BHP has appointed Edgar Basto as its Minerals Australia president, effective July 1, having been in the role of acting president since last November.
In this role, Basto will be part of BHP’s executive leadership team, responsible for BHP’s Western Australian iron ore and nickel operations, metallurgical and energy coal in Queensland and New South Wales and copper operations in South Australia.
Prior to his role as acting president of Minerals Australia, Basto has served as asset president for Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) and other senior leadership positions across commodities including iron ore, copper, coal and nickel.
BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry, who announced Basto’s appointment last week, recognised Basto’s track record of delivery at WAIO, regularly guiding it to production records.
“Under Basto’s leadership, BHP became the lowest-cost major iron ore producer in the world,” Henry said. “WAIO has regularly delivered production records and reduced costs by 15 per cent since 2016.
“Basto’s leadership and experience will make BHP’s Australian minerals operations safer, lower cost, more productive and more reliable.
“He is passionate about the role we play in communities and the responsibility we have to those who both rely on and support BHP to create social value through our activities.”
Basto has been with BHP since 1989 after graduating from the Universidad Industrial de Santander with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Metallurgical Engineering) and held senior operational roles in both his home country, Colombia, and in Peru.
He relocated to Melbourne in 2006 to take on the role of BHP’s global head of health, safety and environment.
From 2009 to 2015 he returned to Latin America, taking on the Chile-based role of chief operating officer for base metals. For five of those years he was asset president at the world’s largest copper mine, Escondida.
Basto came back to Australia after the stint in Chile and has been in Perth since 2016 and was president of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia between 2018 and 2020.