THE heritage of the birthplace of BHP will be supported by a $5.7 million donation designed to ensure the history of Broken Hill is preserved and showcased for future generations.

BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie this morning announced the donation from the BHP Billiton Foundation to support the Broken Hill City Council’s Living Museum and Perfect Light Project.

The money will go towards supporting and digitising the Broken Hill archives and the construction of “parklets” on Argent St in Broken Hill which will include commissioned artwork showcasing and explaining the city’s mining heritage.

The Broken Hill Proprietary company was founded in Broken Hill in 1885 after the discovery of a massive deposit of silver, tin and lead, and went on to become the world’s largest mining company, merging with Billiton in 2001.