Billiton Buys Rio Algom
Billiton's Track Record

Billiton web site http://www.billiton.com
Letters to Billiton on the Crandon mine
Billiton board members
Bidding War for Rio Algom
Billiton mines world map
Gulliver File on BHP http://www.sea-us.org.au/gulliver/bhp.html
Gulliver File on Gencor/Billiton http://www.sea-us.org.au/gulliver/gencor.html

Background on South African company Billiton

History   Background   Company Reports  



From http://www.billiton.com

History of Billiton

The official history of Billiton stretches back to 29 September 1860, when the articles of association were approved by a meeting of shareholders in "Het Groot Keizerhof" hotel in The Hague. Two months later the company acquired the concession to the rich tin deposits on an island located between Sumatra and Borneo in what is today the Indonesian archipelago. The island, then called Billiton, gave the company its name.

Business developed, first to include tin and lead smelting in the Netherlands, and then, in the 1940s, to include the mining of bauxite in Indonesia and Suriname. In 1970 the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies acquired Billiton and accelerated the scope of progress of this growth.

Today, the Group principally comprises the international minerals businesses acquired from Royal/Dutch Shell in 1994 and the non-precious metals assets from Gencor of South Africa.

Since 1994, the Group has experienced considerable growth. Its portfolio now includes aluminium smelters in South Africa, nickel operations in Australia and Colombia, base metals mines in Canada and South Africa, coal mines in Australia and South Africa and interests in operations in Brazil, Suriname and Australia (aluminium), and South Africa (titanium minerals and steel and ferroalloys). In addition the Group is involved in the construction of an aluminium smelter in Mozambique, and in exploration and development projects worldwide.

Billiton's strategic aim is to achieve real growth as one of the world's foremost natural resource groups by taking advantage of high quality acquisition opportunities as they arise, by developing its existing international asset base and by pursuing a focused pursuing this growth-orientated strategy, Billiton is guided primarily by the quality of particular investment opportunities while seeking to own and manage a major portfolio of strategic holdings in world-class metals and minerals businesses, diversified by commodity and country. This will be achieved by starting or acquiring major resource ventures and accelerating the development of existing businesses.

Billiton listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1997 and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.



Hillside and Bayside

Billiton owns two smelter facilities located at Richards Bay in South Africa. The Hillside smelter is the largest greenfield aluminium smelter ever built and was officially opened by President Mandela in April 1996.


Les Mines Selbaie is an open-pit copper and zinc mining and processing operation located in northern Quebec, Canada.

Billiton Maatschappij

Billiton's aluminium operations in Suriname are held through its wholly-owned subsidiary, NV Billiton Maatschappij Suriname ("BMS"). BMS's mining joint venture partner is Suralco, a joint venture between Alcoa and WMC. The mine is operated by BMS. Its bauxite deposits are located in the Para District, approximately 15 kilometers from the refinery and 35 kilometers to the south of the capital, Paramaribo.

Billiton Metais

Billiton Metais S.A. ("BMSA") holds interests in a mining company, Minera��o Rio do Norte S.A. ("MRN"), the Alumar refining and smelting complex and another smelter, Valesul. MRN operates one of the world's largest bauxite mines and is Billiton's source of bauxite for the Alumar facility, which is an integrated aluminium refinery and aluminium smelter complex located close to the city of S�o Luis, in northern Brazil.


Ingwe is incorporated in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Billiton provides certain services to Ingwe including treasury facilities and geological services under a consulting services agreement and receives fees in return. Ingwe operates 11 collieries in South Africa comprising both open pit and underground mines in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Ingwe's South African operations, all of which it manages.


Pering is an open-pit zinc mining operation located approximately 140km north of Kimberley in the North-West Province of South Africa.


QNI, the wholly-owned nickel business of Billiton, is among the top five nickel and cobalt producers in the world. It major operations, Yabulu Refinery and Cerro Matoso SA, account for 6% of global nickel production and 7% of world cobalt production.

