May 22, 2019 / 12:02 AM / 9 months ago

BHP seeks more nickel sulphides on bright battery demand

MELBOURNE, May 22 (Reuters) - Global miner BHP Group said on Wednesday it is seeking to expand in nickel sulphides to feed future demand for electric vehicle batteries, adding to its core commodities of copper and oil.

Speaking at a strategy briefing on long-term asset allocation, BHP Chief Financial Officer Peter Beaven said growth in nickel could come from either exploration or acquisitions.

“We have options in copper and oil. We need more. And we are interested in adding more nickel sulphide resource to our portfolio, so we should continue to add exploration options in these areas,” he said.

“We do not need to do M&A but we never discount it as a way to acquire great resource bases, especially early in the life of a project when the optionality is not necessarily fully understood or valued,” he added.

BHP said earlier this month it had decided to hold on to its Nickel West operations in Western Australia, which it had previously put up for sale.

Beaven also said BHP was unlikely to add significant new capacity in iron ore or metallurgical coal beyond increases that come from improved productivity. (Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin)

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