BHP delivers spike in copper production, iron ore drops

BHP has released its September 2017 quarterly report and it shows positive growth across most of the company’s operations.

The miner expressed positivity for its four in-development projects, which have a combined lifetime budget of $9.56 billion. In August, BHP announced a $3.2 billion spend to extend the life of the Spence copper mine in Chile by half a century, representing a remarkable long-term investment.

BHP chief executive officer Andrew Mackenzie said the results kept the company on track for 7 per cent volume growth in FY2018.

“Our transition to lower-cost, high-return, latent capacity projects is delivering results, with first copper production achieved from the Los Colorados Extension project at Escondida and Olympic Dam’s Southern Mining Area during the quarter,” he said.

“Major development work has commenced on the recently approved growth projects, Mad Dog Phase 2 and the Spence Growth Option, with are both set to become operational as their respective markets in oil and copper rebalance.”

The standout performers in the report were copper, nickel and zinc, up 14, 21 and an amazing 90 per cent on third quarter 2016 production of 404,000, 22,800 and 29,201 tonnes apiece.

Iron ore and coal (non-coke) weathered negligible drops of 3 and 2 per cent, while petroleum was down 8 per cent, attributed to “natural field decline and the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” according to BHP.

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