Richards Bay Minerals

RBM is the trading name for the operation which involves two legal entities, Tisand (Pty) Limited and Richards Bay Iron and Titanium (Pty) Limited. RBM's operations are located at Richards Bay in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Not only is it the world's largest chlorinatable titanium dioxide slag producer, it is also currently the largest producer of titanium dioxide slag overall. RBM has rights to over 1 billion tonnes of heavy mineral sands reserves.


Samancor is incorporated in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It is the world's largest integrated producer by sales of ferrochrome and ferromanganese and its business encompasses the production of manganese and chrome ores and alloys, silicon and manganese metal, dolomite, quartzite and ferro-silicon. It also has a 33.3 percent holding in the Columbus stainless steel joint venture ("Columbus").


Worsley's alumina joint venture operations comprise an integrated bauxite mine and alumina refinery located approximately 200km south of Perth in Western Australia. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Billiton Australia Pty Limited ("BAPL"), Billiton has a 30 percent interest in Worsley.



Billiton Background



Nature of Business

Billiton is one of the world's leading mining and metals businesses, with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa and Suriname. The Company has an unrivalled portfolio of non-listed assets, diversified by commodity and country and characterised by their low-cost of production. The Group ranks among the world's top four producers of alumnium and alumina. It is the world's leading producer of chrome and manganese ores and alloys, and the largest exporter of thermal coal. Billiton is also the western world's fourth largest producer of nickel and owns 50 per cent of the world's foremost producer of titanium minerals sands.

African Activities

The new Hillside smelter at Richards Bay was conceived in 1992 and cost about R5,1bn, R1,34bn below budget. Its design capacity is 466 000 t/year and, together with the older Bayside smelter, the company's annual output is reckoned to be about 640 000 t. Recent indications are that Hillside will produce substantially more than was expected, raising output to about 670 000 t/ year. At the current price of about US$1 500 this will generate annual turnover of about $1bn or R4,3bn.

Billiton approved in principle for the construction of the US$1.25 billion greenfield Mozal aluminium smelter near Maputo, Mozambique. The viability of this project rests on a long term power supply agreement and on the granting of Industry Free Zone status to the project by the Mozambican Government. Gencor and the Industrial Development Corporation will each invest US$125 million in the project, subject to the remaining US$250 million being sourced from other investors. Mozal will have a first phase 245,000 ton a year capacity with potential to double, depending on the construction of a second hydroelectric dam below the Cahora Bassa Dam. Mozal has a 31 month construction schedule and will produce its first metal in the year 2000.

Mozal will make Billiton, the western world's third largest aluminium producer. Mozal would produce about 233,000 tons of aluminium a year, with capacity to double to 466,000 tons a year. This will increase Billiton's current aluminium capacity of 810,000 tons a year, including 670,000 tons from Alusaf, to 1.2 million tons a year.

Billiton has a feasibility study under way into building a R1.7 billion zinc smelter at Coega near East London.

Non-African Activities

On 19 February 1997 Gencor acquired additional shares in its Colombian affiliate Cerro Matoso SA (CMSA) for US $ 166 million, raising its shareholding from 52.3 per cent to 98.9 per cent. The balance of shares are held principally by employees of CMSA. CMSA operates a mine and ferronickel smelter in the province of Cordoba, Colombia. In 1996 CMSA produced just over 50 million pounds of high quality nickel in ferronickel, the highest level in its fifteen years of operation. The company now has substantial ore reserves and a pre-feasibility study is underway that could lead to doubling of production.

In September 1997 Billiton's nickel interests, principally CMSA and the Maggie Hayes / Emily Ann properties in Western Australia, were merged with those of QNI Limited, the Australian producer to establish the world's fourth largest nickel producer, with a 1998 production capacity of some 60,000 tons per annum. This figure could be pushed to 85,000 tons when the 24,000 tons a year Cerro Matoso operation in Colombia, Billiton's largest nickel asset, realises its expansion capacity in 2001. Billiton will hold 52.4 percent of the enlarged QNI, while the remaining 47.5 percent of the company will be held by existing QNI shareholders.

