time, and potential class action claims, all of which could adversely affect our business.
Due to the nature of our operations HSEC incidents or accidents and related regulations may adversely affect our reputation or licence to operate.
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. Under the December 2009 Copenhagen Accord, developed countries established individual greenhouse gas targets and developing countries established national mitigation actions. 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 United Kingdom 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, which commenced on 1 July 2012, includes a fixed price on carbon emissions and converting to an emissions trading scheme after three years, 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 proposed regulatory mechanisms may impact our operations directly or indirectly through 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 South African Government plans to introduce a carbon tax beginning in 2013, however the details are not yet finalised. Carbon pricing has also been discussed as part of a broader tax reform package in Chile.
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.
A breach of 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 and specific internal controls in relation to offers of things of value to government officials and representatives of state owned enterprises, may not prevent future potential breaches of law, accounting or governance practice. The BHP Billiton Code of Business Conduct, together with our mandatory policies, such as the anti-corruption and the anti-trust policies, 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 reputational damage.
1.5.2 Approach to risk management
We believe that the identification and management of risk is central to achieving our corporate purpose of creating long-term shareholder value.
Our approach to risk recognises that it will manifest itself in many forms and has the potential to impact our health and safety, environment, community, reputation, regulatory, market and financial performance and, thereby, the achievement of our corporate purpose.
By understanding and managing risk, we provide greater certainty and confidence for our shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and for the communities in which we operate. Successful risk management can be a source of competitive advantage.
Risks faced by the Group are managed on an enterprise-wide basis. The natural diversification in the Groups portfolio of commodities, geographies, currencies, assets and liabilities is a key element in our risk management approach.
Risk management is embedded in our critical business activities, functions and processes. Materiality and our tolerance for risk are key considerations in our decision-making.
Risk issues are identified, analysed and assessed in a consistent manner. Performance requirements exist for the identification, assessment, control and monitoring of material risk issues that could threaten our corporate purpose and business plans. These include:
The Group has established processes that apply when entering or commencing new activities in higher governance risk countries. Risk assessments and a supporting risk management plan are required to ensure that potential reputation, legal, business conduct and corruption-related exposures are tolerable and legislative compliance is maintained, including relevant anti-corruption legislation and the application of any sanctions or trade embargos.
Our risk management governance approach is described in sections 5.13.1 and 5.14.
1.5.3 Management of principal risks
The scope of our operations and the number of industries in which we operate and engage mean that a range of factors may impact our results. Material risks that could negatively affect our results and performance are described in section 1.5.1 of this Report. Our approach to managing these risks is outlined below.
This 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 release. 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 Report will be based, in part, upon the market price of the minerals, metals or petroleum products 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; labour unrest; and other factors identified in the risk factors described in section 1.5.1.
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.
Projects and exploration activities are not shown on this map.
Locations are current at 10 September 2012.
Stainless Steel Materials (b)
Percentage ownership figures have been rounded to one decimal place.
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 2.10 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, United Kingdom, and its telephone number is +44 20 7802 4000. Our agent for service in the United States is Maria Isabel Reuter at 1360 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77056.
2.2.2 Petroleum Customer Sector Group
Our Petroleum Customer Sector Group (CSG) comprises a base of onshore and offshore operations that are located in six countries throughout the world. We explore for significant upstream opportunities around the world.
Petroleum continues to invest through economic cycles and maintains a long-term view. The acquisition of Petrohawk Energy Corporation was completed in FY2012 at a purchase price of US$12.0 billion, excluding the assumption of net debt of US$3.8 billion, and provided us with operating positions in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Permian fields in the United States. Combined with our interests in the Fayetteville field, acquired from Chesapeake Energy Corporation in the third quarter of FY2011, oil and gas operations in these fields constitute our Onshore US business. We will continue to evaluate other commercial opportunities for growth, including through acquisitions, in the future.
During FY2012, total production increased by 40 per cent from the prior year to 222.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). Production from our Onshore US business, strong uptime performance from existing operated assets and the first full year of production from the Angostura gas facility (Trinidad and Tobago) largely offset reduced production caused by maintenance activity and adverse weather at our non-operated offshore Gulf of Mexico, United States, and North West Shelf, Australia, fields and natural field decline at our operated Pyrenees facility.
We remain committed to organic growth opportunities through exploration, using the latest seismic and geophysical technology to locate new resources and yield results. In FY2012, we executed a major international drilling campaign focused on proven basins in Southeast Asia, Western Australia and the Gulf of Mexico.
Our production operations are as follows:
Together with our 50-50 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 Australia, for over 40 years, having participated in the original discovery of hydrocarbons 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 onshore to our Longford processing facility, from which we sell our production to domestic distributors under contracts with periodic price reviews.
North West Shelf
We are a 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 supplies gas to the Western Australian domestic market mainly under long-term contracts, and a series of liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion phases supplying LNG to buyers in Japan, Korea and China under a series of long-term contracts. The 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.
We operate two oil fields offshore Western Australia and one gas field in Victoria.
The Pyrenees oil development consists of three fields, two of which (Crosby and Stickle) are located in blocks WA-42-L (71.43 per cent interest), while the third (Ravensworth) straddles blocks WA-42-L and WA-43-L (40 per cent interest). The project uses a FPSO facility.
The Stybarrow operation (50 per cent BHP Billiton share) is an oil development located offshore Western Australia. The project uses a FPSO facility.
The Minerva operation (90 per cent BHP Billiton share) is a gas field located offshore Victoria. The operation 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 two fields in the Gulf of Mexico (Neptune and Shenzi) and hold non-operating interests in a further three fields (Atlantis, Mad Dog and Genesis). We divested our interest in the West Cameron and Starlifter areas in June 2012. 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.
We operate in four shale fields located onshore in the United States Fayetteville, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Permian.
The combined leasehold acreage of the Onshore US fields is approximately 1.6 million net acres in the states of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Our ownership interests range from less than one per cent to 100 per cent. Working interest will change due to events such as a partys non consent election, or through farm-ins and farm-outs with other parties.
In FY2012, the Onshore US business delivered 6.9 million barrels of crude oil and condensates, 448 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 4.0 million barrels of natural gas liquids. Our Onshore US total production increased by 80 MMboe from 6 MMboe in FY2011 to 86 MMboe in FY2012, which more than accounted for the 63 MMboe increase in total production.
Due to the low price of US natural gas in FY2012, the capital expenditure in the Onshore US business in the second half of the financial year was focused on the liquids-rich Eagle Ford and Permian fields, both in Texas. Consequently, we reduced the development of the dry gas assets in the Haynesville and Fayetteville fields in the second half of FY2012. The mix of liquids and gas development opportunities in all four fields provides us with the flexibility to adjust our onshore development program towards those operations with the highest return on investment.
Liverpool Bay and Bruce/Keith
The Liverpool Bay, United Kingdom, integrated development consists of five producing offshore gas and oil fields in the Irish Sea, the Point of Ayr onshore processing plant in north Wales, and associated infrastructure. We deliver 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 (31.83 per cent share), a subsea tie-back, which is processed via the Bruce platform facilities.
Our Algerian operations comprise 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. We exited our effective 45 per cent interest in the Ohanet wet gas development in October 2011.
Our interest in ROD is subject to a contractual determination to ensure interest from participating association leases is accurately reflected. Future redetermination of our interest may be possible under certain conditions.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Greater Angostura project is an integrated oil and gas development located offshore east Trinidad. We operate the field and have a 45 per cent interest in the production sharing contract for the project. Gas sales from the gas export platform commenced in May 2011.
