BHP Billiton, formed by the 2001 merger between BHP (Broken Hill Propriety Company Limited) and Billiton, is one of the world’s leading producers of several commodities, including copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal, and uranium. BHP Billiton also has interests in oil, gas, and coal. The multinational company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
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 38.3 billion U.S. dollars, down from 57 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. Moreover, being one of the largest mining companies worldwide, its market capitalization amounted to some 67.5 billion U.S dollars, making it one of the leading global players in the mining sector. It has some 26,146 employees as of 2017 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.
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