BHP Plans to Creep Past Iron-Ore Shipment Target in Medium Term -- Commodity Comment
BHP Group Ltd., the world's biggest mining company by market
value, Tuesday said it produced less iron ore, copper,
metallurgical coal and nickel in its first fiscal quarter versus a
year ago, although output of petroleum and energy coal increased.
Here are some remarks from its operational report.
On iron ore operations:
"Western Australian Iron Ore production decreased by 6% to 62
million tons, mainly reflecting higher planned maintenance during
the quarter, including major maintenance of car dumper one and the
train load out at Jimblebar. Temporary rail labor shortages related
to Covid-19-related border restrictions also had a minor impact.
This was partially offset by strong mine performance and
optimization of Yandi's end-of-life ramp-down. South Flank ramp up
continues, with additional temporary crushing capacity to provide
an ore for rail buffer during commissioning."
On iron ore capacity:
"On Sep. 7, 2021, BHP received regulatory approval to increase
capacity at our Port Hedland operations to 330 million tons per
annum (100 per cent basis), subject to the outcomes of standard
appeals processes. Our near-term focus remains on sustainable
achievement of 290 million tons per annum, with plans to creep
beyond this through productivity in the medium term. To support
this on Oct. 13, 2021, the board approved a port debottlenecking
program which is expected to commence in the December 2021
On metallurgical coal operations:
"Queensland Coal production decreased as a result of planned
wash plant maintenance at Goonyella and Peak Downs, planned
dragline maintenance at Caval Ridge and mining in higher strip
ratio areas at Poitrel in line with the mine plan. This was
partially offset by record stripping at BMC and a significant
uplift in truck productivity at South Walker Creek. Guidance for
the 2022 financial year remains unchanged at between 39 and 44
million tons, with volumes weighted to the second half of the year
following planned maintenance in the September 2021 quarter."
On copper operations:
"In the September 2021 quarter, the operating environment for
our Chilean assets improved due to high Covid-19 vaccination rates.
However, some uncertainty related to Covid-19 impacts remains as
the pandemic evolves. Escondida copper production decreased by 14%
to 244,000 due to forecast concentrator feed grade decline. Pampa
Norte copper production increased by 59% to 68,000 tons, reflecting
the continued ramp-up of the Spence Growth Option, which has
brought on a new concentrate stream."
On petroleum operations:
"Crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids production
increased by 11% to 13 million barrels of oil equivalent,
reflecting lower impact from weather events in the Gulf of Mexico,
increased volumes from Ruby following first production in May 2021
and the additional 28% working interest acquired in Shenzi in
November 2020, partially offset by natural field decline across the
portfolio. Natural gas production decreased by 3% to 88 billion
cubic feet, reflecting decreased production at North West Shelf and
natural field decline across the portfolio, partially offset by
increased volumes from Ruby and higher seasonal demand for gas at
On nickel operations:
"Nickel West production decreased by 20% to 18,000 tons,
reflecting planned maintenance at the Kalgoorlie Smelter, Kwinana
Refinery and the Leinster and Kambalda concentrators in the
September 2021 quarter. The first batch of nickel sulphate crystals
were produced in the September 2021 quarter and customer
certification is underway. We expect first saleable production in
the December 2021 quarter."
Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 18, 2021 18:48 ET (22:48 GMT)
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