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.
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 2.13.1).
North West Shelf North Rankin gas compression project
The North West Shelf gas compression project was approved by the Board in March 2008 to recover remaining lower pressure gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields. The project consists of a new gas compression platform, North Rankin B, capable of processing 2,500 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of gas, which 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. We own a 16.67 per cent share in the project and our development costs are approximately US$850 million, of which US$561 million was incurred as of 30 June 2012. First gas production is expected in CY2013. This project is operated by Woodside with an equally shared interest between Woodside, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, MIMI and Shell.
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. A supplemental approval of the development was granted in January 2011. 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 (Mbbl/d) and 80 (MMcf/d) of gas. Gas and liquids will be processed via the existing Gippsland Basin joint venture facilities. Our share of development costs is approximately US$900 million, of which US$832 million was incurred as of 30 June 2012. Facilities are expected to be ready in CY2012 with first production pending resolution of mercury content. Additional treatment facilities will be required onshore due to mercury containment within the gas. The mercury issue will be undertaken as a separate project. The Kipper gas field development is comprised of the Kipper Unit Joint Venture and the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture. 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 with Esso Australia owning the remaining 50 per cent.
Bass Strait Turrum field development
Further expansion of the Gippsland Basin facilities is underway following approval by the Board in July 2008 of the full field development of the Turrum oil and gas field. A supplemental approval of the development was obtained in January 2011. 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 Mbbl/d of oil and 200 MMcf/d of gas, is located 42 kilometres from shore in approximately 60 metres of water. Our share of development costs is approximately US$1.4 billion, of which US$941 million was incurred as of 30 June 2012. Initial production is targeted for CY2013. The Turrum field development operates under the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture in which we own a 50 per cent interest with Esso Australia owning the remaining 50 per cent.
Macedon is a domestic gas development in Western Australia. The project will consist of a 200 MMcf/d stand alone gas plant, four subsea production wells, a 90 kilometre, 20 inch wet gas pipeline and a 67 kilometre, 2 inch sales gas pipeline. In August 2010, the project was approved at an investment level of US$1.1 billion (BHP Billiton share) of which US$770 million was incurred as of 30 June 2012. Execution phase work is on track with first gas production expected in CY2013. We are the operator with a 71.43 per cent interest and Apache PVG Pty Ltd holds the remaining 28.57 per cent interest.
BHP Billitons Onshore US capital program in FY2012 was US$3.3 billion, primarily related to drilling and completion activities at the Fayetteville, Haynesville and Eagle Ford fields and the installation of approximately 500 kilometres of pipeline infrastructure and additional gas processing facilities. In FY2012, 190 wells were completed in Onshore US. Drilling in the Permian Basin was primarily exploration and appraisal in FY2012.
Due to the low US natural gas price in FY2012, the majority of drilling and completion activity in Onshore US was directed towards the liquids rich Eagle Ford and Permian fields. At the end of FY2012, over 80 per cent of drilling activity was focused on these areas and Onshore US liquids production had risen to more than 40 thousand barrels per day.
BHP Billitons Onshore US capital expenditure in FY2013 is expected to rise to US$4.0 billion and the program will include drilling and completion, gas processing facilities and pipeline infrastructure. The majority of the activity will focus on the liquids-rich Eagle Ford and Permian fields. Development of these liquids rich fields complements our traditional project pipeline. Development plans will remain flexible and aligned with the external environment.
Exploration and appraisal
We focus on capturing and operating large acreage positions primarily in areas that are in proven hydrocarbon basins. We have exploration interests around the world, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, Australia and the South China Sea. During FY2012, our gross expenditure on exploration was US$1.4 billion, of which US$674 million was expensed. Our major exploration interests are as follows:
We have a 55 per cent interest in WA-351-P and in March 2012 we drilled the Tallaganda-1 exploration well. The well encountered hydrocarbons. The well has been plugged and abandoned and is being evaluated to determine development potential.
The North Scarborough-1 well was spud in January 2012 in permit WA-346-P. The well encountered hydrocarbons. The well was plugged and abandoned and is being evaluated to determine development potential. We own a 100 per cent working interest in the permit.
The Argus-2 appraisal well was spud in June 2011 in the AC/RL8 retention lease over the Argus gas field. The well failed to reach the primary objective and was temporarily plugged and abandoned in September 2011. Woodside Browse Pty Ltd operates the AC/RL8 retention lease with a 60 per cent interest while we hold the remaining 40 per cent.
We have a 16.67 per cent interest in the North West Shelf Project with Woodside as Operator. In August 2011, the Seraph-1 well was drilled. It has been plugged and abandoned and expensed as a dry hole. In November 2011, the Tidepole East-1 well was drilled and hydrocarbons were encountered. It has been plugged and abandoned and is being evaluated to determine development potential.
In July 2012, we acquired an additional 6.5 per cent interest in block WA-335-P offshore Western Australia from Apache, taking our total participating interest to 52.5 per cent. We have exercised our right to assume operatorship from Apache (28.6 per cent). Kufpec holds the remaining 18.9 per cent.
In June 2012, we farmed into block WA-389-P in the Northern Carnarvon basin. We acquired a 40 per cent interest, while Woodside (Operator) owns 25 per cent and Cue Energy Resources owns 35 per cent. The Banambu Deep-1 exploration well was spud in May 2012. The well was plugged and abandoned and expensed as a dry hole.
In May 2012, we were awarded three exploration permits following our bids in the October 2011 Gazettal round WA-469-P, WA-470-P, and WA-475-P offshore Western Australia. The minimum exploration program for blocks WA-469-P and WA-470-P includes the acquisition and processing of 3D seismic data. The minimum exploration program for block WA-475-P includes the acquisition and processing of 3D seismic data and the drilling of two exploration wells.
BHP Billitons Onshore US exploration and appraisal program in FY2012 was US$392 million, primarily focused on the Permian Basin and included land acquisitions and the drilling and completion of seven exploration wells. Initial results from the Permian Basin exploration and appraisal program were positive, with four of the seven exploration wells proving to be productive.
Deep Blue Green Canyon 723
We owned a 31.9 per cent interest in the Deep Blue prospect located in the Green Canyon area. Partners in the well were Noble (33.8 per cent), Statoil (15.6 per cent), Samson (9.3 per cent) and Murphy (9.3 per cent). The Deep Blue exploration well-1 was drilled in November 2009 and concluded in May 2010. The wells original hole was drilled to a total depth of 9,962 metres and encountered hydrocarbons. Sidetrack drilling started in May and was suspended in June 2010 due to the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium issued by the US Government. The moratorium was lifted in October 2010 and the sidetrack well recommenced drilling in August 2011. The sidetrack encountered a non-commercial quantity of hydrocarbons and as a result the well was plugged and abandoned and the block relinquished.
Gunflint Mississippi Canyon 948
In June 2011, we entered into a Participation Agreement with the Gunflint partnership by consolidating our block (MC 992) with four other blocks in the area. The agreement provided us with an 11.2 per cent interest in the Gunflint prospect with Noble serving as the operator. Our partners include Noble (26.05 per cent), BP (31.50 per cent), Samson (16 per cent) and Marathon (15.25 per cent). The Mississippi Canyon 948 appraisal well was spud in December 2011. The well was plugged and abandoned and the well results are being evaluated.
Ness Deep Green Canyon 507
In May 2012, we entered into the Ness Deep prospect by consolidating the interest in our block (Green Canyon 463) with the interest in our partners block (Green Canyon 507). We acquired operatorship of the prospect with a 50 per cent interest. The remaining 50 per cent interest is held by our partner Hess. The Green Canyon 507 Ness Deep exploration well spud in June 2012, and is in progress.
