The mining giant BHP Group got its start in Founded in 1885 in the isolated mining town of Broken Hill, New South Wales. Incorporated in 1885, the first consignment of Broken Hill ore (48 tons, 5 cwt, 3grs) was smelted at the Intercolonial Smelting and Refining Company’s works at Spotswood, Melbourne, Australia.
Today, BHP is the largest mining company in the world and Australia’s third-largest company by revenue.
In the 1950s, BHP began oil and gas exploration, which became an increasing focus following oil and natural gas discoveries in the Bass Strait.
On 8 November 2007, BHP Billiton announced it was seeking to purchase rival mining group Rio Tinto Group in an all-share deal. The initial offer of 3.4 shares of BHP Billiton stock for each share of Rio Tinto was rejected by the board of Rio Tinto for “significantly undervaluing” the company.
In 2015, BHP Billiton spun off a number of its subsidiaries in South Africa and Southern Africa to form a new company known as South32.
Also in 2015, the company was involved in the Bento Rodrigues dam collapse. This was to date the worst environmental disaster in the history of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
In May 2017, with much of the former Billiton assets having been disposed of, BHP Billiton began to rebrand itself as BHP, at first in Australia and then globally.
In April 2019, the company’s efforts to streamline production will result in the loss of an estimated 700 jobs, but no further details were released at that time regarding where the cuts would take place.
Headquarters for the company remain in Melbourne, Australia.