Andrew Mackenzie last night marked his first BHP Billiton annual meeting as chief executive by telling shareholders the company's "productivity agenda is fully under way" to extract "more value from existing operations".
Flagging an increased focus on what he termed BHP's four pillars - iron ore, petroleum, copper and coal - Mr Mackenzie said the company over the next two years expected to increase production by 8 per cent a year on a copper-equivalent basis.
Mr Mackenzie, who succeeded Marius Kloppers in May, also devoted time to explaining his strategy to invest in potash, one of the few commodities BHP is still spending big money on.
He said global potash demand was expected to grow 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year until 2030, driven by a rising population and greater economic prosperity. That was why BHP was planning to invest an average $US800 million a year growing its potash division.Last night's annual meeting was the first of two to be held by dual-listed BHP. The Australian AGM will be held in Perth on November 21.