The Knotty Head project is currently in the earliest phase of project development. The development assumptions for this project consist of a joint wet tree TLP development, production and water injection wells. The operator is Nexen and we hold a 25 per cent interest.
Atlantis East Green Canyon 700
The Atlantis East appraisal well was spud in April 2012 and is currently drilling. BP operates the well with a 56 per cent interest, while we hold the remaining 44 per cent. Once the appraisal well has been drilled, a reasonable assessment of commercial hydrocarbon potential will be performed.
Mad Dog North Green Canyon 738
The Mad Dog North appraisal well (GC 738) was spud in June 2011. The appraisal program was operated by BHP Billiton using the Transocean Development Driller 1 rig in 1,362 metres of water. Partners in the well are BP (60.5 per cent) and Chevron (15.6 per cent). BHP Billitons interest is 23.9 per cent. The primary objective of the program was to evaluate fully the structure on the northern flank of Mad Dog field. The Mad Dog North appraisal well penetrations confirm the existence of economically recoverable hydrocarbons. Additional work is ongoing to better define the recoverable volumes and development options.
In September 2008, we entered into a technical evaluation of hydrocarbon potential in Block 5 in the Llanos basin onshore Colombia. We operate 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 621 kilometres of 2D seismic were acquired from December 2010 to May 2011. In addition, four stratigraphic wells were drilled. Technical analysis and discussions with commercial partners and the Colombian Government continue.
In December 2008, we signed production sharing contracts covering seven blocks located offshore India. We hold a 26 per cent interest in the blocks. Our partner, GVK, holds the remaining 74 per cent interest in the blocks. The minimum exploration program includes the acquisition and processing of 2D seismic data across the seven blocks and a small 3D seismic acquisition in one block. We have a partner option to increase our interest to 50 per cent prior to drilling the first well or within six months of completing final seismic data interpretation.
In June 2010, we signed production sharing contracts covering an additional three blocks located offshore India. We hold a 100 per cent interest in the blocks. The minimum work program associated with the three blocks includes the acquisition and processing of 2D and 3D seismic data.
We are the operator of all 10 blocks and have met the commitment for acquiring the 2D seismic in all blocks. 2D seismic processing is nearly complete, and we are currently interpreting the processed seismic data. The 3D seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation, which will complete the committed exploration work program, will be planned once the 2D seismic data interpretation is completed. Our offshore India blocks are impacted by an access issue related to delays in receiving permits from the Ministry of Defence for the Government of India to conduct necessary exploration activities. BHP Billton and GVK have claimed force majeure as a result of these delays. Discussions aimed at resolving the access issue are ongoing with the Government of India.
In March 2007, we were awarded offshore Blocks N and Q in Malaysia with a 60 per cent interest and operatorship. Petronas Carigali holds the remaining 40 per cent. The minimum exploration program includes the acquisition and processing of seismic data across the two blocks and the drilling of four Block N exploration wells within the first seven years. The initial seismic acquisition program commenced in June 2008 and was completed in September 2008 for both blocks. Additional seismic acquisition and processing for Block Q is planned for completion by March 2013. The first exploration well was drilled in February 2010 and was plugged, abandoned and expensed as a dry hole. Drilling of the second exploration well was completed in February 2012 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 we 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. A 3D seismic acquisition program was completed in January 2011. In addition a 2D seismic acquisition was completed in December 2011 with processing currently ongoing. The remaining obligations on the current work program require us to drill one exploration well prior to January 2014.
In May 2011, we exercised an option to farm-in to the fourth sub phase Service Contract 55, located offshore Philippines to acquire a 60 per cent working interest. In January 2012, the Philippines Department of Energy approved our farm-in and granted us operatorship of the block. The remaining interest is divided between Otto Energy, at 33.18 per cent interest, and Trans-Asia, at 6.82 per cent interest. For the current sub phase a 3D seismic acquisition has been completed in 2011, and we have a one well commitment that is required to be drilled by August 2013.
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. ExxonMobil was operator and held the remaining 50 per cent interest in the block. The joint venture completed drilling the first exploration well in December 2009, and the second exploration well in February 2010. Both wells were expensed as dry holes. The drilling of these wells fulfilled our minimum work commitment against the service contract. We exited the block in November 2011 and reassigned our working interest back to Mitra Energy.
In October 2009, we became operator of Vietnam Blocks 28 and 29/03 located approximately 200 kilometres offshore southern Vietnam. We had 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 included 2D seismic data and two wells. We also acquired and processed 3D data. The first exploration well was drilled in May 2011 while drilling of the second well commenced in June 2011. Both wells were plugged, abandoned and expensed as dry holes in FY2011. We have exited these two Vietnam blocks and transferred operatorship to Mitra Energy in July 2012.
In September 2010, we entered into a Deed of Amendment with respect to Block CA1 (formerly Block J) following the settlement of the maritime dispute between Brunei and Malaysia. We own a 22.5 per cent interest in the block, with the residual interests held by Total Deep Offshore Borneo (54 per cent and operator), Hess (Borneo Block CA1) Ltd (13.5 per cent), Petronas Carigali (five per cent) and Canam Brunei Oil Ltd (Murphy Oil) (five per cent). The minimum work obligation includes the drilling of seven exploration wells. Julong Center began drilling in September 2011 and was plugged, abandoned and expensed as a dry hole. Julong East began drilling in January 2012 and encountered hydrocarbons. Jagus East began drilling in April 2012 and encountered hydrocarbons. Both wells have been plugged and abandoned and the well results are being evaluated to determine development potential.
In September 2010, we entered into exploration agreements for two blocks offshore South Africa. We own and operate a 60 per cent interest in Block 3A/4A, and a 90 per cent interest in Block 3B/4B. The remaining interest in Block 3A/4A is held by PetroSA (30 per cent) and Sasol Petroleum International (10 per cent). Global Offshore Oil Exploration South Africa holds a 10 per cent interest in Block 3B/4B. The minimum work program includes the drilling of one exploration well within each block.
Trinidad and Tobago
We have a 45 per cent interest in the Greater Angostura Joint Venture with our partners Total (30 per cent interest) and Chaoyang (25 per cent interest). In July 2011, the Canteen North 1 well was drilled within the producing Block 2c area. The well encountered hydrocarbons and was plugged and abandoned. The fault block is being evaluated to determine development potential.
The number of wells in the process of being drilled (including temporarily suspended wells and excluding wells drilled and completed in FY2012) as of 30 June 2012 was as follows:
Other significant activities
The Browse LNG Development comprises development of the Torosa, Brecknock and Calliance gas fields, which were discovered in 1971, 1979, and 2000, respectively. The fields are located approximately 440 kilometres north-northwest of Broome, Western Australia in water depths up to 800 metres. Evaluation of the in-place resources continues together with definition of the on and offshore facilities required to extract hydrocarbons and produce and export LNG.
Woodside is the operator and we own 8.33 per cent of the East Browse resources and 20 per cent of West Browse.
The Longford Gas Conditioning Plant (LGCP) Project will enable the production of Turrum reserves plus the production of Kipper and other undeveloped high carbon dioxide content hydrocarbons. The project scope includes a carbon dioxide extraction facility, brownfield tie-ins, an electrical upgrade, and multiple supporting utilities. Esso is the operator of LGCP owning a 50 per cent interest and BHP Billiton owns the remaining 50 per cent.
