BHP Billiton chief Andrew Mackenzie has bonus axed after Samarco iron ore mine disaster and record profit loss

 
Francesca Washtell
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A burst dam at the Samarco mine caused a massive mudslide (Source: Getty)

BHP Billiton's chief executive will have his bonus scrapped this year following a fatal dam collapse at a Brazilian mine last November and the ongoing decline in global commodity markets.

Andrew Mackenzie, who has been at the helm of the mining giant since 2013, will receive no bonus on top of his $1.7m (£1.3m) base salary for the 2015 to 2016 financial year, the company said today.

He received a $2.3m bonus in the 2014 to 2015 financial year, although this was down from $3.1m the year before.

BHP said the disaster last year in which a dam burst at its jointly owned Samarco Mineracao iron ore mine was a key consideration in the decision, as well as commodity price pressure.

Mackenzie indicated to the board and remuneration committee that his preference would be to not receive a bonus this year in light of these events, City A.M. understands.

The accident at the Samarco mine led to the deaths of 19 people and destroyed the nearby village of Bento Rodrigues.

Read more: BHP Billiton agrees pay-out after Samarco mine disaster

BHP and its co-owner at Samarco, Brazilian miner Vale, have set aside up to $1.3bn to cover costs arising from the accident, which was Brazil's worst ever environmental disaster.

Yesterday, a report commissioned by BHP and Vale concluded design and drainage issues were mostly responsible for the dam collapse.

The event pushed the company to a $6.4bn loss for the year, its worst on record, BHP revealed earlier this month. This was down from a profit of $1.9bn in 2015.

BHP's share price was down more than 2.7 per cent today to 1,050p in early afternoon trading.

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