Tough year for BHP
BHP Billiton has fallen well short of its 260 million tonne iron ore export target for last financial year.
BHP’s Pilbara mines fell 3mt short of the company's financial year export target — itself a 10mt revision of earlier estimates — and the company did not give an update on whether it had reached its goal of cutting average unit costs to $US15/t for the year.
The global mining giant said it expected to ship 265 million to 275 million tonnes from its Pilbara mines this financial year, and to reach a “system capacity” of 290mt in the 2019 financial year.
BHP’s share of production from its global iron ore operations fell 2 per cent to 227 million tonnes because of the closure of the Samarco mine in Brazil after the tailings dam failure that still dogs the company
Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said over the next 12 months the company expected volumes and costs across its minerals businesses to benefit from a continued drive to improve productivity safely.
“We can create significant value through further cost reductions, taking advantage of latent capacity in our assets and investing in low-capital projects,” he said.
“These initiatives are expected to grow production by 5 per cent in copper, up to 4 per cent in iron ore and 3 per cent in metallurgical coal in the next financial year.
“In petroleum, we have delivered strong performance from our conventional assets.”
Operations at BHP Billiton's Mt Whaleback Mine in Newman.