BHP, Copper, Gold, News, OZ Minerals, Takeover bids

What happens to workers in the OZ Minerals takeover?

The Australian Federal Court has approved BHP’s $9.6 billion takeover of OZ Minerals in the final step toward completing the acquisition.

With the final hurdle of BHP’s takeover of OZ Minerals having been cleared, some from the OZ Minerals team change sides, others walk away, and many wonder what comes next.

Andrew Cole, who has served as OZ Minerals’ chief executive officer since 2014, confirmed last week that he will not be joining BHP and would instead take a break.

After punching his ticket, Cole will be walking away with $6 million in cash related to his entitlements with OZ Minerals.

Michelle Ash, who joined OZ Minerals in 2022 in the role of technology executive, will move to BHP. According to the Australian Financial Review, Ash will work under chief operating officer, Edgar Basto, to develop a copper province in South Australia.

“The team will work closely with the Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill teams to develop the growth projects and infrastructure required to build a copper province in South Australia,” Basto said an internal memo, as reported by AFR.

Outside of the board room, BHP has indicated that it intends to retain the majority of OZ Minerals’ workforce, particularly at Prominent Hill and Carrapateena.

“BHP has stated publicly that it intends to retain the vast majority of the people,” OZ Minerals chairperson Rebecca McGrath said at a shareholder meeting in April.

“It also stated that it has a high regard for the culture and people of the company, as we have some very important operating assets here in South Australia and our projects in Western Australia and Brazil.

BHP’s takeover of OZ Minerals is expected to be implemented by May 2, following approval of the $9.63 billion deal by the Federal Court earlier this month.

OZ Minerals has a number of operations in Brazil, including the Santa Lúcia iron oxide copper-gold mineral deposit, the Antas copper-gold mine, and CentroGold, one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Brazil.

The acquisition gives BHP access to OZ Minerals’ significant portfolio of future-facing minerals – namely copper and nickel – that are vital to the world’s push for clean energy.

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