Development planning for the large Scarborough gas field offshore Western Australia is in progress. We continue to evaluate development options for a 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 are the operator and have a 100 per cent working interest in the WA-346-P block.
Greater Western Flank-A
The Greater Western Flank-A (GWF-A) gas project was approved by the Board in November 2011 to recover gas from the near field Goodwyn H and Tidepole fields. The project consists of a five well subsea tie-back of the
Goodwyn H and Tidepole fields to the Goodwyn A platform. The Goodwyn A platform is located in 130 metres of water, approximately 130 kilometres offshore from Karratha on the northwest coast of Australia. The development is estimated to have the potential to provide gross sales of 30 MMboe (BHP Billiton share), including condensate and liquefied gas. Woodside is the operator and we own a 16.67 per cent share.
NWS Other (Persephone/Greater Western Flank 2)
Planning is underway for the development of the Persephone field and Greater Western Flank 2. The Persephone field is located near existing NWS infrastructure, approximately eight kilometres northeast of the North Rankin A platform. Greater Western Flank 2 represents the second phase of development of the core Greater Western Flank fields, behind the GWF-A development, which are located to the southwest of the existing Goodwyn A platform. Woodside is the operator and we own a 16.67 per cent share of both Persephone and Greater Western Flank 2.
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 Mbbl/d of water at 7,000 pounds per square inch (psi). The program was approved as part of the original sanctioned Shenzi project which began production in 2009 to supplement aquifer pressure for additional recovery. To date, Water Injector (WI) #1 has been drilled and completed and WI #2 has been drilled. Planning for the completion of WI #2 and drilling of WI #3 is underway.
Atlantis South Water Injection
The Atlantis South Water Injection project is in the execution phase and involves drilling four subsea water injectors, tying them into the existing infrastructure and commissioning the 75 Mbbl/d of water injection facilities. This water injection project mitigates natural production decline due to low aquifer pressure. BP is the operator and we hold a 44 per cent working interest.
Mad Dog Phase 2
In April 2012, we announced approval for US$708 million (BHP Billiton share) in pre-commitment funding for the Mad Dog Phase 2 project. The Mad Dog Phase 2 project is in response to the successful Mad Dog South appraisal well, which confirmed significant hydrocarbons in the southern portion of the Mad Dog field. Mad Dog Phase 2 will be a spar development with all subsea production and injection wells and includes water injection capability to provide support to the east, west and south of the field.
We have delivery commitments of natural gas and LNG of approximately 3,286 billion cubic feet through 2031 (72 per cent Australia and 28 per cent Other) and crude, condensate and NGL commitments of 532.7 million barrels through 2023 (94 per cent United States, five per cent Australia, and one per cent Other). We have sufficient proved reserves and production capacity to fulfil these delivery commitments. Further information can be found in section 2.13.1.
2.2.3 Aluminium Customer Sector Group
Our Aluminium CSG is a portfolio of assets at three stages of the aluminium value chain: mining bauxite, refining bauxite into alumina, and smelting alumina into aluminium metal. We are the worlds eighth-largest producer of aluminium, with total production in FY2012 of 1.2 million tonnes (Mt) of aluminium. We also produced 12.8 Mt of bauxite and 4.2 Mt of alumina.
During FY2012, we consumed 34 per cent of our alumina production in our aluminium smelters and sold the balance to other smelters. Our alumina sales are a mixture of long-term contract sales at LME-linked prices and spot sales at negotiated prices. Prices for our aluminium sales are generally linked to prevailing LME prices.
Boddington/Worsley is an integrated bauxite mining/alumina refining operation. The Boddington bauxite mine in Western Australia supplies bauxite ore to the Worsley alumina refinery via a 62-kilometre long conveying system. We own 86 per cent of the mine and the refinery. It is our sole integrated bauxite mining/alumina refining asset. Worsley, one of the largest and lowest-cost refineries in the world, is currently in the ramp-up phase of a major expansion (see Development projects below). Our share of Worsleys FY2012 production was 2.9 Mt of alumina. Worsleys export customers include our own Hillside, Bayside and Mozal smelters in southern Africa. Boddington has a reserve life of 18 years.
Mineração Rio do Norte
We own 14.8 per cent of Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN), which owns and operates a large bauxite mine in Brazil.
Alumar is an integrated alumina refinery/aluminium smelter. 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 FY2012, approximately 27 per cent of Alumars alumina production was used to feed the smelter, while the remainder was exported. Our share of Alumars FY2012 saleable production was 1,235 kilotonnes (kt) of alumina and 170 kt of aluminium.
Hillside and Bayside
Our Hillside and Bayside smelters are located at Richards Bay, South Africa. Hillsides capacity of approximately 715 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) makes it the largest aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere. Following the mothballing of the potlines B and C in support of a national energy conservation scheme, Bayside has reduced smelting capacity to approximately 95 ktpa since 2009. Hillside imports alumina from our Worsley refinery. Both Hillside and Bayside 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). Potline capacity was impacted as a result of a major unplanned outage in the March 2012 quarter.
We own 47.1 per cent of and operate the Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique, which has a total capacity of approximately 563 ktpa. 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 FY2012 production was 264 kt.
Information on Aluminium 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 2.13.2).
Information on Aluminium smelters and refineries
Worsley Efficiency and Growth project
In May 2008, we announced the Boards approval of an expansion project to increase the capacity of the Worsley refinery from 3.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of alumina to 4.6 mtpa (100 per cent capacity) through expanded mining operations at Boddington, additional refinery capacity and upgraded port facilities. A supplementary approval of the development was obtained in June 2011. The expansion project, with a budgeted capital expenditure of US$3.0 billion, achieved first production in March 2012 and full production is on track to be achieved within the original ramp up schedule of 1216 months from March 2012. The operations are well placed to achieve a smooth ramp-up due to the extensive commissioning and operating planning that has been put in place. Worsley is already one of the most efficient and productive alumina refineries in the world and its unit cash costs are expected to benefit from the increased scale of production.
We have a one-third interest in a joint venture that has undertaken a feasibility study into the construction of a 10 mtpa bauxite mine, an alumina refinery with processing capacity exceeding 3.3 mtpa and associated infrastructure approximately 110 kilometres from the port of Kamsar in Guinea. We are seeking to exit the project.
2.2.4 Base Metals Customer Sector Group
Our Base Metals CSG is one of the worlds premier 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, the worlds largest single producer of copper, and Olympic Dam in South Australia, already a major producer of copper and uranium with the potential for expansion.
Our total copper production in FY2012 was 1.1 Mt. In addition to conventional mine development, we continue to pursue advanced treatment technologies, such as leaching low-grade chalcopyrite ores, which we believe have the potential to recover copper from ores previously uneconomic to treat.
We market five primary products: copper concentrates, copper cathodes, uranium oxide, lead concentrates and zinc concentrates.
We sell most of our copper, lead and zinc concentrates to smelters under long-term volume contracts at prices based on the LME price for the contained metal, typically set three or four months after shipment, less treatment charges and refining charges (collectively referred to as TCRCs) that are negotiated with the smelters mostly 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 wire rod mills, brass mills and casting plants around the world under annual contracts with prices at 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 a mix of longer-term and shorter-term contracts. A significant portion of our uranium production is sold into fixed price contracts, although increasingly sales are based on flexible pricing terms.
We have six assets, with Pampa Norte having two operations.
Our 57.5 per cent owned and operated Escondida mine is the largest producer in the world. In FY2012, our share of Escondida production was 333.8 kt of payable copper in concentrate and 172.0 kt of copper cathode.
