BMC productivity surge lifts BHP

RECORD BHP Mitsui Corporation production and improved mining performance across most operations following significant wet weather impacts in the previous quarter helped BHP lift its June quarter coal production 20% to 12 million tonnes.
BMC productivity surge lifts BHP BMC productivity surge lifts BHP BMC productivity surge lifts BHP BMC productivity surge lifts BHP BMC productivity surge lifts BHP

BHP's Caval Ridge mine in Queensland.

BMC's record production was due to improved wash plant performance and increased yields at South Walker Creek, and higher wash plant throughput at Poitrel following the purchase of the remaining 50% of Red Mountain processing facility.

 

However, productivity for the June 2019 half year was impacted by higher than expected unit costs at Queensland Coal because of lower volumes, wet weather and increased contractor stripping costs.

 

New South Wales Energy Coal was also impacted by higher strip ratio and contractor stripping costs during the June half.

 

On an annual basis, metallurgical coal production was broadly flat at 42Mt for FY2019.

 

Production is expected to be between 41Mt and 45Mt in the 2020 financial year.

 

"With major wash plant shutdowns at Goonyella, Peak Downs and Caval Ridge planned in the September 2019 quarter, volumes will be significantly weighted to the subsequent three quarters of the financial year," the company said.

 

Energy coal production for the 2019 financial year decreased 6% to 27Mt. Production is expected to drop to between 24 and 26Mt in the 2020 financial year.

 

New South Wales Energy Coal production decreased 2% as record stripping performance was offset by higher strip ratios and lower wash plant yields due to it progressing through the monocline.

 

The plan at NSW Energy coal is to optimise the mine plan to focus on higher quality products given widening quality differentials.

 

In the 2020 financial year, the combination of the monocline and a changed product mix to focus on higher quality products is expected to result in a decrease in production to between 15Mt and 17Mt.

 

Cerrejón's production decreased 13% due to adverse weather and its impacts on mine sequencing.

 

Production is expected to be approximately 9 Mt in the 2020 financial year.