Social value is BHP’s positive contribution to society – to our people, partners, the economy, the environment, and local communities. It is about creating enduring, mutual benefit for BHP, our shareholders and the broader community. Creating and accelerating social value is part of our company strategy and is also a strong focus in our future business planning.
In FY2022, our total community development expenditure in Western Australia was $441.1 million.
We spent more than $324 million with Port Hedland and Newman local businesses, including $60.7 million with small, local businesses through the Local Buying Program, resulting in more local jobs and training opportunities in Western Australia. We increased our spend with Indigenous businesses by 69 per cent on the previous year to $158.5 million, with $72.6 million of this spend with 33 Traditional Owner businesses. Through our Project Rise initiative, we are on target to achieve a $300 million annual spend by 2024.
We also officially opened our South Flank mine in October 2021. South Flank is BHP’s most technically advanced mine and once ramped up, will create the largest iron ore operating hub in the world. It will sustain more than 600 ongoing jobs, plus opportunities for hundreds of local businesses and billions of dollars in royalties to Western Australia.
We also contributed $44 million to a range of community projects, particularly in the Pilbara, including our ongoing childcare partnership with Child Australia to improve childcare services in Newman and Port Hedland, funding for Pilbara Aboriginal medical services to employ additional general practitioners, vaccination support and other health initiatives for regional and remote communities.
You can read more about how we are creating and accelerating social value in WA in the WAIO Community Development Report for FY2022.