BHP’s lifts iron ore output in final quarter of Australian year

BHP produced 63 million tonnes of iron ore in the last quarter of the Australian financial year – a 12% increase on the previous quarter, when operations were reduced by a cyclone that hit parts of Australia.

This improved performance in the three months to June helped the Anglo-Australian mining giant avoid a drop in output for the 2019 financial year, with iron ore production remaining unchanged at 238 million tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP improved its metallurgical coal production by 20% in the quarter along with energy coal and copper, which increased by 10% and 6% respectively. Nickel production also increased by 49% on the previous quarter.

However, the quarterly figures hid a weaker annual performance with only petroleum showing growth in the 12 months between July 1 2018 and June 30 2019. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie chose to focus on the company’s quarterly performance.

“We finished the 2019 financial year with an 11% increase in quarterly production, driven by strong operational performances across our portfolio, including annual production records at a number of our petroleum, copper, iron ore and metallurgical coal operations,” he said.