For the fiscal 2013 ending June 2013, the company has invested $22bn.

The drop in the investment is said to be in line with its investors raising concerns over its lavish spending with company returning meager values to its shareholders.

BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie remarked that he would focus on delivering substantial free cash from operations including copper mines in Chile and iron ore deposits in Western Australia.

If a project, geography or commodity does not offer the right returns the company will redirect its capital elsewhere will simply not invest, and this will obviously create an opportunity to have more capital returned to shareholders, added Mackenzie.

Mackenzie was appointed as CEO in February 2013, in succession to Marius Kloppers.