the latest ... Billiton assets
might be a liability
Charles (Chip) Goodyear
Charles W (Chip) Goodyear became Chief Executive of BHP Billiton on 6 January 2002. Mr Goodyear will relocate from London to the company's headquarters in Melbourne to take up his appointment.
Mr Goodyear (44), who joined BHP in 1999 as Chief Financial Officer, has been BHP Billiton's Chief Development Officer since June 2001 and an executive director since November 2001.
As Chief Development Officer Chip was responsible for overseeing the group's portfolio management activities worldwide as well as strategy development and corporate activity.
In this position he is recognised for completing a number of important transactions that have further refined the BHP Billiton's asset portfolio and added significant value for shareholders. They include merger with Billiton plc and specific transactions including the sale of BHP Billiton's interest in CVRD, the Intercor acquisition and the exit from Indonesian Coal.
Together with Paul Anderson, Chip is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of the old BHP.
Mr Goodyear has extensive financial, corporate restructuring and merger and acquisition experience. He was formerly President of Goodyear Capital Corporation based in the United States. He is highly regarded in the international resources industry holding a number of senior positions including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the NYSE listed resources company Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
Executive Director & Chief Development Officer 2001 - 2002;
Chief Financial Officer 1999-2001;
President Goodyear Capital Corporation 1997-99;
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.1995-97;
Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. 1993-95;
Vice President Corporate Finance Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. 1989-93;
Vice President Kidder, Peabody & Co. 1986-89;
Assistant Vice President Kidder, Peabody & Co. 1985-86;
Associate Kidder, Peabody & Co. 1983-85
MBA The Wharton School of Finance University of Pennsylvania; BSc Yale University, Connecticut. Married, two children. Recreation: Bicycling,skiing, fishing
| From: Lt.
Governor Scott McCallum
Jan. 19, 2001
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on the proposed Crandon mine project. I share in your commitment to protecting Wisconsin's natural environment. Wisconsin has some of the strictest mining standards in the country. These standards must be met before any mining project will be allowed to proceed.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is currently drafting an Environmental Impact Statement regarding the proposed project. The United States Army Corps of Engineers will also conduct research and prepare such a statement before any mining will be allowed to begin.
I am confident that with all of these safeguards in place, no mining project that threatens our environment will be allowed in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you again for contacting me regarding this situation. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and concerns.
Nicolet Minerals to move office to Crandon Nicolet Minerals Co. will close its Rhinelander office at 7 N. Brown St. and move that portion of the operation to Crandon May 1.
April 13, 2001
Rhinelander Daily News
The Rhinelander offices currently house administration and accounting divisions and the offices of president Don Cumming and public affairs officer Dale Alberts. All Rhinelander office functions will be relocated to the Nicolet Minerals Co. office at 104 W. Madison St. in Crandon.
Nicolet Minerals maintains two offices in Crandon, the engineering office on Madison Street and the information center at 201 W. Pioneer.
"Essentially right now what we are doing is consolidating into the existing office space in Crandon," Alberts said. "This step of moving to Crandon has always been in the plan and is a natural evolution of our process. In 1998 when we assembled the team to buy this project, we assembled a fairly large number of technical people to, basically, redesign the project. That work which was done out of the Crandon office has all been completed. We submitted our last major study on the project to the Department of Natural Resources in December of last year."
"It is a logical time to take the next evolutionary step in our process and move to Crandon," Alberts said.
With the move, Alberts will become president of Nicolet Minerals Co. with Cumming's retirement April 15. Senior environmental engineer Ken Black will be taking a promotion and transfer to head up the Environment, Health and Safety Office at Nicolet Minerals' corporate office.
"Essentially, we are just a little smaller, and that allows us to move into the existing office space in Crandon. We will be keeping a small, core technical group to answer questions, but we are certainly getting smaller than we were," Alberts said.
Nicolet Minerals Co. currently employs 14 people in Rhinelander and will transfer nine jobs to Crandon. With Cumming's retirement and Black's promotion and transfer, three Rhinelander jobs will not be continued at the Crandon office.
Alberts said that eventually Nicolet Minerals Co. will be building larger quarters in Crandon.