Escondida has a reserve life of 54 years. The increase in reserves from 35 years in FY2011 is predominantly due to OGP1 approval that will deliver double the current flotation capacity that allows improved recovery of lower grade ores with commensurate expansion of the reserves footprint.
The availability of key inputs like power and water at competitive prices is an important focus at Escondida. Escondidas power demand of approximately 440 MW is currently covered by four contracts: one of which provides 340 MW until 2029; and the balance of which provide 252 MW until 2016.
To address limitations on the availability of water, we desalinate and carefully manage our use and re-use of available water. We are exploring alternative sources, including further desalination of seawater.
Olympic Dam is already a significant producer of copper cathode and uranium oxide and a refiner of smaller amounts of gold and silver bullion. We are exploring 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).
Production in FY2012 was lower than that achieved in FY2011. Olympic Dam produced 192.6 kt (FY2011: 194.1 kt) of copper cathode, 3.9 kt (FY2011: 4.0 kt) of uranium oxide, 117.8 kilo-ounces (FY2011: 111.4 kilo-ounces) of refined gold and 907 kilo-ounces (FY2011: 982 kilo-ounces) of refined silver in FY2012.
Olympic Dam has a reserve life of 57 years.
We own 33.75 per cent of Antamina, a large, low-cost, long-life copper/zinc mine in Peru. Antamina has a reserve life of 16 years. Our share of Antaminas FY2012 production was 127.0 kt of copper in concentrate, and 57.5 kt of zinc in concentrate. Antamina also produces smaller amounts of molybdenum and lead/bismuth concentrate.
Pampa Norte Spence Operation
Our wholly owned Spence copper mine produces copper cathode. During FY2012, we produced 180.3 kt of copper cathode.
Spence has a reserve life of 11 years.
Pampa Norte Cerro Colorado Operation
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 FY2012 was 83.4 kt of copper cathode.
Cerro Colorado has a reserve life of 10 years.
Our wholly owned Cannington mine in northwest Queensland, Australia, is one of the worlds largest producers of silver. In FY2012, Cannington produced concentrates containing 239.1 kt of lead, 54.7 kt of zinc and approximately 34.2 million ounces of silver.
Cannington has a reserve life of eight years.
North America Pinto Valley
As a result of favourable economic conditions in FY2012, in particular copper prices, the decision was made to resume sulphide mining and milling operations at the Pinto Valley located in Arizona, United States. The mine, which will produce copper and molybdenum concentrate, is expected to have annual production capacity of approximately 60 kt of copper in concentrate. The project is expected to resume mining at the end of the CY2012 (FY2013).
Copper cathode will also continue to be produced at Pinto Valley and the neighbouring Miami Unit from residual solvent extraction electrowinning (SXEW) operations.
Pinto Valley has a reserve life of four years.
Information on Base Metals 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 2.13.2).
The proposed expansion of Olympic Dam would be a progressive development requiring construction activity to increase production up to 750 kt per annum (ktpa) of copper, 19 ktpa of uranium oxide and 800 kilo-ounces of gold. On 10 October 2011, the South Australian Government and Australian Commonwealth Government approved the Environmental Impact Statement for the Olympic Dam Project.
We announced on 22 August 2012 that we will not approve the open-pit expansion of our Olympic Dam mine in South Australia in time to meet the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) (Amendment of Indenture) Amendment Act 2011 deadline of 15 December 2012. We will investigate a less capital intensive design of the Olympic Dam open-pit expansion, involving new technologies to substantially improve the economics of the project.
On 27 August 2012, we announced we have signed an agreement to sell our wholly owned Yeelirrie uranium deposit in Western Australia to Cameco Corporation for US$430 million. The sale is subject to relevant approvals from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and Government of Western Australia.
Exploration of the Escondida lease and early drilling results have resulted in an announcement of extensive additional mineralisation in close proximity to existing infrastructure and processing facilities, including the Pampa Escondida and Pinta Verde prospects. In FY2012, Escondida has expensed US$104.7 million (US$60.2 million BHP Billiton share) in exploration.
The Escondida Ore Access project provides access to higher-grade ore and commenced the execution phase during FY2011 with first production achieved during the June 2012 quarter. In addition, the Laguna Seca Debottlenecking project, which will provide additional processing capacity, commenced the execution phase in FY2011 and is expected to complete this phase during the second half of CY2012. Organic Growth Project 1 (OGP1), which is the replacement of the Los Colorados concentrator allowing access to higher-grade ore and additional processing capacity, was approved and moved into the execution phase in February 2012. OGP1 is expected to cost US$3.8 billion (US$2.2 billion BHP Billiton share). In February 2012, BHP Billiton also approved the Oxide Leach Area Project (OLAP), which creates a new dynamic leaching pad and mineral handling system that will include several overland conveyers. The new pad is expected to maintain oxide leaching capacity at current levels following the exhaustion of the existing heap leach in CY2014. OLAP is expected to cost US$721 million (US$414 million BHP Billiton share) with commissioning anticipated in the middle of CY2014.
In FY2012, Antamina continued execution of the expansion project. With a total investment of US$1.3 billion (US$435 million BHP Billiton share), the project expands milling capacity by 38 per cent to 130 kt per day (ktpd). 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 SAG mill and first production was achieved in March 2012. The project is more than 92 per cent complete.
We hold a 45 per cent interest in the Resolution Copper project in Arizona, United States, operated by Rio Tinto (55 per cent interest).
Resolution Copper is undertaking a pre-feasibility study into a substantial underground copper mine and processing facility.
In FY2012, 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.
Work also continued towards gaining approval from 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 business and engages in the exploration and development of a potash business. On 1 February 2012 we announced that we had exercised an option to sell our 37.8 per cent non-operated interest in Richards Bay Minerals to Rio Tinto and will exit the titanium minerals industry. On 7 September 2012, we announced the sale was complete.
Our diamonds business is comprised of the EKATI Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada. EKATI has produced on average almost three million carats per year of rough diamonds over the last five years. 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) fluctuates from year to year. EKATI has a reserve life of three years.
Our interest in EKATI consists of an 80 per cent interest in the Core Zone Joint Venture, comprising existing operations and a 58.8 per cent interest in the Buffer Zone Joint Venture, primarily focusing on exploration targets.
Annual sales from EKATI (100 per cent terms) represented approximately two per cent of current world rough diamond supply by weight and approximately six per cent by value in FY2012. We sell most of our rough diamonds to international diamond buyers through our Antwerp sales office.
On 30 November 2011, we announced that we are reviewing our diamonds business, comprising our interests in the EKATI Diamond Mine and the Chidliak exploration project in Canada. This review is examining whether a continued presence in the diamonds industry is consistent with our strategy and evaluating the potential sale of all or part of the diamonds business. On 20 December 2011, we confirmed that we agreed to sell our 51 per cent interest in the Chidliak diamonds exploration project on Baffin Island, Canada, to our joint venture partner, Peregrine Diamonds Ltd.
Our potash strategy is to build a material industry position over the long term. We continue advancing the Jansen Project, a greenfield potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada. Jansen progressed into the feasibility study phase (an advanced stage of our project approvals process) in February 2011. Approved spending for Jansen is US$1.1 billion.
Jansen is designed ultimately to produce approximately eight mtpa of agricultural grade potash.
We are also continuing to study other potential projects in the Saskatchewan potash basin, including Young, Boulder and Melville, and are progressing these projects in the context of our development portfolio.
