BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie delivered a speech at the Melbourne Mining Club’s 100th Luncheon yesterday, touching on topics as diverse as the unpredictable future of mining and China’s Belt and Road initiative, to public erosion in government trust.
The Scottish executive said that in order to foster an innovative culture, the industry would do well to combine the strengths of east and west, praising the former’s dynamism and longer-term thinking and the latter’s penchant for diversity and debate, in a concession to increasing globalisation and an ascendant China.
“The security and prosperity of economies, communities and countries demands that east and west work together freely and innovatively, with respect for all who contribute to shared progress,” he explained. “We have to mesh the best of our cultures together to drive globalisation forward.
Paying mention to BHP’s overarching ‘Think Big’ campaign, Mackenzie also pointed to three goals for general improvement in the industry; development of manufacturing processes with zero fatalities and far fewer injuries; “substantial shifts” in workforce diversity and inclusive leadership — BHP aims for gender balance within the company by 2025; and doubling down on productivity to allow for fairer and more generous wealth distribution.
“Too many people in the west take a too-short-term approach and fail to look to the long-term future,” said Mackenzie. “This is especially dangerous for resources with their decade-plus cycles.
“We must shift policy for education and life-long learning research and development and for long-term investment so as to address the concerns of those who feel left behind”