"Now we can all fit into the existing building, but, yes, we will be consolidating and building some larger facilities there. This won't happen in the near term," he said.
"What I currently envision as we get closer to production, after we have received state and federal permits to begin this project, is an administrative and personnel office in Crandon where employees will be interviewed and hired and so on, and where our basic accounting and administrative personnel can be housed under one roof. When the mine is built, we will (also) have a mine management and administration building on site. So I think we will have two offices and the information center in Crandon."
"The information center will remain open," Alberts added. "It provides a good public outreach and educational facility that will have a viable role for the life of the project."
| This is the "man with the eyebrows"
who was in charge of Nicolet Minerals......
Resignation of Steve Kesler
From: "Gonsalves, Marc (BIS)" Marc.Gonsalves@bhpbilliton.com
London, 5 March 2001
Mr Steve Kesler has resigned as Executive Director of Billiton Plc, with responsibility for the Group's Base Metals business, with immediate effect.
Brian Gilbertson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Billiton, commented, "I thank Steve for his contribution to Billiton, particularly in his previous portfolio of New Business in which he led last year's successful acquisition of Rio Algom. Together with the potential application of our BioCOP technology in alliance with Codelco, Billiton has now established a quality asset base for growth in the copper business."
Mr Mike Parrett, a former Chief Financial Officer of Rio Algom Limited, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive of Billiton Base Metals. He will report to Mr David Munro, Executive Director responsible for Billiton' s Aluminium and now also Base Metals businesses.
More on resignation...
Billiton base metal chief quits
By Gillian O'Connor, Mining Correspondent, in London
March 5 2001
Steve Kesler, executive director of global mining group Billiton, with responsibility for the group's base metals business, has resigned with immediate effect. Until last November, Mr Kesler was in charge of new business, exploration and technology, and led the controversial $1.2bn acquisition of Rio Algom in the middle of last year.
In November his responsibilities were changed: he lost the new business, exploration and technology brief and was left with the new Billiton Base Metals business - essentially the Latin American copper assets acquired with Rio Algom.
Mike Parrett, a former chief financial officer of Rio Algom, has been appointed acting chief executive of Billiton Base Metals. He will report to Dave Munro, executive director responsible for aluminium and for the base metals business.
Mr Kessler can expect to receive a compensation package of around $800,000. His basic salary last year was $553,000 and all Billiton directors are on contracts giving 12 months' notice with a payoff of 1.5 times basic salary.
Before joining Billiton, Mr Kessler worked at major mining projects for several other companies. In Latin America he worked at two major copper joint ventures, Escondida (BHP and Rio Tinto) and at Collahuasi (Falconbridge and Anglo American).
Billiton chairman and CEO, Brian Gilbertson, paid tribute to Mr Kesler's contributions as new business director, notably the Rio Algom acquisition and the technical joint venture with Chilean copper giant Codelco.
Sources close to the company suggested that the resignation was prompted by worries about whether Mr Kesler was the right man to take Rio Algom forward. At the time of the Rio Algom bid in August, many analysts were concerned that Billiton might be paying too much. In early Monday afternoon trading in London, shares in Billiton were stable at 312p.
Billiton Chairman's message to stockholders released Feb. 12 2001.
Of interest to us is the following paragraph taken from their section
Proposed Crandon mine no longer in Billiton's plans?
Billiton Acquires 100% of Rio Algom Common Shares
Toronto, Ontario - November 29, 2000
Rio Algom Limited announced that, effective November 29, 2000, Billiton Copper Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Billiton Plc, and the holder of 96.5% of Rio Algom's outstanding common shares, completed the compulsory acquisition of the balance of the common shares, to hold 100%. With effect from November 29, 2000, the Rio Algom common shares will no longer be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange.
Rio Algom Limited
Wes Muir, Director Rio Algom
News Public Affairs
Realignment of Executive Responsibilities
London, 22 November 2000
Substantial progress has been made over the past year in the on-going task of developing the most effective business model for Billiton and of refining its corporate strategy to deliver superior shareholder returns in the years ahead. Recent corporate developments, including the buy-out of minority interests across the group and the significant expansion of the asset base through both acquisitions and internal projects, have positioned Billiton for a further evolution of its strategy across two major fronts.
