The Billiton Maatschappij and then from 1924 to 1972 Gemeenschappelijke Mijnbouwmaatschappij Billiton and from 1972 to 2001 Billiton International Metals BV before merging with the Australian mining company Broken Hill Proprietary Company or BHP to become BHP Billiton , was a Dutch mining company played the xix th and xx th centuries an important role in the extraction of minerals in the Dutch East Indies and in Indonesia .