BHP confirms asset writedowns

Mining giant BHP has blamed lower gas prices in the United States for an impairment charge on the value of its shale and nickel assets in Australia.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, BHP said it had taken an impairment charge before tax of $US2.84 billion.

“The development of these assets is expected to create substantial, long term shareholder value,” the company said.

“While we have responded appropriately to the changed market conditions today’s impairment is clearly disappointing,” added chief executive Marius Kloppers.

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