Annual iron ore production by BHP is at an all-time high, but output elsewhere is down

Dimapur, July 21: Due to record output at two mines in Western Australia, BHP Group Limited has announced full-year iron ore production near the top end of its projection range.

However, the world’s largest publicly traded miner reported a 4% drop in fourth-quarter output and lower overall production in four of its six critical divisions compared to the previous year.

Strong Chinese demand and supply concerns in Brazil boosted iron ore prices higher at BHP’s Jimblebar mine and Mining Area C in the Pilbara region. For the June half, BHP secured iron ore prices of $158.17, doubling those received the previous financial year.

In fiscal 2021, the global miner produced 284.1 million tons (Mt) of steel-making material in Western Australia on a 100% basis, with output expected to range between 278 Mt and 288 Mt in fiscal 2022. The fourth-quarter production was 72.8 Mt, down from 76 Mt in the previous quarter.

BHP reported an 11% rise in nickel production across all divisions for the year.

On the other hand, other divisions saw a 5% decline in yearly copper production due to COVID-19 related logistical issues in Chile, where BHP expects the situation to remain challenging. It had a 6% drop in petroleum production, a 1% drop in metallurgical coal production, and a 17% drop in energy coal production for the year.

BHP also warned of a $425 million rise in operating expenses owing to mine closure preparations, as well as a $500 million write-off due to shorter resource lifetimes at its Yandi iron ore mine and Bass Strait petroleum operations.

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