BHP Group (LON:BHP) has identified a potential new iron oxide, copper and gold mineralised system in South Australia, the London- and Sydney-listed mining group has said. The news comes after the blue-chip group recently settled a transfer pricing dispute with Australian regulators over its marketing operations in Singapore, agreeing to pay A$529 million (£300 million).
BHP’s share price has started trading higher this morning, having gained 0.60 percent to 1,520.00p as of 08:05 GMT. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.12 percent lower at 7,027.83 points. The group’s shares have added more than nine percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 4.7-percent dip in the Footsie.
Potential copper find
BHP announced in a statement today that it had identified a potential new iron oxide, copper, gold mineralised system, located 65 kilometres to the south east of the group’s operations at Olympic Dam in South Australia. The company, however, noted that the exploration project was at an early stage and there was currently insufficient geological information to assess the size, quality and continuity of the mineralised intersections. BHP said that it was evaluating and interpreting the results reported and planning a further drilling programme which would start early next year.
Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that the FTSE 100 group’s announcement coincided with investor excitement over a potential copper find by blue-chip rival Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) in Western Australia. Rio Tinto, however, has not commented on reports of the find.
Analysts on BHP
UBS reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on BHP last week, without specifying a price target on the shares, while JPMorgan Chase & Co continues to see the company as a ‘neutral’. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Australian miner currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,770.94p.