BHP Billiton is to base the headquarters of its Stainless Steel Materials business in Perth to oversee its global nickel operations.
BHP Billiton President Stainless Steel Materials, Chris Pointon said the number of businesses reporting to the division would increase with the addition of the WMC nickel operation and Perth was a logical location for an expanded Stainless Steel Materials business.
Dr Pointon said he would relocate to Perth from London in July this year and Jimmy Wilson, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer of Samancor Chrome in South Africa would relocate to Perth as President and Chief Operating Officer of Western Nickel.
BHP Billiton nickel subsidiary, QNI Pty Ltd would retain its headquarters in Queensland.
In line with BHP Billiton's operating model, some support functions currently located in WMC's Melbourne headquarters would relocate to the Perth Stainless Steel Materials office.
BHP Billiton also announced its plan to locate a major exploration office in Perth. If BHP Billiton acquires full ownership of WMC then its plan would be to ultimately combine its existing Western Australian program with that of WMC.