BHP Billiton says reviewing two other mining ventures after Brazil dam disaster

Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:08am EST
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By Eric Onstad

LONDON Nov 16 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton said on Monday it is reviewing two other mining joint ventures, in Peru and Colombia, following a dam disaster at an iron ore mine in Brazil, which it jointly owns with Vale SA.

BHP told analysts and investors it was examining the structures of its Cerrejón coal joint venture in Colombia and its Antamina copper/zinc JV in Peru after the Brazil disaster.

Two dams collapsed on Nov. 5 in southeast Brazil, killing nine people and coating a two-state area with mud and mine waste.

The Brazilian mine is owned and operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture of Anglo-Australian BHP and Brazil's Vale.

"We will look into, for our own benefit ... the arrangements that we have at Samarco which mirror similar arrangements we have at Antamina and Cerrejón," BHP Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie told a conference call.

BHP has two types of joint ventures where it does not operate the mines, he added, according to a transcript of his comments released by the company.

Under some ventures, mostly in its petroleum business, another party is the operator, while in Samarco, Cerrejón and Antamina, there is a standalone company that is jointly owned.

"That (second type) is the kind of arrangement we need to review and have been reviewing, to be honest, to decide ... whether a more petroleum-type model might be more appropriate in the future."   Continued...