BHP posts lower copper equivalent production in September quarter due to planned maintenance
(Kitco News) - BHP reported yesterday that the group copper equivalent production decreased by 5% in the September 2021 quarter following lower minerals volumes largely a result of planned maintenance.
The company said it produced 376.5 ktonnes of copper in September quarter, 7% less than in June quarter, primarily due to lower volumes at Olympic Dam because of the commencement of the planned smelter maintenance campaign, albeit approximately one month delayed due to COVID-19 related border restrictions.
The company's iron ore output of 63.3 million tonnes was 3% lower than in June quarter reflecting planned major maintenance including car dumper one and the impacts of temporary rail labour shortages due to COVID-19 related border restrictions, which have improved during September 2021.
BHP also produced 8.9 million tonnes of metallurgical coal in September, a 25% decline over June quarter, primarily due to planned maintenance at BMA, a planned longwall move at Broadmeadow and mining in higher strip ratio areas at BMC.
The company's nickel production of 17.8 ktonnes was 21% lower than in June quarter due to planned maintenance across the supply chain.
CEO Mike Henry stated, "BHP's operations delivered reliably during the first quarter and we completed planned major maintenance activities across a number of our assets. We continue to skillfully navigate the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. We progressed the ramp-up of production of high quality iron ore at South Flank and copper from the Spence Growth Option, and we delivered first nickel sulphate from our new plant at Kwinana.
He added, "We sanctioned the Jansen Stage 1 potash project in Canada, and made a series of targeted investments in copper and nickel exploration in Australia and Canada. These are aligned with our efforts to increase our exposure to future facing commodities and to position the portfolio to continue to deliver attractive returns and long-term value to shareholders."