BHP: we don’t need any acquisitions

BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie has said that BHP has no plans to embark on a spending spree, despite recording bumper cashflow and earnings driven by a buoyant iron ore price.

“We don’t need any acquisitions”, Mr Mackenzie said this week, signaling that the BHP will instead be focusing on its own internal growth projects. These include BHP’s Spence copper mine in Chile, an 11km conveyor between the Caval Ridge and Peak Downs mine in Queensland, and the Mad Dog 2 oil project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The message from the company is that it is determined to avoid the kind of grandstanding acquisition that miners are often tempted by at this point in the business cycle.

The fate of the BHP’s North American shale business serves as a reminder of past hubris.