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BHP’s local buying program has reached a $1 billion milestone, supporting over 1600 small, local and Indigenous businesses across regional Australia.  

Since the program’s 2012 launch, the mining company’s investments in small businesses have involved over 67,000 work packages with an average payment period of seven days.   

The local buying program provides local business owners a way to competitively bid for supply opportunities through a streamlined onboarding, procurement and payment process.   

BHP president minerals Geraldine Slattery celebrated the milestone.   

“BHP depends on the capability and talent of the many small, local and Indigenous businesses who support our operations across Australia,” she said.  

“It’s been wonderful to see them flourish as we forge new and deeper partnerships together.  

“These businesses have a wonderful opportunity to be at the forefront of modern sustainable mining, helping to drive their regional economies forward and produce the critical minerals needed for the energy transition.” 

In 2012, BHP engaged an organisation called C-Res to manage all transactional activities through the local buying program. C-Res has remained with the program since its inception.  

“To see $1 billion paid out to small local and Indigenous businesses in just over 10 years of operation is something that we never could have imagined,” said C-Res chief executive officer Tracey Cuttriss-Smith said.  

“This money has helped businesses grow, helped sponsor sports teams and helped provide jobs and opportunities for community members.  

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with BHP as we work towards the next $1 billion.”  

BHP in February signed a contract with Gallawinya, a Pilbara Traditional Owner business, for the supply of up to 4000 tyres a year for use across its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) mining operations. 

WAIO is BHP’s network of four processing hubs and five mining hubs in the Pilbara, including rail and port facilities. 

According to BHP, Gallawinya is one of more than 80 Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses it engaged in the first half of 2023. WAIO has so far injected roughly $120 million into these businesses, with a 2023 target of $225 million.