BHP Reports Oil Exploration Success, Copper Challenges -- Commodity Comment

Date : 17/10/2018 @ 10:28
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : BHP Group Limited (BHP)
Quote : 34.82  -0.12 (-0.34%) @ 16:12
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BHP Reports Oil Exploration Success, Copper Challenges -- Commodity Comment

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   By Rhiannon Hoyle 

SYDNEY--BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU), the world's largest listed mining company by value, on Wednesday published an operational report for its first fiscal quarter. BHP reported iron ore output was higher year-on-year but down on the quarter immediately prior and cut its full-year copper production target because of plant outages. Here are some remarks from the report.


On iron ore production:

"At Western Australia Iron Ore, increased volumes were supported by record production at Jimblebar and improved reliability across our rail network and port operations. As expected, production was lower than the June 2018 quarter as we optimized maintenance schedules across the supply chain and implemented a program of work to further improve port reliability and performance."


On oil exploration:

"In Petroleum, the Victoria-1 and Bongos-2 exploration wells in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Samurai-2 well in the US Gulf of Mexico, encountered hydrocarbons. A sidetrack of the Samurai-2 well is currently being drilling to further appraise the discovery."


On Escondida mine:

"Escondida copper production increased by 10% to 295,000 tons driven by higher copper concentrate output. This is a result of the diversion of ore feed from sulphide leach to the three concentrators to maximise their utilisation, which offset the impact of expected lower copper grades and adverse weather conditions in the quarter."


On Olympic Dam mine:

"Olympic Dam copper production decreased by 21% to 33,000 tons as a result of an unplanned acid plant outage in August 2018. Surface operations remain suspended as remediation works continue on the gas converter, sulphur burner and waste heat boiler in the acid plant. Surface operations are expected to recommence at the end of October 2018 and ramp up to full capacity during November 2018."


On coal production:

"Metallurgical coal production was down 2% to 10 million tons. Queensland Coal production reflected planned maintenance across both port and mine operations. This was partially offset by record stripping and truck performance at BMA, utilisation of latent dragline capacity at Caval Ridge and higher wash-plant throughput at Poitrel following the purchase of the Red Mountain processing facility. The maintenance program of work is expected to continue through the December 2018 quarter. A longwall move at Broadmeadow is scheduled for the December 2018 quarter."


On group output:

"Group copper equivalent production increased by 2% in the September 2018 quarter despite maintenance across a number of operations. Volumes for the 2019 financial year are expected to be broadly in line with last year."


Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 16, 2018 19:13 ET (23:13 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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