We are conducting a potash exploration program, including 3D seismic survey and drilling programs. We have approved spending of almost US$2 billion (including Jansen and other acquisitions) in respect of developing our potash business. Our permit positions for potash extend over 14,500 square kilometres in the Saskatchewan basin.
Our principal interest in titanium minerals consists of our 37.8 per cent economic interest in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM). RBM is a major producer 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.
On 1 February 2012, we announced that we exercised an option to sell our non-operated interest in RBM to Rio Tinto and will exit the titanium minerals industry. On 7 September 2012, we announced the sale was complete. The sale price was US$1.9 billion before adjustments.
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 2.13.2).
Jansen Potash Project
On 24 June 2011, we approved US$488 million of pre-commitment spending to fund early-stage site preparation for surface construction, procurement of long lead time items and the first sections of the production and service shafts. On 30 June 2011, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment approved our Environmental Impact Statement for the development of the Jansen project.
We are currently executing a ground freezing program in which the ground will be frozen using a closed system of refrigeration pipes through which brine is circulated. Excavation of shafts is also under way with shaft collars completed and shaft sinking due to begin by the end of CY2012. Sinking headframes and hoists are also being installed. The eventual depth of the service and production shafts will be approximately one kilometre.
On 9 May 2011, we approved the Misery open-pit project at the EKATI Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada. This project consists of a pushback of the existing Misery open-pit, which was mined from 2001 to 2005. Stripping operations began in September 2011, with ore production expected to begin in late 2015 and final production from Misery expected in mid-2017. The estimated capital expenditure required to complete the execution phase is US$323 million (BHP Billiton share).
2.2.6 Stainless Steel Materials Customer Sector Group
Our Stainless Steel Materials CSG 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. We also supply nickel to other markets, including the specialty alloy, foundry, chemicals and refractory material industries. We are the worlds fifth-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 LME nickel price.
Our nickel business comprises two Assets:
Nickel West is the name for our wholly owned Western Australian nickel Asset, which consists 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. We operate concentrator plants at Mt Keith and at Leinster, which also concentrate ore from Cliffs. Leinster and Mt Keith have reserve lives of eight and 13 years, respectively, both have options for further expansion. The Mt Keith Talc Redesign project, which enables the processing of talc bearing ore, was successfully commissioned in December 2011. Cliffs is a high-grade underground mine with a reserve life of three years.
We also operate the Kambalda concentrator south of Kalgoorlie, where we source ore through tolling and concentrate purchase arrangements with third parties in the Kambalda region. We also have purchase agreements in place for the direct purchase of concentrate, which we re-pulp, dry and blend with other concentrate processed at Kambalda.
We transport concentrate from Leinster, Mt Keith and Kambalda to our Kalgoorlie smelter, where it is processed into nickel matte, containing approximately 67 per cent nickel. In FY2012, we exported approximately 48 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.
Nickel West production in FY2012 was 109 kt of contained nickel.
During FY2012 the Nickel West Kwinana hydrogen plant was successfully commissioned, following a restriction in hydrogen supply which impacted production of nickel metal from the Kwinana nickel refinery.
Cerro Matoso, our 99.94 per cent owned nickel Asset in Colombia, combines a lateritic nickel ore deposit with a ferronickel smelter. Cerro Matoso is the worlds second-largest producer of ferronickel and is 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 32 years. Production in FY2012 was 48.9 kt of nickel in ferronickel form following the successful early completion of the planned furnace replacement.
Cerro Matoso operates under mining concessions that are due to expire on 30 September 2012 and has applied, in accordance with the law and its contracts, for an extension of these mining concessions. If this extension is not granted, Cerro Matoso has an underlying agreement with the Colombian Government that grants it the rights to continue mining and producing through to 2029 under a mining arrangement, with a further extension of 15 years possible.
Information on Stainless Steel Materials mining operations
Information on Stainless Steel Materials smelters, refineries and processing plants
Cerro Matoso expansion options
Cerro Matoso has undertaken conceptual studies on options for expanding production. A feasibility study is in progress for the Cerro Matoso Heap Leach project.
2.2.7 Iron Ore Customer Sector Group
Our Iron Ore CSG consists of our Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) interests and a 50 per cent interest in the Samarco Joint Venture in Brazil. We are one of the leading iron ore producers in the world. We sell lump and fines product produced in Australia and pellets from our operations in Brazil.
Western Australia Iron Ore
WAIOs operations involve a complex integrated system of mines and more than 1,000 kilometres of rail infrastructure and port facilities in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. Our strategy is to maximise output utilising available infrastructure at our disposal.
Our WAIO operations consist of three joint ventures: Mt Newman, Yandi and Mt Goldsworthy, and our 100 per cent interest in Jimblebar. Our interest in these joint ventures is 85 per cent. Mitsui and ITOCHU own the remaining 15 per cent. Along with the other joint venture participants, we have entered into marketing agreements in the form of joint ventures with certain customers. These joint ventures, JW4, Wheelarra and POSMAC, involve subleases of part of WAIOs existing mineral leases whereby ore is sold to the existing joint ventures with contractual terms applying to the customers share. As a consequence, we are entitled to 85 per cent of production from these subleases and the customer joint ventures are accounted for as marketing arrangements rather than as jointly controlled assets.
We have been expanding our WAIO operations in response to increasing demand for iron ore. Since 2001, we have completed six expansion projects to increase our system production capacity from 69 mtpa to 190 mtpa (100 per cent basis). Our share of FY2012 production was 148.1 Mt of ore. We now have additional projects in various stages of the project life cycle (including construction) to further increase system capacity (see Development projects below).
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. This 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 as well as changing properties in the ore being mined and reduces the risk of port bottlenecks.
The reserve lives of our mines range from 14 years at Yandi to 44 years at Jimblebar.
Acquisition of HWE Mining Subsidiaries
On 30 September 2011, BHP Billiton completed its acquisition of HWE Mining Subsidiaries from Leighton Holdings. The acquisition relates to the mining equipment, people and related assets that service the Area C, Yandi and Orebody 23 and 25 Operations. These operations collectively account for almost 70 per cent of WAIOs total material movement. The amount paid was US$710 million (A$725 million) representing purchase consideration of US$449 million and settlement of pre-existing obligations of US$241 million and US$20 million for transitional services to be provided post acquisition.
We are a 50 50 joint venture partner with Vale at the Samarco Operation in Brazil. Samarco is currently comprised of a mine and two concentrators located in the State of Minas Gerais, and three pellet plants and a port located in the State of Espirito Santo. Two 396 kilometre pipelines connect the mine site to the pelletising facilities.
In FY2012, our share of production was 10.7 Mt of pellets. Samarcos total ore reserve is about 2.1 billion tonnes.
Information on Iron Ore mining operations
Western Australia Iron Ore
In March 2011, we announced approval of an additional US$7.4 billion (BHP Billiton share US$6.6 billion) of capital expenditure to continue production growth in our WAIO operations. This investment is the final approval of projects initiated in 2010, with pre-commitment funding of US$2.3 billion (BHP Billiton share US$2.1 billion). It is expected to deliver an integrated operation with a minimum capacity of 220 mtpa (100 per cent basis), with first production expected from Jimblebar early in CY2014.
This additional investment includes:
Western Australia Iron Ore Dual Harbour Strategy
In February 2012, we announced approval of US$917 million (BHP Billiton share US$779 million) in pre-commitment funding for the construction of an Outer Harbour facility associated with our WAIO operations.