Billiton and its joint venture partners are expanding alumina capacity at Australia's Wolesley mine by 80%. Billiton's share of the cost will be $US180 -190 million.

Billiton has a consortium agreement with Venezuelan partner Sural to make a $3 billion privatisation bid for Venezuela's state owned aluminium asset, Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana. Sural is a diversified group of companies comprising metals fabrication, construction, mining and electronic materials manufacture and the largest aluminium fabricator in Venezuela. Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana's four aluminium companies are expected to be sold in one block by the end of 1997. The assets include two smelters, Venalum and Alcasa, which have a combined annual production of about 620,000 tons, Bauxilum, which produces 6 million tons of bauxite and 1.7 million tons of alumina annually and Carbonorca the carbon anode manufacturer.

Billiton invested in two Canadian mining companies in early 1996. The company is involved in a Nickel exploration venture in Western Australia with partner Forestania Gold. The nickel would be supplied to Columbus Stainless.


General Information

Organisation Type:
Registered in:
United Kingdom
Listing(s): Exchange Market Name
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)
London Stock Exchange (LSE)

Business Sector(s): Manufacturing Aluminium Smelting and milling
Mining Bauxite Mining
Coal Mining
Heavy Minerals Mining
Lead and Zinc Mining
Mining Industry

Related Organisations

owns: Billiton Plc
owns: Carbones de Cerrejon (33%)
owns: Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (2.1%)
owns: Groote Eylandt Mining Co Pty Ltd (60%)
owns: Ingwe Coal Corporation Ltd (100%)
owns: Maatschappij Suriname NV (76%)
owns: QNI (100%)
owns: Richards Bay Minerals (50%)
owns: Samancor Chrome (60%)
owns: Samancor Manganese (60%)

Related Facilities

Owns: Gove Mine - Mine
Owns: Mineracao Riol do Norte - Mine
Owns: Pering - Mine
Owns: TiGen - Mine
Owns: Worsley - Mineral Beneficiation

Industry Activities by Country

Aluminium Smelting and milling - Mozambique
Billiton has a 47% interest in the Mozal Project, Mozambique�s first aluminium smelter.

Bauxite Mining - Australia
Billiton has a 30% interest in the Worlsey Alumina refinery as well as the Worsley mine situated near Boddington in Western Australia. Billiotn also have a 70% interest in the Gove bauxite mine situated in the Northern Territories.

Bauxite Mining - Brazil
Through wholly owned subsidiary Billiton Metais S.A., Billiton has a 14.8% interest in the MRN mine in central Brazil as well interests in two smelting and refining facilities.

Bauxite Mining - Suriname
Through wholly onwed subsidiary NV Billtion Maatschappij Suriname (BMS), Billtion has a 76% interest in a bauxite mining complex located south of Paramaribo as well as a 45% interest in the Paranam refinery.

Chromite Mining - South Africa
Samancor, in which Billiton has a 60% interest, produces chromite from its two main operational centers (Eastern and Western Chrome) in the Bushveld Igneous Complex.

Coal Mining - Australia
Through wholly owned subsidiary Ingwe, Billiton owns Coal Mines of Australia (CMAL) that operates four mines, including exploration interest via Coal Operations of Australia Ltd. (COAL).

Coal Mining - Colombia

Coal Mining - South Africa
Billiton�s wholly owned coal producer, Ingwe is South Africa and the world�s largest exporter of steam coal, with production coming from 11 collieries. Ingwe also has a 41.3% share in the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), the only export coal terminal in South Africa.

Heavy Minerals Mining - Mozambique
Billiton are evaluating the TiGen heavy mineral sands deposit located near Moebase in Northern Mozambique.

Heavy Minerals Mining - South Africa
Billiton has a 50% interest in Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), one of the world�s largest producers of titanium dioxide slag. RBM is located along the northern coast of Kwa Zulu Natal.

