BHP beats expectations

BHP Billiton has posted a 15 per cent gain in quarterly iron ore production, beating analyst expectations and setting the 12th consecutive record for the diversified miner.

The company produced just over 40 million tonnes for the June quarter, slightly higher than the 37 million tonnes forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The company said expansions at the Yandi mine and extra capacity at Port Hedland were behind the move and it was on track to keep expanding.

Pilbara rivals Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto also posted strong results for the quarter, but FMG reported a cost blowout for its Solomon mine.

While setting a record for first half production Rio said its results for the quarter fell just below last year's results.

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