>> BHP Billiton is digging itself out of a hole, and it's a big one. The four-year loss at the world's largest mining company with $6.4 billion. It's been dealing with a huge write down following last year's San Marco dam disaster which killed 19 people. And falling commodity prices not to mention a bad bet on US shale.
Excluding $7.7 billion in write downs and charges, underlying profits slumped 81% to $1.2 billion although shares still went up. Company Chief Andrew Mackenzie said it was to early to say if the worst was over for the resources industry but he hoped the freefall was at least at an end.
He said BHP remained committed to it's US shale wells even thought they've taken a big hit from falling oil prices. But the four year dividend will suffer. BHP will pay $0.30 after abandoning a long held policy of never cutting dividends earlier this year.