Lead and Zinc Mining - Canada
Billiton�s zinc and copper producer, Selbaie is set to close down.

Lead and Zinc Mining - South Africa
Billiton operates the Pering zinc - lead mine in the Northen Cape, which is due to close soon.

Manganese Mining - Australia
Billiton has a 60% interest in the Groote Eylandt Mining Co Pty Ltd ('GEMCO'), located in the Northern Territory at Groote Eylandt.

Manganese Mining - South Africa
Through 60% owned Samancor, Billiotn operates the Wessels and Mamatwan manganese mines in South Africa.

Nickel and Cobalt Mining - Australia
Billiton�s wholly owned nickel smelting subsidiary; QNI owns 40% of the Ravensthorpe mine. Ravensthorpe has the potential to be the lowest cost nickel producer in the world and will provide QNI�s refinery at Yabulu with nickel concentrate.

Nickel and Cobalt Mining - Colombia
Through Billiton�s wholly owned subsidiary, QNI, the company has a 98.88% stake in CMSA (a Colombian incorporated company), which operates the integrated Cerro Matosa lateritic nickel mine and ferrochrome smelter in northern Colombia.


Chairman and CEO: Mr BP Gilbertson (Brian)
Finance Director: Mr ML Davis (Mick)

Contact Information

Billiton Plc
Tel: +44 (0)20 7747-3800 Fax: +44 (0)20 7747-3900
E-mail: http://www.mbendi.co.za/a_sndmsg/logon.asp?P=0&C=1
Office Address:
1-3 Strand
United Kingdom

Postal Address:
1-3 Strand
United Kingdom





Labor Troubles:

Aluminum operation in South Africa:
Billiton announced it's plan to lay off 500 workers in Nov of 1999, and earlier, Billiton won a court order banning a strike in response to a wage policy Billiton implemented without consulting the union (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa), there was also a strike in August, 1999, when wage negotiations fell through

There were several strikes by South African workers at Billiton's Mozambique Aluminum Smelter in 1998.

In 1998, Billiton withdrew its bid to buy a large state owned aluminum company in Venezuela when it's demands for reduced electricity rates and to immediately lay off 1,000 was denied.

There was also a lengthy stike at their Cerro Matoso nickel mine and smelter in Colombia.


Billiton company report

  1. the purchase of Rio Algom is "in line with Billiton's stated desire to become a major player in copper"
  2. Billiton's primary interests in Rio Algom are the Chilean, Canadian and Argentinean operations. "In additotion to these interests, Rio Algom has a major metals distribution business in North America. . . there is a possibility that these non-copper interests might be sold"
  3. Billiton is going to have to issue more stock to raise $750 million for the Rio Algom and other recent acquisitions.
  4. Billiton's share price has dropped 15% since the Rio Algom bid was announced.


    Here's the full report: COMMERZBANK SECURITIES

    Company Report - August 30, 2000

    Billiton turned in a solid performance for the year to June 30, 2000. Earnings came in at $577m, 51% up on a year previously while pre-tax profit on ordinary activities showed a gain of 45% to $837m. The 31% increase in operating profit was perhaps more indicative of the underlying performance gain. The return on net productive operating assets in 1999/00 was a creditable 15% and earnings modestly exceeded consensus expectations.

    Performance improved considerably between the first and second halves of 1999/00 with operating profit up between the two periods by 25%. Divisionally, the key drivers taking 1999/00 as a whole were Aluminium and Nickel. Operating profit was up in the former by 57% while the latter experienced a sharp turnaround from a loss of $20m in 1998/99 to a profit of $140m. Aluminium benefited primarily from higher primary metal prices, lower unit costs in the alumina refineries and a hedge gain of $29m. The overwhelming positive for the Nickel operations was a surge in LME prices from an average $2.05/lb in 1998/99 to $3.75/lb in 1999/00. The cost performance of the Cerro Matoso unit also improved while production was up 2% to a record 28,900 tonnes.

