BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, is close to signing a lease for a new London office which would be about half the size of its current premises, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The company, which is being advised by broker Cluttons LLC, plans to rent 25,000 square feet (2,323 square meters) at the Nova South project in London’s Victoria district, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is not yet public. The project is being developed by Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Spokesmen for BHP Billiton, Cluttons, Land Securities and CPPIB declined to comment.

Mining companies have been hit hard by the slowdown in the Chinese economy which has damped demand for commodities. BHP Billiton has moved staff to other locations which has reduced its requirement for office space in London, the people said.

The miner has been based at Neathouse Place in the same district since 1997 and now subleases around half the space in the 90,000 square foot property to other occupiers, the people said.

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