Concerns over rising costs and the impact of trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on shares of leading miner BHP on Tuesday after a 33 percent jump in annual underlying profit still missed forecasts.
But the miner paid a record final dividend and said it expected to hand more money to shareholders on completion of a sale of U.S. shale assets to oil major BP.
Other miners, which have recovered from the commodity price crash of 2015-16, have been handing back chunks of money to shareholders, under pressure not to repeat the reckless purchases of the commodity boom, but also because of the difficulty of finding suitable opportunities for growth.
Many miners are also struggling to make themselves an attractive prospect to investors concerned about sustainability and climate change.
In 2017, BHP came under pressure for change from activist investor Elliott Advisors, which listed a series of demands to raise shareholder returns, including selling off unprofitable shale assets. Elliott on Tuesday declined to comment.
BHP, which said it was seeking reform of its own accord, in July announced BP would buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from it for $10.5 billion.