    The key weak spot in 1999/00 was Coal where operating profit slumped to $59m from $159m in the previous year. This reflected the collapse in world export prices for steam coal in 1999. Coal profits, however, increased marginally between the first and second halves and so far this calendar year prices have rebounded strongly, setting the scene for a much stronger performance in 2000/01. Constraining performance in 1999/00 were some sizeable increases in costs driven in part by escalating diesel and bunker fuel prices.

    Reflecting improved profitability, operational cash flow and free cash flow increased significantly between 1998/99 and 1999/00. The gains were however more than consumed by high capital spending and to a lesser extent acquisitions. As a consequence, net debt rose between the two years from $972m to $1.18m. The debt:equity ratio rose between the two years from 21% to a still modest 24%.

    Graphical Material Omitted - Call Your Client Service Representative
    For Availability: Chart 1 - Performance Chart 1998-2000

    Using the existing structure we believe Billiton should be capable of boosting earnings by 20-25% to say 34 cents/share in 2000/01. This constitutes a reduction from our earlier estimate of 36 cents/share reflecting a combination of the sluggish trend in aluminium prices, the sharp reduction in nickel prices in recent months and the cost pressures mentioned above.


    Billiton has announced two major strategic acquisitions in recent days. These are an agreed $1.2bn bid for the Toronto-based copper and metals distribution company, Rio Algom and a $1.49bn purchase of a 56% stake in the Worsley bauxite mine and alumina refinery in Western Australia. Billiton already owns 30% of Worsley and has now agreed to buy Alcoa's stake in the joint venture. This was expected given that Alcoa agreed a divestment to achieve regulatory compliance following the earlier acquisition of Reynolds. The Rio Algom deal is in line with Billiton's stated desire to become a major player in copper.


    The key features of Worsley are its substantial bauxite reserves (50 years) and low alumina production costs (<$100/tonne). Alumina production capacity has recently been expanded to 3.1m tpy with the potential for further expansion to 3.4m tpy. There is little doubt that Worsley is a world class asset. As a result of the deal, Billiton will move from being self sufficient in alumina to having a long position of approaching 2m tpy. The advantages for Billiton of increasing its stake in Worsley are to obtain a low cost source of feedstock for its proposed smelter expansions and to increase its exposure to the very profitable alumina business. The consideration is equivalent to 2X book value which we believe is reasonable bearing in mind the quality of the assets and also the expansion potential. The purchase cost equivalent to $860/tonne of alumina also compares favourably with the $1000/tonne or so cost of building a greenfield alumina refinery.

    Rio Algom

    < ROM.TO; C$28.60; N/R >; Rio Algom is currently a medium sized producer of copper with production of about 185,000 tpy. There are three interests as follows: Cerro Colorado, Chile (100%), Highland Valley, Canada (33.6%) and Alumbrera, Argentina (25%). Cash costs in 1999 averaged a competitive 46 cents/lb. The significant point to note about Rio Algom's copper assets is the development potential through the Antamina (Peru) and Spence (Chile) projects which by mid decade are expected to boost copper production to 540,000 tpy. The former will also have substantial zinc capacity at around 60,000 tpy. Antamina is scheduled to come on-stream during the second half of 2001 and Spence possibly in 2003/04. Not only will Antamina and Spence be major new sources of copper but should also have very low costs. Antamina, for example, is expected to have cash costs of 29 cents/lb of copper.

    In addition to the copper interests, Rio Algom has a major metals distribution business in North America with sales of about C$1.8bn and interests in coking coal and uranium. There is a possibility that these non-copper interests might be sold. Tentatively we think these might raise $700-800m.

    Billiton has bid C$27/share for Rio Algom which is a premium of 46% to book value. Given the development potential at Antamina and Spence, this is far from exorbitant. For reference, Billiton sells for about 1.7X book value. Billiton's bid is 10% over the recent C$24.5/share offer made by Noranda and Codelco. Since Noranda and Codelco can extract synergies from a combination with Rio Algom, a renewed offer is a distinct possibility. The Spence project is believed to be of particular interest to Codelco partly because of the quality of the asset and partly given that it is in close proximity to some of its other operations. It probably would not be surprising to see the bidding for Rio Algom go to C$30/share.

