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The BHP Billiton Limited share price hits 3-month high

Credit: Lucas Walters

The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) share price has hit a 3-month high of $24.99, after hitting a low of $22.06 on June 21.

Could the big miner see its share price reach the 1-year high of $27.95 it saw in February this year?

Higher iron ore and oil prices are the key drivers, with BHP heavily reliant on commodity prices, in particular, those two. Pushes by activist investors, supported by some equity analysts, for the big Australian to sell off its US onshore oil and gas assets could also see BHP realise a substantial sum of capital that could be returned to shareholders.

BHP is also being urged to sell out of thermal coal and coking coal operations, cut back on expansion plans at a number of mines, which could see the company unlock up to US$20 billion in shareholder value. That could see the company pay a fully franked special dividend.

The miner has already taken one step to appease the activists, with Ken MacKenzie named as the replacement for chairman Jac Nasser, when Mr Nasser retires from the board in September. Mr MacKenzie should not be confused with current BHP CEO Andrew MacKenzie.

Shareholders may well be hoping the giant resources company follows through on some of the other steps activists want.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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