With operations located mainly in Australia and the Americas, BHP Billiton is both an extractor and processor of minerals, oil, and gas. In 2017 the company reported an annual revenue of approximately 43.6 billion U.S. dollars, down from 59 billion U.S. dollars in 2008. Moreover, being one of the largest mining companies worldwide, its market capitalization amounted to some 44.07 billion U.S. dollars as of September 2018, making it one of the leading global players in the mining sector. It has some 27,161 employees as of 2018 globally, with the greatest share of the employees working in in Australia.
Being a large global mining company, BHP Billiton is not free of controversy. In November 2015, a mine waste water dam in south-eastern Brazil owned by BHP Billiton and Vale collapsed. It killed at least 17 people, injured more than 50 people, and caused devastating environmental damage to the surrounding area.