    Pro forma balance sheet

    To help finance the deals Billiton is looking to raise $750m through a share issue. Net debt however will still rise substantially. On a pro-forma basis this will stand at $3,88bn assuming both deals go through and allowing for the $327m recently expended on buying a stake in Valepar, the controlling shareholder in CVRD. The prospective debt:equity ratio of 68% constitutes a manageable degree of balance sheet leverage in the short-term.

    Investment view

    The Billiton share price has dropped 15% since the Rio Algom bid was announced. The market appears to be troubled by firstly the scale of the deals, secondly a feeling that full prices are being paid in view of a possible downturn in metal prices and thirdly a lack of synergies. We would, however, argue in the case of Worsley, Billiton has no cheaper alternative source of alumina while Rio Algom probably has been significantly undervalued by the market, much as have most other natural resource stocks. As far as balance sheet leverage is concerned, we believe the situation is manageable and can in any case be partially alleviated by disposals. On an underlying basis we believe Billiton in its prospective from is capable of generating an operational cash flow of at least 50p/share on an underlying basis which puts the stock on a ratio to EV of under 8X. We recommend taking advantage of the current price weakness to purchase the stock.





Hoover's Company Profile Database - World Companies

Billiton Plc

1-3 Strand
United Kingdom
TELEPHONE: 44-20-7747-3800 FAX: 44-20-7747-3900


    Billiton is an island unto itself. Named for the Indonesian island where it began operations, London-based mining and metals giant Billiton is on its own after being spun off from South Africa's Gencor mining company. The world's leading producer of chrome and manganese ores and alloys, Billiton also ranks among the top aluminum and nickel producers in the world. It owns a 50% stake in Richards Bay Minerals, the world's largest producer of titanium minerals. The company's Ingwe Coal subsidiary makes Billiton the world's top steam coal exporter. Other products include copper and steel. Billiton operates primarily in Australia, Canada, South America, and South Africa.

    Billiton plans to broaden its base-metals business, primarily copper, zinc, nickel, and iron ore, by focusing on enlarging existing mines. To cut costs, the company has laid off all but a few of its exploration staff and plans to invest in properties located by junior mining companies that need cash. Billiton has made an offer for Rio Algom, a Canadian copper mining company.


    After starting out on its own in 1860, Billiton was subsequently bought, first by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and then by Gencor, only to end up on its own again. In 1860 a group of Dutch shareholders met in a Netherlands hotel to form Billiton NV. The company bought the rich tin deposits of Billiton island (now part of Indonesia), for which it was named. The business grew to include tin and lead smelting in the Netherlands. Billiton NV began mining bauxite in the 1940s, but WWII caused a production slowdown due to labor and machine shortages.

    While demand for petroleum products exploded in the 1950s and 1960s, in 1970 the petroleum industry nose-dived. In response Royal Dutch/Shell (formed from the merger of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading) diversified, buying Billiton NV (renamed Billiton International). Shell got its start in commodities in the 1880s, selling Russian oil of the Rothschilds to the Far East. Royal Dutch formed in 1890, after buying the rights to drill for oil in the Dutch East Indies. The two companies merged in 1907 and spent the next couple of decades growing and diversifying.

    The 1970 Billiton purchase helped Royal Dutch/Shell make up for the 1970s oil shortage and rationing resulting from crude oil price hikes by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Slow worldwide economic growth, a major recession, and oil and chemicals overcapacity impacted the company in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    Royal Dutch/Shell sold Billiton in 1994 to Gencor, which was formed in 1980 by the merger of General Mining and Finance Corporation and Union Corporation. General Mining began mining gold in South Africa in the 1890s, and Gencor continued its predecessors' metals and manufacturing operations. Gencor, however, spent the early 1980s focusing more on manufacturing than mining because it anticipated a downturn in base metals. But the recession, inflation, and high interest rates stifled Gencor's success, and the company became known as an unfocused conglomerate. In 1986 a newly appointed chairman separated Gencor's manufacturing and mining interests.

