BHP Billiton

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The destruction caused by a dam collapse at the Samarco dam caused public outcry. Reuters/Ricardo Moraes

CEOs emerge unscathed by environment lawsuits

Research indicates that senior corporate leaders largely escape negative consequences when their companies are involved in environmental breaches.
A view from above the burst Samarco dam in Brazil. Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Who should we blame for the Brazil mining dam disaster?

Six people are dead and more than 20 missing following the Samarco mine disaster in Brazil. But in the rush to blame we must consider the complexity of such failures.
BHP Billiton’s Andrew Mackenzie said his firm has an effective tax rate of 45%. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

FactCheck: Is BHP Billiton Australia’s largest taxpayer, averaging $8-10b in tax a year?

BHP Billiton's Andrew Mackenzie says his firm is Australia's largest taxpayer, pays an average of $8 - $10 billion of tax in Australia every year and has an effective tax rate of 45%. Is that right?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says an inquiry into iron ore competition “could make sense”. Alan Porritt/AAP

Competition the wrong test for iron ore inquiry

While it's easy for the large miners to argue increased iron ore production is business as usual, the overall cost to the sector warrants a closer inspection.
A US Supreme Court decision last week damaged the legal options for holding corporations to account for human rights and environmental abuses. Philosophicalswag

Corporate accountability and gutting the US Alien Tort Statute

The US Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision that will have drawn sighs of relief from corporate boardrooms in Australia and around the world. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum was brought by…
Outgoing BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers shakes hands with his successor, Andrew Mackenzie. AAP

Change at the top: what next for BHP Billiton?

The board of BHP Billiton Limited today announced the retirement of chief executive officer and inside director Marius Kloppers. Dr Kloppers is a 20-year veteran of the company, serving 12 years as a senior…
The replacement of Tom Albanese by Sam Walsh as Rio Tinto chief following write-downs on Riversdale Mining in Mozambique indicates some of the continuing difficulties of working in developing countries. AAP

Despite tough lessons for Australian miners, transparency should still be a goal

Two recent events have highlighted the potential pitfalls of miners doing business in developing states. The first was the departure of Tom Albanese as Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive following a $13.3 billion…
Iron ore prices have rebounded: but forecasting prices is a tricky business. AAP

A rebound in iron ore prices? Who knows?

Forecasting commodity prices is like buying a second hand car. Only the car’s previous owner and perhaps the dealer really know what the car is actually like. In contrast you, the buyer, are an outsider…
Chinese investment in smaller iron-ore suppliers in Western Australia not only presents challenges for the market power of the Big 3 mining companies, but also for the viability of iron ore projects in Australia. AAP

How China drives the Australian iron ore boom (and bust)

With several major mining projects being put on ice this week, talk has quickly turned to whether the Australian mining boom is about to go bust. Jumping on comments by the Resources Minister that “the…
BHP has blamed capital costs and market conditions for its decision to delay expansion of the Olympic Dam project. AAP Image/BHP

Olympic Dam delay is not the end of the world for South Australia

The prospect of a four kilometre long and one kilometre deep open pit mine captures the imagination. Think about a chasm as deep as Mount Everest is high. It was going to take years to remove the overburden…
James Price Point’s monsoon vine thickets are culturally and ecologically important, and undervalued in assessments of environmental impact. Artist and botanist Jeanne Brown

James Price Point: environmental significance ignored in failed impact assessment

The proposed Browse Liquefied Natural Gas Hub at James Price Point (known locally as Walmadany), 50km north of Broome, has created one of the most fiercely fought environmental and indigenous battles currently…
BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers is expected to announce the company’s first profit fall in three years. AAP

Investments are nearing their peak, but the mining boom isn’t over yet

It has been an anxious day for Australian investors. Shares have dipped as the market awaits BHP Billiton’s full-year profit report. It is expected that the market heavyweight will post its first profit…

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