BHP freezes executive pay

The world's most valuable miner BHP Billiton announced in its 2014 annual report that its top management won't be getting any pay rise for 2015.

The Melbourne-based company is implementing a pay freeze for chief executive Andrew Mackenzie in 2015 after his first full year on the job.

At roughly $8 million for the year, Mackenzie's pay package was already only half that of his predecessor Marius Kloppers before he stepped down.

The remuneration committee of the Anglo-Australian giant said: "Last year, when Mr Mackenzie was appointed to the chief executive role, the board and committee believed that some downward rebasing of his remuneration package, relative to that of the former chief executive, was appropriate – a view supported by Mr Mackenzie."

Rio Tinto's CEO Sam Walsh earned just over $10 million in 2013, also his first year at the helm of the world second largest miner. That's more than double his predecessor Tom Albanese's package during his final tenure.

The entire senior management team of some 26 members of the $160 billion company will also have to make do with the same pay next year, while non-execs haven't seen a wage increase since 2010.

Senior managers make between $2.5 million and $4.3 million while non-execs have a base salary of $170,000 per year which can rise by more than $100,000 after fees for committee membership and travel allowances. Chairman Jac Nasser takes home $1.1 million.

BHP also said that a US Securities and Exchange Commission anti-corruption investigation dating back to August 2009 is currently being discussed for a potential resolution.

An internal investigation uncovered possible violations of anti-corruption laws involving interactions with government officials, BHP said adding that "the issues relate primarily to matters in connection with previously terminated exploration and development efforts, as well as hospitality provided as part of the Company’s sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics."

BHP is in the process of spinning off assets to be listed separately in Australia, South Africa and London. The new company could be worth as much as $15 billion.