BHP Group Limited, formerly known as BHP Billiton, is an Australian-based multinational company in mining, metals, and petroleum. While head-quartered in Melbourne, Australia the company operates mines across the world including Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the United States focusing primarily on coal, copper, iron ore and petroleum.
After the merger of Billiton and the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) to form BHP Billiton in 2001, the company was rebranded to just BHP after most of the former Billiton assets had been disposed of. BHP employs roughly 80,000 people worldwide and is a member of the Minerals Council of Australia.
According to figures from March of 2023, BHP has the largest market capitalisation of any mining company in the world at nearly $160 billion. In August of 2023 it was reported that BHP, once reported as the “Big Australian,” is now 73% owned by parties within the United States and, according to Bevan Ramsden for Independent Australia, is “therefore beholden to U.S. shareholders.” BHP’s top shareholders include Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street.
BHP has had significant influence on Australian policy. For example BHP was a vocal critic of the Gillard Government’s Carbon Tax. Following its repeal, BHP stood to gain roughly $77 million per year. BHP also donated $2 million to the “Yes’ campaign for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum. BHP has also been accused of “exploiting legislative loopholes for commercial gain” by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and has been called to a Senate Inquiry into the federal government’s proposed Closing Loopholes legislation.
According to Bob Carr’s Diary of Foreign Minister, former-Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, suggested that BHP, along few other parties and entities, controlled Australia:
“[Mr Rudd] reflects on how few people run the country: the Murdoch media, the heads of Rio and BHP, probably the heads of the big banks, and ‘that mob’, by which he means the hard-line… pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne.”