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BHP cuts executive pay to reflect COVID-19 impact

Mining giant BHP Group slashed the pay of its executives to reflect the impact of increased costs and reduced volumes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

BHP said CEO Mike Henry's base salary for fiscal 2021 will remain unchanged at US$1.7 million per year, as it was at the time of his appointment. Fees for the chairman and nonexecutive directors will also be maintained.

"The committee believes the remuneration outcomes for FY2020 reflect an appropriate alignment between pay and performance during the year and are also fair in terms of the global context in which decisions have been made," Remuneration Committee Chair Susan Kilsby said in BHP's 2020 annual report released Sept. 14.

The committee noted that these COVID-19-related costs were beyond management's control and have been recorded as an exceptional item in the company's financial statements.

BHP noted that despite the crisis, the company did not need to furlough any employees without pay, has not sought any government assistance and did not raise additional equity.

Meanwhile, BHP said its tax, royalty and other payments to governments reached US$9.1 billion in fiscal 2020, with 82.2% or US$7.5 billion paid in Australia. The company estimated its total direct economic contribution at US$37.2 billion.

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