BHP Billiton is a diversified natural resources group engaging itself into producing major commodities, including coal, aluminium, iron ore, copper, nickel, manganese, uranium and silver.
The group also has substantial interests in oil and gas. BHP Billiton was formed by the merger of BHP (an Australian firm) and Billiton (a British firm) in 2001. In the same year, the group announced to establish an energy business to complement its mining activities. In 2005, BHP Billiton acquired all the shares of WMC Resources increasing its ownership to 100%. The group operates in 21 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. BHP Billiton generates revenues through five business segments: iron ore; petroleum and potash; copper; coal; and aluminium, manganese, and nickel. BHP Billiton's iron ore business is one of the world's leading iron ore producers. The group's coal business is the world's largest supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal and one of the world's largest producers and marketers of seaborne energy coal. BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest integrated producers of aluminium, nickel, and manganese ore and alloy. BHP Billiton's leadership position and strong presence in number of significant markets gives substantial competitive advantage to the group as well as increases its cross selling opportunities.