On 24 August 2012, we announced that the Western Australia Minister for Transport and Port Hedland Port Authority has granted WAIO the right, subject to the State approvals processes, to develop two additional berths in the Inner Harbour. We also announced work on the Outer Harbour Development has been slowed while our focus has shifted to maximising our potential capacity from the Inner Harbour. Development of the Outer Harbour remains attractive in the long term.
Western Australia Iron Ore Orebody 24 mine
In November 2011, we announced approval of a US$822 million (BHP Billiton share US$698 million) investment for the development of the Orebody 24 mine, located approximately 10 kilometres northeast of Newman, Western Australia, Orebody 24 is a sustaining mine to maintain iron ore production output from the Mt Newman JV operations. Orebody 24 is expected to have a capacity of 17 mtpa and will include the construction of an ore crushing plant, train loadout facility, rail spur and other associated support facilities. Initial mining is expected to begin in the second half of CY2012.
During FY2011, Samarco shareholders approved a US$3.5 billion (BHP Billiton share US$1.75 billion) expansion project consisting of a fourth pellet plant, a new concentrator and a third slurry pipeline. The project is expected to expand Samarcos iron ore pellet production capacity from 22.2 mtpa to 30.5 mtpa. First pellet production is expected in the first half of CY2014.
We are carrying out exploration activities in Guinea and Liberia, West Africa.
Guinea Iron Ore
BHP Billiton currently has a 41.3 per cent interest in a joint venture that holds the Nimba Mining Concession and four iron ore prospecting permits in southeast Guinea. The joint venture is undertaking a pre-feasibility study for the development of the Concession and associated transport infrastructure. Once developed, it is envisaged that the mine will deliver a high-grade direct shipping ore to market.
Liberia Iron Ore
BHP Billiton currently has a 100 per cent interest in a Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia. This enables the further exploration and development of our Liberian iron ore mineral leases, each of which are proximate to existing rail and port infrastructure. Exploration and development of these leases continues, with drilling conducted on select targets.
2.2.8 Manganese Customer Sector Group
Our Manganese CSG produces a combination of ores and alloys from sites in South Africa and Australia. We are the worlds largest producer of manganese ore and one of the top 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 than low-grade ore in the alloying process.
Our strategy is to focus on upstream resource businesses. Manganese alloy smelters are a key conduit of manganese units into steelmaking and enable us to access markets with an optimal mix of ore and alloy, optimise production to best suit market conditions and give us technical 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.
We own and manage all manganese mining operations and alloy plants through joint ventures with Anglo American. We own 60 per cent of the joint ventures. Our joint venture interests are held through Samancor Manganese, which operates our global Manganese assets. In South Africa, Samancor Manganese (Pty) Ltd owns 74 per cent of Hotazel Manganese Mines (Pty) Ltd (HMM) and 100 per cent of the Metalloys division. This gives BHP Billiton an effective interest of 44.4 per cent in HMM and 60 per cent in Metalloys. The remaining 26 per cent of HMM is owned under the terms of South African Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation, which reflects our commitment to economic transformation in South Africa. In Australia, we own 60 per cent of Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd (GEMCO) and we have an effective interest of 60 per cent in Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company Pty Ltd (TEMCO) through GEMCO, which owns 100 per cent of TEMCO.
In response to challenging market conditions in the manganese alloy industry, we announced the temporary suspension of production at TEMCO, Australia, and the cessation of production of energy-intensive silicomanganese at the Metalloys South plant, South Africa, during the March 2012 quarter. After extensive stakeholder consultation and the identification of significant cost reduction opportunities, in May 2012, we announced our decision to restart TEMCO, which is currently in progress and planned to complete in CY2012.
HMM owns the Mamatwan open-cut mine and the Wessels underground mine. 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 than low-grade ore in the alloying process. The ore from these mines only requires crushing and screening to create saleable product. In FY2012, the total manganese ore production was 3,625 kt, 21 per cent higher than FY2011 production. Wessels has a reserve life of 46 years and Mamatwan has a reserve life of 21 years.
As a result of its location near our port facilities and its simple, open-cut mining operation, GEMCO is one of the worlds lowest-cost manganese ore producers. These simple operations, combined with its high-grade ore and relative proximity to Asian export markets, make GEMCO unique among the worlds manganese mines. FY2012 production of manganese ore was 4,306 kt, five per cent higher than FY2011 production. GEMCO has a reserve life of 12 years.
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 Hotazel operations, it is also one of the lowest-cost alloy producers of medium-carbon ferromanganese. Metalloys only produces high- and medium-carbon ferromanganese, after silicomanganese production ceased due to the permanent closure of the energy intensive Metalloys South plant in January 2012. The annual production capacity of silicomanganese was 120 ktpa.
TEMCO is a medium-sized producer of high-carbon ferromanganese, silicomanganese and sinter using ore shipped from GEMCO, primarily using hydroelectric 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 2.13.2).
Information on Manganese smelters, refineries and processing plants
The partners in Samancor Manganese approved the second expansion of the GEMCO Operation in the Northern Territory of Australia in July 2011. This follows the successful commissioning of the GEMCO expansion phase 1 (GEEP1) project in April 2009. The US$279 million GEEP2 project (BHP Billiton share US$167 million) has commenced and will increase GEMCOs beneficiated product capacity from 4.2 mtpa to 4.8 mtpa through the introduction of a dense media circuit by-pass facility. The project is expected to be completed in late CY2013. The expansion will also address infrastructure constraints by increasing road and port capacity to 5.9 mtpa, creating 1.1 mtpa of additional capacity for future expansions.
Due to subsurface challenges experienced, which impacted progress and budget, the central block development project at Wessels was re-phased. The US$92 million Phase 1 project will be completed in FY2014. It will comprise the construction of the ventilation shaft and development of the associated underground ventilation network. Phase 2 of the project is in the feasibility phase and will comprise the completion of the underground crusher and mobile workshops. Upon completion of Phases 1 and 2, the Wessels mine capacity will increase from 1 mtpa to 1.5 mtpa.
The High-Carbon Ferromanganese (HCFeMn) furnace M14 at the Metalloys West Plant was approved for execution in November 2010 with a total approved investment of US$91 million (US$54.6 million BHP Billiton share). This furnace will add an additional 130 ktpa capacity (100 per cent or about 78 ktpa BHP Billiton share) of HCFeMn and replace the closed South Plant silicomanganese (capacity of 120 ktpa), to take Metalloys capacity to 500 ktpa. The M14 furnace will contribute to power efficiency at the Metalloys site as it will add to the sites own generation capacity utilising the furnace off-gases. Completion of the furnace is expected during FY2013.
Samancor Gabon Manganese project
A feasibility study for the establishment of a new 300 ktpa mine in Franceville, Gabon, commenced in July 2010. The project has experienced delays in concluding key agreements and has been placed under review.
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.
Our export customers are steel producers around the world. In FY2012, most of our contracts were annual or long-term volume contracts with prices largely negotiated on a quarterly or monthly basis.
We have assets in two major resource basins: the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia, and the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia.
The Bowen Basin is well positioned to supply the seaborne market because of its high-quality metallurgical coals, which are ideally suited to efficient blast furnace operations, and its geographical proximity to Asian customers.
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 (production ceased), Blackwater and Gregory Crinum mines, together with the Hay Point Coal terminal through the Central Queensland Coal Associates (CQCA) joint venture and the Gregory joint venture. Our BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) asset operates South Walker Creek and Poitrel mines. BMC is owned by BHP Billiton (80 per cent) and Mitsui and Co (20 per cent).
