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BHPB delivers iron ore production records

Publishing Date
20 Jan 2011 3:22pm GMT
Mining Journal
BHP Billiton has delivered new highs for iron-ore production, but revealed the damage caused to coal output by floods in the Australian state of Queensland in its half years results.

The world’s largest mining company said it continues to benefit from expenditure on high-quality growth projects, which has resulted in half yearly records for three commodities.

Record iron-ore production was achieved for both the half year and the quarter. For the three months to end-December, iron-ore output was 33.7Mt, up from 32.5Mt a year earlier. Shipments for both periods were also at highs, with an annualised rate set at 148Mt/y during the quarter.

Queensland metallurgical-coal production was significantly affected by persistent rain and flooding in the Bowen Basin, the company said. Output declined by 30% when compared with the September 2010 quarter, while sales declined by 15%.

Thermal-coal production was higher in the quarter compared with a year earlier, having benefitted from the start up of the MAC20 project in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales and the ramp-up of the Klipspruit mine in South Africa. Production for the quarter was 16.5Mt, a 7% rise.

BHPB said record quarterly milling rates were also set at the Olympic Dam copper-gold-uranium mine in South Australia and Antamina copper operation in Peru. 

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