BHP hits production records, while Alcoa sees slight dip, and Yancoal makes strides in safety.
The major miner successfully hit production guidance for copper, iron ore, and metallurgical and energy coal. Nickel guidance was revised down owing in part to a heavy rain event at Mt Keith operations.
The company also achieved multiple annual production records across its sites. Western Australia Iron Ore produced 285 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore; Spence mine in Chile produced 240 thousand tonnes (kt) of copper; and Olympic Dam produced 212kt of copper and 186 thousand ounces (koz) of refined gold.
In the 2023 financial year, BHP made strong progress at its Oak Dam copper project in South Australia. Oak Dam is located 65km southeast of BHP’s Olympic Dam mine and is set to be one of the largest mineral exploration programs ever undertaken in the state.
And perhaps most significantly, BHP completed its $9.63 billion takeover of OZ Minerals in May.
“The financial year was marked by the deaths of Jody Byrne and Nathan Scholz,” BHP chief executive officer (CEO) Mike Henry said.
“These tragic events underscore the absolute importance of safety and we are resolute in our commitment to eliminating fatalities and serious injuries at BHP.
“Inflationary pressures impacted our business in the year, and we remain laser focused on safety and productivity to remain competitive. Competitiveness will be ever more important as we enter the new financial year and at a time when there are new challenges and opportunities to resource development and global economic volatility.”
Alcoa closed the second quarter of the year with $2.68 billion in revenue and a cash balance of $1 billion.
Alumina production decreased by seven per cent to 2.6 million metric tonnes, primarily due to unplanned maintenance at a refinery in Brazil. Some Australian refineries also reported lower output that expected.
Aluminium production increased one per cent on the first quarter to 523,000 metric tonnes.
“We expect to see financial improvement in the third quarter of 2023 as the Alumina and Aluminum segments are both forecast to have reduced costs for raw materials and production,” Alcoa and CEO Roy Harvey said.
Yancoal reported a total recordable injury frequency rate of 4.4 for the quarter, comfortably above the industry average.
The company produced 14.8Mt of coal, which it sold at an average $226 per tonne.
“The improved output from our mines, along with the lagged pricing profile, provided another period of healthy cashflow…” Yancoal Australia CEO David Moult said.
“The company is debt free and continues to accumulate cash; the 30 June cash balance was $1.1 billion.”