MELBOURNE (dpa-AFX) - BHP (BHP.AX, BLT.L, BBL, BHP) reported that its second-quarter total iron ore production increased 5.95% to 66.10 million tonnes from 62.39 million tonnes in the previous year, reflecting strong supply chain performance, increased ore car availability and the continued ramp up of South Flank. This was partially offset by the impact of temporary rail labour shortages due to COVID-19 related border restrictions.
The company still expects total iron ore production to be between 249 million tonnes and 259 million tonnes for the financial year 2022.
Western Australia Iron Ore or WAIO production for the second quarter rose about 4.35% to 65.07 million tonnes from 62.36 million tonnes last year.
Quarterly WAIO production for the quarter increased 4.89% to 73.85 million tonnes from 70.41 million tonnes in the previous year on a 100 per cent basis.
Total copper production for the half year ended 31 December 2021 decreased by 12 per cent to 742 thousand tonnes.
Full year copper production is trending towards the low end of the guidance range for the 2022 financial year, which reflects lower production guidance at Pampa Norte, and narrowed guidance ranges for Escondida and Olympic Dam. Volumes will be weighted to the second half of the financial year as expected.
Metallurgical coal production for the half year ended 31 December 2021 decreased by eight percent to 18 million tonnes.
Metallurgical coal production guidance for the 2022 financial year has been reduced to between 38 million tonnes and 41 million tonnes (68 million tonnes and 72 million tonnes on a 100 per cent basis) from between 39 million tonnes and 44 million tonnes (70 million tonnes and 78 million tonnes on a 100 per cent basis). The revision is a result of significant La Niña related wet weather impacts during the December 2021 quarter coupled with COVID-19 related labour constraints.
BHP announced a final decision to unify BHP's corporate structure under its existing Australian parent company, BHP Group Limited. Shareholder meetings to vote on unification will be held on 20 January 2022. Subject to shareholder approval and UK Court sanction, unification is expected to complete by 31 January 2022.
BHP said completion of the proposed merger of Petroleum business with Woodside is expected in the June 2022 quarter subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent including approval by Woodside shareholders.
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