PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major BHP has revised its full year iron-ore production expectations on the back of Tropical Cyclone Veronica, telling shareholders on Wednesday that iron-ore production for the full year was expected to be between 235-million and 239-million tonnes.
This new guidance compared with the previous guidance of between 241-million and 250-million tonnes.
BHP's downgrade comes a day after rival Rio Tinto also lowered its iron-ore guidance to between 333-million and 343-million tonnes for the year, compared with the previous guidance of between 338-million and 350-million tonnes.
BHP reported iron-ore production of 58-million tonnes for the March quarter, down 3% from the previous quarter, with production in the nine months to March reaching 175-million tonnes.
The major's full-year production guidance for petroleum, copper, metallurgical coal and energy coal have remained unchanged.
Copper production for the quarter was up 1% on the previous quarter, to 420 000 t, reaching 1.2-million tonnes in the year to date.
BHP reported that metallurgical coal production in the March quarter was down 4% on the December quarter, at 10-million tonnes, with year-to-date production reported at 31-million tonnes, while energy coal production was up 1% on the previous quarter, to seven-million tonnes, reaching 20-million tonnes in the year-to-date.
Petroleum production declined by 5% compared with the December quarter, reaching 29-million barrels of oil equivalent in the March quarter, and 92-million barrels of oil equivalent over the last nine months.
“During the March 2019 quarter, we had a strong operational performance despite weather impacts across Australia and Chile,” said BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie.
Mackenzie noted that during the quarter under review, BHP approved the Atlantis Phase 3 project, bringing the total number of projects under development, to five.
“Those projects, our work on transformation, technology, culture and our successful petroleum and copper exploration and appraisal programmes will grow value and returns for years to come,” he added.