By Rhiannon Hoyle

 

SYDNEY--BHP Group Ltd. Tuesday reported a lift in fiscal-year iron ore production, although weaker annual output of copper and petroleum. Here are some remarks from its fourth-quarter operational report:

 

On group output:

"We achieved production records at our Western Australia Iron Ore operations and the Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in Queensland. We maintained all-time high concentrator throughput at our Escondida copper mine in Chile. Olympic Dam in South Australia had its highest annual copper production since BHP acquired the asset in 2005, and its best-ever gold production."

 

On Covid-19 impact on copper business:

"For the 2021 financial year, our Chilean assets operated with a substantial reduction in their operational workforces as a result of the preventative measures we implemented to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. In the June 2021 quarter, escalating Covid-19 infections in Chile led to increased pressures on Chile's health system, which resulted in strict quarantine measures and border restrictions. We expect the operating environment for our Chilean assets to remain challenging, with reductions in our on-site workforce forecast to continue in the 2022 financial year."

 

On projects:

"During the year, we successfully achieved first production at four major development projects, all of which were delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget. The South Flank iron ore project in Western Australia and the Ruby oil and gas project in Trinidad and Tobago both achieved first production in May 2021. The Atlantis Phase 3 petroleum project and the Spence Growth Option copper project achieved first production in the first half of the 2021 financial year."

 

On exploration:

​"In exploration, we have continued to add to our early stage options in future facing commodities throughout the year, with the signing of an agreement for a nickel exploration alliance in Canada and of a farm-in agreement for the Elliott copper project in Australia. At Oak Dam in South Australia, next stage resource definition drilling to inform future design commenced in May 2021."

 

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 19, 2021 19:18 ET (23:18 GMT)

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