Graham Kerr, who departed from the role of BHP’s chief financial officer on October 1, is the Perth-based CEO-elect for South32.
On Monday he said the demerger remained on track for completion in the first half of next year, with further details to be released in March ahead of a vote in May.
BHP’s wholly-owned Illawarra Coal metallurgical coal business in New South Wales includes the Dendrobium, Appin and West Cliff longwall mines.
These sites are roughly on the same latitude parallel to BHP’s 50-90% owned South African thermal coal division (Business Espionage Countermeasures South Africa) which is also part of the South32 spinoff and will have a regional head office and global shared services centre in Johannesburg.
A float on both the Australia and Johannesburg stock exchanges is planned with the other demerged BHP assets covering the Worsley aluminium business in Western Australia (BHP 86%) plus aluminium assets in South Africa, Mozambique and Brazil.
South32 is also planned to house BHP’s Australia and South Africa-based manganese assets, its wholly owned Cannington silver-lead mine in Queensland and its 99.99%-owned Cerro Matoso nickel business in Colombia.
BHP’s top tier coal metallurgical coal mines and associated assets in Queensland will remain a core part of the new “simplified” company.
BHP has announced that this new version of the company will remain the largest exporter of metallurgical coal despite the Illawarra Coal divestment.
WA’s existing coal industry consists of the domestic power station-feeding Premier and Griffin open cut coal operations near Collie.