BHP Billiton announced that it has achieved a record iron ore production from its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) mines during the second half of 2016.
According to the company, the record production from WAIO was driven by the continued ramp-up of additional capacity at Jimblebar with the commissioning of a new primary crusher and additional conveying capacity.
“We have performed well during a period of higher prices, with record iron ore volumes achieved at WAIO,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie remarked.
He said the company’s total iron ore production for the December 2016 half year increased by 4% to 118 Mt, with guidance for the 2017 financial year to remain unchanged at between 228 and 237 Mt, excluding production from Samarco.
“Our simpler organisational structure has freed our assets to focus on what matters most and to deliver safer and more productive operations. Our consistent delivery of operating and capital productivity, and strict adherence to our capital allocation framework have positioned us to maximise shareholder value,” Mr Mackenzie added.
BHP Billiton also reported that total copper production for the December 2016 half year decreased by 7% to 712 kt, mainly due to a reduction in volumes at Olympic Dam. It said production for the 2017 financial year was now expected to be approximately 1.62Mt, 2% below prior guidance.
“Olympic Dam copper production for the December 2016 half year decreased by 30% to 78 kt following planned maintenance and a state-wide power outage which commenced on 28 September 2016,” BHP said in a statement.
“Lower volumes reflect the power outage and unplanned maintenance at the refinery which commenced at the end of December 2016, ahead of the major smelter maintenance campaign planned for the September 2017 quarter.”
According to the giant miner, Olympic Dam copper production of approximately 160 kt to 170 kt is now expected for the 2017 financial year.