Incoming BHP boss likens WA to Silicon Valley

Mike Henry says the State has to continue to be a hub of innovation and collaboration.

Cannings Purple 27 Nov 2019
2 mins
BHP Mike Henry at the Resources Technology Showcase.

BHP CEO-elect Mike Henry has compared Western Australia with Silicon Valley, saying that a willingness to share knowledge and technology would ensure the State remained a global mining epicentre.

Speaking at the Resources Technology Showcase in Perth, Mr Henry – who officially takes the reins of BHP on January 1 – said WA’s mining scene had evolved along similar lines to the famed Californian technology hothouse.

While Apple, Google and Netflix dominate the scene in Silicon Valley, the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside and South 32 are all prominent along the Perth skyline.

“I’m not the first person to make this comparison but there are some parallels between Silicon Valley and WA,” Mr Henry said.

“The experience of sharing of knowledge and technology is easier here than anywhere else in the world.”

Mr Henry reflected on BHP’s innovation “proving ground” at its Eastern Ridge project in the Pilbara and noted some of the company’s first steps into automation had come in WA.

He said fostering collaboration – with academic institutions, technology startups and other resources companies – would be a key to sustained success and growth.

“We want to be bringing the best minds and entrepreneurial mindsets to improve the performance of our company,” he said.

“We live in a dynamic world…opportunities are there for those who chase them.”

Simon White is Cannings Purple’s Content Editor and manages The 268, our content and news hub, which was a finalist in the Branded Journalism category of the 2019 Asia Pacific SABRE Awards. He is a former editor of both and WAtoday. Email Simon.

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