There were not that many big surprises from global mining BHP Billiton's (BIL) interim report, but the company did highlight its commitment to grow its petroleum portfolio by tapping into shale gas in the US.
BHP Billiton, the JSE- and Australian Stock Exchange-listed diversified mining firm produces resources such as aluminium alloy, platinum, petroleum products, copper and iron ore.
The company announced that it had completed the acquisition of Petrohawk Energy Corporation, and that this would give it access to an estimated 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which it had targeted that would contribute 20 percent of its petroleum portfolio by FY2015.
The production output levels at BHP's largest iron ore mine, Western Australia Iron Ore, increased to 178 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from a previously stated 159 mtpa, and that it was well placed to produce just over 200 mtpa by FY2014.
"In the longer term, we expect the rate of growth in steelmaking raw materials demand, particularly in China, to decelerate as underlying economic growth rates revert to a more sustainable level," the company said in a statement.
The mining company was however downbeat about the outlook on the demand for nickel, zinc, aluminium alloy and manganese
"In the longer term, we expect the rate of growth in steelmaking raw materials demand, particularly in China, to decelerate as underlying economic growth rates revert to a more sustainable level", it said.