The first is a commitment to build on the base of our traditional commodity businesses, running these as efficiently as possible, pursuing attractive growth opportunities where these offer acceptable risk-weighted returns, competing for positions of industry leadership for each of our commodities, and maintaining the single-minded focus on low unit operating costs. This range of activities is encompassed by the generic title Billiton Metals and Mining ("BMM").
The second is a commitment to seek new initiatives and business opportunities - yielding returns higher than usually associated with our industry - in areas within and related to our traditional business activities. It is intended that particular emphasis be given to reducing the amount of equity capital tied up in our businesses, to reducing the volatility of our revenue streams, and overall, to enhancing Billiton's financial efficiency, and hence its return on equity. This range of activities is encompassed by the generic title Billiton Capital ("BCAP").
Recent Billiton projects, such as the Sweet River transaction and the development of e-marketplaces, have demonstrated the advantages of this dual approach, and the Board has now approved an organisational restructuring to give further impetus to these initiatives:
The changes will take effect from 1 January 2001. Commenting on these developments, Billiton Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Gilbertson said, "The Billiton executive has spent considerable time reflecting on the strategies and structure that will create optimum value for shareholders in the future. In the process, we have reaffirmed our belief in the inherent potential of Billiton's high-quality assets and its entrepreneurial management teams. The reinvention we announce today is internal in nature, but holds much future promise. It reflects our singleminded commitment to create opportunities which will boost Billiton's performance and growth."
Marc Gonsalves Senior
Manager Corporate Affairs
Billiton bags Rio Algom and spreads its
in Crandon, and has scheduled a 1 pm press conference today.]
**Keep e-mailing Billiton:**
NEW MINE OWNERS FACE OPPOSITIONPressure mounts to halt project near Crandon
October 18, 2000
By Nikki Kallio
Wausau Daily Herald
CRANDON -- The new owner of a company that wants to mine copper and zinc near Crandon is under pressure from environmental, tribal and sporting groups to halt the project.
The London-based company Billiton Inc. at midnight Monday became the Crandon deposit's fifth owner in 25 years.
"I don't think any mining company has seen this amount of opposition this early in a project anywhere in the world," said Zoltan Grossman, co-founder of the Wolf Watershed Educational Project, a coalition of about 30 environmental, sportfishing and Native American groups.
Project critics worry that a mining operation would destroy trout habitat and reduce water levels in tribal rice beds, and that sulfuric acid and cyanide used in the mining process would contaminate groundwater supplies.
The company takes the community opposition seriously, said Marc Gonsalves, senior manager of corporate affairs in Billiton's London office.
"We don't like to be where we're not wanted," Gonsalves said. "A lot of people are talking about it, and are kind enough to send an unending stream of e-mail. Obviously, we'll look at the issue very carefully."
It's too soon to say what the company will do with the project, Gonsalves said. "I don't think at this stage it's helpful to be explicit about various possibilities" he said. Grossman, however, said the company has three choices: continue with the project, sell the rights to a different company or drop the permit application with the state.
Billiton paid $1.2 billion for Canadian-based Rio Algom Ltd., parent company of Nicolet Minerals, which wants to open the controversial Northwoods mine.
Billiton has no other mining or metal businesses in the United States.
Supporters say northeastern Wisconsin, one of the most economically depressed areas of the state, needs the mine because it could create up to 500 jobs. They also dispute claims that the operation would destroy the environment.
Crandon Mayor Pat DeWitt said the mine also would contribute to Forest County's property taxes in addition to the new jobs.
"With the mine coming in it would give us a tax base that we could use to build a better future around here," he said.
The Crandon mine project has been the target of environmental protests since it was first proposed in 1982. Exxon Coal and Minerals found the deposit in 1975 and since then the project has changed hands several times.
"I think this is a perfect time for Billiton to think carefully about whether it's worthwhile to continue Crandon," said Dave Blouin, coordinator for the Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin.
The project also has run afoul of the Forest County town of Nashville, which ousted Town Board members after they forged an agreement with Nicolet Minerals to build the mine there.
