Accidents cause shortfall

BHP Iron Ore will fall short of its production guidance after a number of safety incidents disrupted operations, Iron Ore president Ian Ashby said.

BHP Iron Ore will fall short of its previously announced production guidance for the financial year after a number of safety incidents disrupted operations, Iron Ore president Ian Ashby said this week at a Macquarie Bank investor forum.

Five fatal accidents have occurred at BHP iron ore operations in Western Australian since July last year.

The company had planned to produce 130 million tonnes of iron ore for the year, but Ashby said the disruption caused by the recent accidents meant it would miss the guidance by millions of tonnes.

“We won’t meet the last advice to the market on fiscal ’09,” he said.

“We’ll be a few million (tonnes) short.

“That’s a direct consequence of the safety events.”

According to Ashby, the impact of the disruption will be felt well into the first quarter of the 2010 financial year.

BHP, which controls seven iron ore mines in the Pilbara region, has received 70 safety-related notices in the past two years and in April safety matters forced the WA Government to issue stop work notices to 12 of the company’s operations.

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