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BHP Billiton’s metallurgical coal up, thermal coal down

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World Coal,

BHP’s metallurgical coal production for the December half year increased by 1% to 21 million t. The company reported that guidance for the 2017 financial year remains unchanged at 44 million t.

Record production at Peak Downs was achieved during December 2016 quarter with coal opportunistically trucked to Caval Ridge in order to utilise latent w ash plant capacity.

The company’s thermal coal production for the December 2016 half year decreased by 4% to 14 million t. The 2017 financial year guidance for this coal also remains unchanged at 30 million t.

New South Wales Energy Coal recorded improved underlying truck utilisation, however production declined by 13% as a higher drawdown of in-put and ROM inventories benefitted the December 2015 half year. This was partially offset by 11% increase in volumes at Cerrejón compared to the December 2015 half year, which was constrained by drought conditions.

The divestment of Navajo Coal was complete in 29 July 2016, with management of the mine transferred to Navajo Transitional Energy Company on 31 December 2016.

BHP Billiton CEO, Andrew Mackenzie, said: “We have performed well during a period of higher prices, with record iron ore volumes achieved at WAIO. 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.”

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