SYDNEY May 14 BHP Billiton
said on Tuesday that its capital and exploration expenditure
next year would fall to around $18 billion, down about a fifth
from $22 billion estimated in the 2013 financial year, with
further drops expected.
The world's biggest miner must increase returns from new
investment as well as squeezing returns from installed
infrastructure, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie in a statement
ahead of a conference in Barcelona.
"In this regard, capital and exploration expenditure for the
2014 financial year will decline significantly, to approximately
$18 billion, and the rate of spend is expected to decline
substantially thereafter," said Mackenzie in his first major
announcment since taking up the role on May 10.
Mackenzie has previously said there would be no major change
in the miner's strategy but alongside other rivals has pledged
to focus on slashing costs, improving operations and boosting
returns as miners grapple with slower growth in China and
volatile commodities prices.