An iron ore mining operation in Western Australia
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Lower profits for mining giant BHP Billiton

Profits have fallen from record highs at BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, as prices drop for iron ore and coal.

The Anglo-Australian company reported a 5.5% annual drop in first-half net profit to $9.9bn (£6.2bn), blaming volatility in the global economy.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy says that despite the fall, BHP Billiton remains an exceptionally strong company.

  • 08 Feb 2012