As we have said previously, the simplification of our portfolio is a priority and is something we have pursued for several years. In the last two years alone, the Group has announced or completed divestments in Australia, the United States, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom, including petroleum, copper, coal, mineral sands, uranium and diamonds assets.
We believe that a portfolio focused on our major iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum assets would retain the benefits of diversification, generate stronger growth in free cash flow and a superior return on investment. By increasing our focus on these four pillars, with potash as a potential fifth, we will be able to more quickly improve the productivity and performance of our largest businesses.
We continue to actively study the next phase of simplification, including structural options, but will only pursue options that maximise value for BHP Billiton shareholders. Any course of action remains subject to detailed review and an assessment of alternatives.
Further information on BHP Billiton can be found at: www.bhpbilliton.com