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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE LIMITED  >  BHP Group Ltd    BHP   AU000000BHP4

BHP GROUP LTD

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In About Turn, BHP Wants to Build Nickel Business

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05/21/2019 | 05:32pm EDT

By Rhiannon Hoyle

SYDNEY--BHP Group Ltd. (BHP.AU) wants to raise its bets on a pending nickel boom tied to rising demand for electric vehicles, an about-turn for the world's biggest miner which had sought to sell its nickel business in recent years.

Peter Beaven, BHP's chief financial officer, said on Wednesday that the world's biggest miner by market value is interested in building its resources of nickel sulfide, which can be processed into sulfate for use in batteries.

Last week, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company has decided to keep its Australian nickel-mining and processing operations, for which it failed to find a buyer in recent years, because of expected growth in battery markets and the scarcity of nickel sulfide assets.

BHP is also seeking to increase its options for growth in copper and oil, Mr. Beaven said in prepared remarks for an investor briefing.

"We can, with a degree of conviction, say that adding options in copper and nickel sulfides are likely to be a sound investment," he said.

The miner on Tuesday raised its expectations for the number of electric vehicles that it expects on the roads in coming decades, citing declining battery costs and rising interest among automakers, particularly in China.

BHP will focus on exploring for those commodities, although it won't discount acquiring assets if needed, Mr. Beaven added.

Mr. Beaven said BHP is unlikely to increase its production of iron ore or steelmaking coal materially, rather only increasing volumes through its productivity campaign.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LTD 0.10% 41.24 End-of-day quote.20.36%
LME NICKEL CASH 3.20% 12245 End-of-day quote.17.29%
VALUE8 -0.36% 5.48 Delayed Quote.15.61%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2019 44 254 M
EBIT 2019 17 363 M
Net income 2019 9 767 M
Debt 2019 9 485 M
Yield 2019 7,45%
P/E ratio 2019 14,92
P/E ratio 2020 12,89
EV / Sales 2019 3,31x
EV / Sales 2020 3,13x
Capitalization 137 B
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 15
Average target price 27,9 $
Spread / Average Target -2,8%
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Managers
NameTitle
Andrew Mackenzie CEO & Non-Independent Executive Director
John Kenneth Norman MacKenzie Chairman
Daniel Malchuk President-Americas Minerals Operations
Steve Pastor President-Petroleum Operations
Mike Henry President-Minerals Australia Operations
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