BHP have reported record outputs for coal and iron ore in the last March quarter, traditionally a time for trouble with the weather.
The Operational Review for the Nine Months ended 31 March 2014 was released yesterday, showing substantial increases in production for the year to date.
BHP said it maintained strong production for the nine month period ending March 2014, with record production for iron ore and metallurgical coal, and achieved a production increase of 10 per cent business-wide.
BHP expects to grow by 16 per cent over the two years to the end of the financial year 2015.
Iron ore production across the board in Australia and Brazil in the year ending March 31 was 147.387 million tonnes, up 20.64 per cent on the preceding period’s production of 122.167 million tonnes.
Metallurgical coal production had a similar jump, producing 33.192 million tonnes over the last 12 months, up 23.88 per cent.
This record production figure for coal included record annualised production at all Queensland Coal operations, which produced 69 million tonnes.
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie said their ongoing productivity agenda continued to deliver outstanding results, underpinning the 10 per cent increase in production.
“Having achieved record iron ore and metallurgical coal production during the first nine months of this year, we have raised full-year guidance for both commodities,” he said.
MacKenzie said that commissioning at Caval Ridge has commenced ahead of schedule.
“Our newest hard coking coal mine will add to our uniquely diversified and opportunity-rich portfolio of large mining and petroleum operations,” he said.
“Group capital and exploration expenditure remains on track to decline by 25 per cent in the 2014 financial year, before declining again next year.
“By maintaining strict financial discipline and a focus on our four pillars of iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum, we continue to believe that an average rate of return of greater than 20 per cent is achievable for our major development options.”
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