Anglo-Australian diversified miner BHP Billiton reported its guidance on petroleum, copper and iron ore was unchanged for its 2017-18 full year after it announced record iron ore production at its Western Australia facility in the October-December quarter.
The company said in its December quarter operational review that underlying earnings in the first half of its financial year would include a $250m-$350m impairment charge related to its Escondida copper operations.
Operational highlights - December quarter
- Petroleum production of 99 million barrels was 7% lower than the same period a year ago due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Nate
- Copper ouput of 833,000 tonnes was up 17% on last year thanks to increased production at Escondida
- Iron ore output of 117 million tonnes matched last year thanks to record production at Jimblebar
- Energy coal production of 14 million tonnes was up 4% on last year
- Metallurgical coal output fell 4% to 20 million tonnes on lower volumes at Broadmeadow and Blackwater
BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie (left), said: "A strong operating performance in the first half allowed us to capture the benefit of higher prices.
"The momentum we've built across the wider portfolio during the second quarter will flow through to an expected stronger second half operating performance.
"Together with incremental production from latent capacity projects in iron ore and copper, we expect volume growth of six per cent for the full year."
Shares in BHP Billiton rose 0.2% to £16.10 in early trade on the London Stock Exchange as industrial metals rose on commodity exchanges.