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The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price has been volatile over the last year. But I think it’s shaping up to be a long-term opportunity due to its portfolio of commodities.
Oil and gas still have their place in the world, particularly in the current global energy situation. However, eventually, there may be a transition away from fossil fuels, so it was probably a good idea for BHP to divest while prices are good for those commodities.
I do like the look of what’s left within the ASX mining share’s commodity portfolio and this is what attracts me to BHP’s share price as a long-term idea.
Many countries and governments around the world are working on decarbonising and electrifying.
As BHP says, it’s “actively managing” its portfolio for long-term value creation through the cycle.
There are three ‘future-facing’ commodities that BHP is focused on – copper, nickel, and potash.
Media group Reuters reported on comments made by BHP’s chief commercial officer, Vandita Pant, at the FT Commodities Asia Summit late last year. She said:
Some of the modelling that we have done showed that in, let’s say a decarbonised world … the world will need almost double the copper in the next 30 years than in the past 30.
And for a commodity like nickel, that quadruples. So four times nickel needed for the next 30 years than the past 30 years and all to be done as sustainably as possible.
Why are copper and nickel so important for decarbonisation? Nickel is an important commodity for use in electric vehicle batteries. Copper is used for various electrical wiring including inside the electrical vehicle, the charging stations and other renewable energy infrastructure, as noted by Bloomberg.
In terms of its copper resources, BHP says it has the “largest resource endowment of any company globally, and amongst the highest average grade”.
BHP also says it has the second-largest nickel sulphide resource with around 90% of nickel metal sales to the electric vehicle supply chain.
I think BHP has built a very useful commodity portfolio which can help the BHP share price for many years to come.
The Jansen project in Canada is a key focus for growth for the business. Potash is seen as a lower-emission fertiliser.
BHP says there is significant expansion potential to support up to a century of production in the world’s “best” potash basin.
Management calls Jansen a world-class asset which increases the diversification of the business, customer base and operating footprint.
The demand for potash is expected to grow thanks to “reliable base demand leveraged by population growth and higher living standards”.
BHP believes Jansen will enter the market at the bottom of the global cost curve, delivering 4.35 million tonnes per annum.
The company points to structural competitive advantages for Jansen such as using around 60% less equipment to deliver lower costs, a shaft designed to be 25% to 50% larger than competitors (supporting low capital intensity expansion options), leading equipment and material handling systems, and a continuous, automated loading system.
Final thoughts on the BHP share price
BHP is certainly not a hidden gem. It’s the biggest business on the ASX. But, I think its exposure to commodities with growth potential is attractive for the long term, while iron ore generates big cash flow and dividends in the short term.