    By 1989 Gencor had reorganized and cut staff. That year it bought 31% of South Africa's Richards Bay aluminum smelter. Within two years Gencor had become an investment holding company with a primary interest in mining. In 1993 the firm unbundled its non-mining activities. With the end of apartheid in 1994, Gencor was able to expand abroad. Its purchase of Billiton catapulted Gencor's presence into 13 countries, but in 1996 the metals market spiraled downward, as Gencor had predicted.

    Billiton was spun off by Gencor in 1997 and took all of Gencor's nonprecious metal interests, including its aluminum, titanium, ferroalloy, and coal assets. That year Billiton combined its nickel interests with QNI of Australia. Making good on its plan to buy new base metals assets, in 1998 Billiton entered a joint venture to explore for lead and zinc with the Irish firm Ennex. That year, in light of the depressed state of the global metals market, Billiton also sold its metals brokerage subsidiary to Germany's Metallgesellschaft AG.

    Billiton announced in 1999 that it would invest in smaller companies with promising properties and limit its own in-house exploration operations. The company entered joint ventures with PT Taraco Mining to explore for coal in Indonesia and with Comet Resources to develop the Ravensthorpe Nickel Project in Western Australia. It also began feasibility studies at the LanPing zinc project in China.

    In 2000 Billiton offered $ 275 million for a 21% stake in the Gove bauxite-alumina project in Australia. It also made a $ 1.2 billion offer for Rio Algom, a Canadian-based company that mines copper, molybdenum, uranium and coal in Chile, Argentina, the US, and Canada. The same year Billiton agreed to pay Alcoa about $ 1.5 billion for its majority stake in the Worsley alumina refinery in Australia.


Chairman and CEO: Brian P. Gilbertson, age 56, $1,250,734 pay
Executive Director, Finance and Coal: Michael L. Davis, age 41, $898,228 pay
Executive Director, Base Metals and New Business and Technology: Steven Kesler, age 48, $664,922 pay
Executive Director, Aluminium, Marketing, and Trading: David Munro, age 44, $898,228 pay
Executive Director, Steel and Ferroalloys, Nickel, and Titanium Minerals: Miklos Salamon, age 44, $ 898,228 pay
Managing Director of Coal Australia: Tony Haraldson
Managing Director of Ingwe: Eddie Scholtz
CEO, Billiton Coal: Dave Murray
Executive Director, New Business, Billiton Coal: Noel Halgreen
Senior Manager Finance, Billiton Coal: Derek Nightingale

  1997 1998 1999  
Sales ($ mil.)
Net income ($ mil.)
Income as % of sales
Earnings per share( $ )
Stock price - FY high( $ )
Stock price - FY low( $ )
Stock price - FY close( $ )
P/E - high
P/E - low
Dividends per share( $ )
Book value per share( $ )

1999 Year-End:
Debt ratio: 21.0%
Return on equity: --
Cash ($ mil.): 480.0
Current ratio: 1.54
Long-term debt ($ mil.): 1,230.0
No. of shares (mil.): 0.0
Dividend yield: --
Dividend payout: --
Market value ($ mil.): --

MARKET: Billiton has mining and production facilities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Suriname.
1999 Sales
$ mil.
% of total
South Africa
    Other Countries 
Latin America
Other regions



1999 Sales
$ mil.
% of total
Steel & ferroalloys
Marketing & trading
Base metals

Selected Products
Steel and ferroalloys
    Manganese ores
Base metals
    Titanium dioxide



  Bidding War for Rio Algom, History,
Letters to Billiton , Track Record
Contacts for Noranda and Billiton    Midwest Treaty Network Contents Page