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BHP Billiton's $15 Billion Temptation

|Includes:BBL, BHP Billiton Limited (BHP)

By Robb M. Stewart

BHP Billiton BLT.LN +0.47%may have as much as US$15 billion locked into assets it could sell, which if released could lessen pressure on waning cash flow to fund the mining giant's spending plans.

The company has raised more than US$2.3 billion with the sale of a large uranium deposit in Western Australia and a 37% stake in a mineral sands venture in South Africa in the past two weeks alone. Deutsche Bank DBK.XE +4.10%analysts think efforts to streamline its portfolio of businesses are unlikely to end there.

In a research report, they identified a further US$10 billion-US$15 billion of possible disposals that could be made over the next two to three years, which would allow BHP to funnel the proceeds into high-returning growth projects such as shale oil in the U.S., the Escondida and Spence mines in Chile and getting rid of capacity bottlenecks in the Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia.

Read more here.

Disclosure: I am long BHP.

Additional disclosure: This is a shared article from the WSJ online.

Stocks: BHP, BBL