The high production at the operational level, which was underpinned by increased plant and equipment utilisation, was offset by the completion of longwall mining at Crinum which is now under care and maintenance, a convergence event at the Broadmeadow mine and unfavourable weather conditions.
First shipment from the Haju mine in Indonesia was achieved during the March 2016 quarter.
Metallurgical coal production for the nine months ended March 2016 remained broadly in line at 31 million tonnes. Guidance for the 2016 financial year remains unchanged at 40Mt, the company said.
Energy coal production for the nine months ended March 2016 decreased by 10% to 27Mt.
Guidance for the 2016 financial year remains unchanged at 37Mt.
New South Wales Energy Coal production for the nine months ended March 2016 declined by 10% due to the impact of heavy rainfall, blasting constraints and the progression of the mine plan through a higher strip ratio zone.
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie said: “The productivity of our company continues to improve notwithstanding the disruption largely caused by adverse weather this quarter.”
Cerrejón volumes declined by 7% as drought conditions in Colombia continued to constrain production.
Navajo Coal production in the US for the nine months ended March 2016 was broadly unchanged, despite a 51% decline during the March 2016 quarter reflecting lower customer demand.
The transfer of management and operatorship for Navajo Coal to Navajo Transitional Energy Company remains on track for 31 December 2016.
The sale of the San Juan Mine to Westmoreland Coal Company was completed on 31 January 2016.