The reserve lives of our mines range from four years at Gregory Crinum to 40 years at Saraji. Total attributable production in FY2012 was approximately 25.3 Mt compared with 25.7 Mt in FY2011. Production in FY2012 was largely constrained by industrial action and severe wet weather. Additionally, in April 2012, BMA announced the intention to cease production at Norwich Park mine indefinitely, following a review of the mines viability. On 10 September 2012, BMA announced its intention to cease production at its Gregory open-cut mine, part of the Gregory Crinum complex, from 10 October 2012.
Production figures for the Bowen Basin include some energy coal (less than five per cent).
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 FY2012 was approximately 7.9 Mt compared with 6.9 Mt in FY2011. The reserve lives of our mines range from four years at West Cliff to 31 years at Appin.
Production figures for Illawarra include some energy coal (less than 17 per cent).
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 2.13.2).
Bowen Basin Expansions
In November 2011, approval was given for the development of the Caval Ridge mine project and expansion of the Peak Downs mine in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. In response to the challenging external environment, the Group has chosen to delay indefinitely the 2.5 mtpa (100 per cent basis) expansion of Peak Downs that is associated with the Caval Ridge mine development. The 5.5 mtpa (100 per cent basis) Caval Ridge mine remains on schedule to deliver first production in CY2014.
The Caval Ridge mine will be an open-cut dragline and truck and shovel operation, with coal railed to the BMA Hay Point Coal terminal.
In March 2011, approval was given for three key metallurgical coal projects located in the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. The projects are expected to add 4.9 Mt of annual mine capacity (100 per cent basis) through development of the Daunia Operation and a new mining area at Broadmeadow. In addition, 11 Mt of annual port capacity (100 per cent basis) will be developed at the Hay Point Coal terminal. These projects are ongoing with first coal expected from the Daunia mine in 2013, completion of the Broadmeadow expansion expected in 2013 and the first shipments from the expanded terminal expected in FY2015.
IndoMet Coal Project (Indonesia)
IndoMet Coal comprises seven coal contracts of work (CCoWs) covering a large metallurgical coal resource in Kalimantan, Indonesia, which was discovered by BHP Billiton in the 1990s. Following an assessment of the importance of local participation in developing the project in 2010, we sold a 25 per cent interest in the project to a subsidiary of PT Adaro Energy TBK. We retain 75 per cent of the project and hold management responsibility for the project.
Study work is underway to identify development options across our CCoWs and early work on infrastructure development has commenced.
Appin Area 9 Project
In June 2012, approval was given to invest US$845 million to sustain operations at Illawarra Coal, in southern New South Wales, Australia, by establishing a replacement mining area at Appin mine. The replacement area will have a production capacity of 3.5 mtpa and will sustain Illawarra Coals production capacity at 9 mtpa. Appin Area 9 will be operational in 2016 and will replace production at the West Cliff mine. The project includes roadway development, new ventilation infrastructure, new and reconfigured conveyors and other mine services.
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 domestic supplier to the electricity generation industry in Australia, South Africa and the United States. Our global portfolio of energy coal assets and our insights into the broader energy market through our sales of other fuels (gas, uranium and oil) provide our business with substantial advantages as a supplier. We generally make our domestic sales under long-term fixed price or cost plus contracts with nearby power stations. 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 index-linked or fixed; where pricing is fixed, financial instruments are used to swap exposure to market index basis.
We operate three assets: a group of mines and associated infrastructure collectively known as BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa; our New Mexico Coal operations in the United States; and our New South Wales Energy Coal operations in Australia. We also own a 33.33 per cent share of the Cerrejón Coal Company, which operates a coal mine in Colombia.
BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa
BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) operates four coal mines being Khutala, Klipspruit, Middelburg and Wolvekrans in the Witbank region of Mpumalanga province of South Africa, which in FY2012 produced approximately 33 Mt. The reserve lives of our mines range from eight years at Khutala and Klipspruit to 29 years at Middelburg.
In FY2012, BECSA sold approximately 57 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 (RBCT), in which we own a 22 per cent share.
During FY2012, BECSA entered into an empowerment transaction with a black-owned consortium, which will effectively hold an eight per cent equity interest in BECSA once the transaction is completed. The shareholders of BECSA have also approved the implementation of an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) in which participating employees will hold a beneficial interest of two per cent equity in BECSA for a vested period. The empowerment transaction and the introduction of the ESOP are expected to be completed in FY2013.
New Mexico Coal
We own and operate the Navajo mine, located on Navajo Nation land in New Mexico, and the nearby San Juan mine located in the state of New Mexico. Each mine transports its production directly to a nearby power station. The reserve lives of our mines are four years at Navajo mine and six years at San Juan Mine, being the life of the current customer contracts. New Mexico Coal produced approximately 9.4 Mt in FY2012.
New South Wales Energy Coal
New South Wales Energy Coals operating asset is the Mt Arthur Coal open-cut mine in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, which produced approximately 17 Mt in FY2012 and has a reserve life of 45 years. In FY2012, we delivered approximately 10 per cent of Mt Arthurs production to a local power station and exported the rest via the port of Newcastle. During FY2012, the RX1 project achieved first production ahead of schedule. This project is expected to increase run-of-mine thermal coal production by approximately four mtpa. We are a 35.5 per cent shareholder in Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, a jointly controlled entity that is operating the Newcastle Third Port export coal loading facility and currently has a project in execution (see Development projects below). We also have a 1.75 per cent interest in Port Waratah Coal Services Limited which operates two coal loading facilities at the port of Newcastle.
Cerrejón Coal Company
We have a one-third interest in Cerrejón Coal Company, which owns and operates one of the largest open-cut export coal mines in the world in La Guajira province of Colombia, as well as integrated rail and port facilities through which the majority of production is exported to European, Middle Eastern, North American and Asian customers. In FY2012, Cerrejón commenced its expansion project (P40), which will increase BHP Billitons share of saleable production from 10.7 mtpa to 13.3 mtpa (see Development projects below). Cerrejón has a current production capacity of 32 mtpa (100 per cent terms) and has a reserve life of 21 years.
Information on Energy Coal mining operations
The following table contains additional details of our mining operations. The table should be read in conjunction with the production (see section 2.3.2) and reserves tables (see section 2.13.2).
Cerrejón Coal P40 Project
On 18 August 2011, we announced a US$437 million (BHP Billiton share) investment in the expansion of Cerrejón Coal, known as the P40 Project, which will enable Cerrejón Coals saleable thermal coal production to increase by 8.0 mtpa to approximately 40 mtpa. We have a one-third interest in Cerrejón Coal. The expansion project is expected to increase our share of saleable production from 10.7 mtpa to 13.3 mtpa. Construction commenced in CY2011 with completion expected in CY2013. The project scope includes a second berth and dual quadrant ship loader at Cerrejóns 100 per cent owned and operated Puerto Bolivar, along with necessary mine, rail and associated supply chain infrastructure.
Newcastle Port Third Phase Expansion
On 31 August 2011, we announced a US$367 million (BHP Billiton share) investment in the third stage development of the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Groups coal handling facility in Newcastle, Australia. The port expansion project will increase total capacity at the coal terminal from 53 mtpa to 66 mtpa. This will increase New South Wales Energy Coals allocation by a further 4.6 mtpa to 19.2 mtpa. First coal is scheduled to occur in FY2014, with the terminal expected to operate at full capacity within the following 12 months.
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 2012, 2011 and 2010. 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 2012, 2011 and 2010. Production shows our share unless otherwise stated. For discussion of minerals pricing during the past three years, refer to section 3.4.1.