BHP bets on low-carbon world with exit from oil, $ 5.7 billion potash project

SYDNEY— BHP Group Ltd. , the world’s largest mining company, bet on a low-carbon world by agreeing to sell its oil and gas unit and separately approving a $ 5.7 billion potash mining project in Canada.

BHP’s agreement to sell its oil and gas activities to Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. London. Some BHP investors had previously lobbied for both of these changes, but they had been pushed back so far.

Still, BHP’s move is a blow to the London Stock Exchange, which prides itself on being the premier location for mining companies to raise capital, attracting metal producers from Chile, Mexico and Russia in recent times. years. The main listing of the company will now be in Sydney.

BHP signaled a potential strategic change on Monday when it said a review of its petroleum division was underway. He said talks to combine it with Woodside are being considered, among other options. Analysts put the unit at $ 15 billion, just below Woodside’s market value of $ 15.5 billion at the time the talks went public.

Resource companies are fighting to change investor perceptions that mining is problematic, including the role their commodities play in producing emissions that contribute to global warming. Many are accelerating investments in mined raw materials, such as copper and nickel, which are used in products such as batteries which are critical to the transition from fossil fuels.

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