BHP CEO, Andrew Mackenzie, said: “During the March 2019 quarter, we had a strong operational performance despite weather impacts across Australia and Chile. We approved Atlantis Phase 3 and now have five major projects under development. Those projects, our work on transformation, technology and culture, and our successful petroleum and copper exploration and appraisal programmes will grow value and returns for years to come.”
Metallurgical coal production was broadly flat at 31 million t (54 million t on a 100% basis). Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at between 43 - 46 million t (75 and 81 million t on a 100% basis). At Queensland Coal, increased yields at South Walker Creek and higher wash-plant throughput at Poitrel following the purchase of the Red Mountain processing facility supported record production at BMC. Despite record stripping, BMA’s production decreased slightly due to the scheduled longwall move at Broadmeadow in the December 2018 quarter and unfavourable weather impacts in the March 2019 quarter. On 27 March 2019, BMA completed the sale of the Gregory Crinum mine to Sojitz Corp.
Energy coal production was broadly flat at 20 million t. Guidance for the 2019 financial year remains unchanged at approximately 28 - 29 million t. New South Wales energy coal production increased 5% supported by record stripping performance. Production guidance remains unchanged at between 18 - 19 million t for the 2019 financial year. However, following optimisation of the mine plan through the construction of multiple elevated roadways (MERs) which will reduce future cycle times, the focus on higher quality products and challenges with labour hire attraction and retention, unit costs for New South Wales energy coal are now expected to be approximately US$51/t, an increase from previous guidance of between US$43 and US$48/t. Ongoing labour hire challenges are being addressed, including through the initial deployment of BHP Operations Services in the June 2019 quarter. Cerrejón production decreased by 8% due to adverse weather and its impacts on mine sequencing. Production guidance remains unchanged at approximately 10 million t for the 2019 financial year.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/17042019/stable-coal-production-for-bhp/