BHP achieves record production numbers despite COVID-19

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BHP has managed to achieve record-breaking production numbers at its Western Australian iron ore operations, as well as at the Caval Ridge and Poitrel coal mines in Queensland despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The industry titans saw an impressive 248 million tonnes of iron ore produced during the 2020 financial year, thanks to record production rates at the Jimbelbar and Yandi mines in Western Australia. 

Over the past four years, a number of maintenance programs have allowed Western Australia Iron Ore (WAOI) to also produce at a record annualised run rate beyond 300 million tonnes during the June quarter. 

BHP went to great lengths to overcome border restrictions, employing over 900 contractors and employees in business-critical roles, temporarily relocating them interstate to Western Australia.

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BHP's positive achievements last financial year extend beyond their Western Australian mining operations. Queensland Coal was mined to record numbers, with underground coal at the Broadmeadow mine reaching record annual production figures.

BHP expects to achieve full year unit cost guidance at WAIO, Queensland Coal and NSWEC.

“This performance, achieved in the face of COVID-19 and other challenges, is a result of the outstanding effort of our people and the support of our communities, governments, customers and suppliers,” BHP chief executive Mike Henry said.

“Our diversified portfolio and high quality assets, together with our strong balance sheet, make us resilient to the ongoing uncertainty in the markets for our commodities,”

“…We remain confident in the outlook for demand for our products over the medium to long-term.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) produced over 4.3 million tonnes at Caval Ridge, and BHP Mitsui Coal produced over 4.1 million tonnes at Poitrel on a year to date basis through June.

This was achieved despite planned major wash plant shutdowns in the first half of the year and significantly higher rainfall from January through to February.

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