|BHP digs up slightly more iron ore
Mining giant BHP Billiton said iron ore production in western Australia hit another record in the six months to December, while petroleum output was on track.
BHP said iron ore production for the half year was 81.962 million tonnes, a 2 percent jump year on year, AFP reports.
“Western Australian iron ore delivered a 12th consecutive December half year production and sales record as the business continued to benefit from the company's decade-long investment in supply chain capacity,’’ BHP said.
BHP said it was on track for western Australia production of iron ore to increase by 5 percent to about 183 million tonnes in the 2013 financial year.
In petroleum, expected to account for a greater amount of revenue in coming years, the company produced 121 million barrels of oil equivalent during the December half, an 11 percent increase from same period in the previous year.
Full year guidance was unchanged at 240 million barrels of oil equivalent.
In its half-year production report, the world's biggest diversified miner also said it expected a “substantial reduction,’’ in unit costs at Queensland coal operations after it closed an unprofitable mine in that state.
BHP's production of metallurgical coal, used in steel-making, climbed 5 percent in the December quarter over the December 2011 quarter.
Copper output was also strong, jumping 5 percent over the quarter compared to the December 2011 quarter, but aluminum production fell 5 percent and nickel was down 10 percent on the same measure.