It also has inspired a new state law. In 1998, Gov. Tommy Thompson signed into law a mining moratorium that requires companies that want to mine in the state to show a similar mine has operated pollution-free. But questions about how to interpret the law have prevented it from being used effectively.
In the last session of the Legislature, a bill was introduced that would ban the use of cyanide in Wisconsin mining operations.
Ken Fish of the Menominee Nation said the Crandon mine would be detrimental to his tribe in several ways. "It could mean potential devastation to the Wolf River that flows to the center of the (Menominee) reservation, to the animals that drink and live in the water which we as Menominees eat as subsistence, and it certainly would have an impact on our economy, whether it's our forestry industry or our tourism industry," Fish said.
The mine would operate for 28 years and produce 55 million tons of mostly zinc and copper ore. The project would cost at least $288 million. Rio Algom has spent $65 million on the proposal so far, Blouin said.
CRANDON MINE FIRM HAS NEW OWNERMine foes hope company drops project
October 18, 2000
By Susan Campbell
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Rio Algom Ltd., parent company of the mining corporation that seeks to build a zinc and copper mine near Crandon, ceased to exist Tuesday.
An August offer by London-based Billiton PLC to buy the parent company of Nicolet Minerals Co. for $1.7 billion in cash expired at midnight Monday, completing the buyout.
In the aftermath Tuesday, Crandon mine opponents bemoaned the fact that the project has now changed hands five times in 25 years, but heralded the change in ownership as an opportunity to convince the new owner to drop the proposal.
"It's a great time for any company to reconsider whether or not a project is viable," said Dave Blouin, spokesman for the Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin. "We're convinced the Crandon proposal is not viable, and our goal is to try to convince Billiton that this is a great time to give it up."
Observers have speculated that Billiton might drop the Crandon mine proposal because of the obstacles various mining companies have faced in trying to obtain permits for the mine through the years, and the fact that Rio Algom has bigger mines that are closer to production in Chile and Peru.
Nicolet Minerals spokesman Dale Alberts said there's been no indication Billiton is considering dropping the Crandon project.
"Based on everything we know to date and everything we've been told, they love Rio Algom's assets and the growth and development projects," he said. "We consider our future to be as strong or stronger than ever."
Blouin, meanwhile, said the continually changing companies and faces only serve to complicate the permitting process. "I've watched a parade of technical guys come and go," he said. "There could be an entirely new cast of project managers who have no relation to the original permit application -- that defies common sense."
Blouin and other environmentalists also question whether Billiton will have the same commitment to building an environmentally safe mine in Crandon -- a mine Nicolet pledged would be the cleanest, safest mine in the world.
"We've committed to do all these things to address environmental concerns and community concerns, and we're going to do it," Alberts said.
RIO ALGOM IS GONE; SOUTH AFRICAN MINER
BILLITON ACQUISITION OF RIO ALGOM
Billiton Plc today announced that its offer to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Rio Algom Limited expired at midnight Pacific time last night. As of the issue of this press release, approximately 62,715,000 common shares of Rio Algom Limited, representing 95.7% of the outstanding common shares, have been deposited under the Offer.
Billiton has taken up and paid for all shares tendered on or prior to October 6, 2000. Billiton intends to forthwith take up and pay for shares that have been deposited under the extended bid period expiring October 16, 2000, in accordance with the terms of the Offer.
It is currently Billiton's intention to acquire all Rio Algom shares not deposited on the Offer pursuant to the compulsory acquisition provisions of applicable legislation.
Marc Gonsalves, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs, Billiton Plc
Michael Campbell, Manager Public Affairs, Billiton SA Limited
Michael Oke/Rupert Trefgarne, Smithfield Financial:
London Stock Exchange Regulatory News Service All Material Subject to Copyright
(note-FTSE is an index of stocks used to measure the exchange's overall performance. The Toronto Stock Exchange had Rio on one and dropped it as well)
FTSE - Re. Rio Algom Limited
Rio Algom Limited: Acquisition by Billiton PLC Changes in FTSE Indexes
Billiton Background & Track Records
Billiton merges with Australian company BHP,
Bidding War for Rio Algom, Letters to Billiton
Contacts for Noranda and Billiton Midwest Treaty Network Contents Page