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BHP Billiton to Step Out of Titanium Industry

Published on February 2, 2012 at 9:07 PM

By Joel Scanlon

BHP Billiton is looking to focus on its core business areas and is going to abandon titanium mining. The Australian mining giant is selling its 37% stake in the South African titanium producer, Richards Bay Minerals. There have also been confirmed reports of cut backs that the mining giant has made in nickel ore production as well.

The sale is not the only one it is considering to make sure that the company’s future profitability is secured. It has also reduced production at its Nickel West unit and cut down on 150 members of its staff.

Its stake in Richard Bay Minerals is being sold to its rival Rio Tinto. As Rio Tinto is currently holding 37% interest in the company, this purchase will give it controlling powers. The exact amount for which the stake is being sold has not yet been made public.

The main contributors to BHP Billiton’s earnings are driven by iron ore, copper and oil. Now the mining giant is restructuring its other varied interests to give it a more streamlined business approach. There have also been talks of the company exploring putting up its Ekati diamond mine in Canada up for sale last November.

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