BHP says production guidance for the 2022 financial year remains unchanged for iron ore, metallurgical coal and energy coal. Full year total copper production guidance has been lowered to between 1,570 and 1,620 kt, reflecting lowered production guidance for Escondida. Full year nickel production guidance has been lowered to between 80 and 85 kt due to COVID-19 related labour constraints.
Full year unit cost guidance for Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO), Escondida and Queensland Coal remains unchanged. Full year unit cost guidance for New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC) has been increased to between US$76 and US$81 per tonne, reflecting a targeted increase in the proportion of higher quality coal to capture more value from the record high prices for higher quality thermal coal.
BHP’s potash major projects under development are tracking to plan. The Jansen shaft project is 99% complete while Jansen Stage 1 activities continue to progress at the port, the Jansen site and for the underground mining systems.
The divestment of BHP’s interest in BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) to Stanmore Resources Limited is expected to complete on 3 May 2022.
Completion of the proposed merger of BHP’s oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum Ltd is targeted for 1 June 2022, subject to the satisfaction of conditions precedent including approval by Woodside shareholders at the Woodside general meeting on 19 May 2022.
At the end of March 2022, BHP had two major projects under development, the US$2.97 billion Jansen mine shafts project and the US$5.7 billion Jansen Stage 1 project. Its major projects under development are tracking to plan.
Market volatility and inflationary pressures have increased further as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. BHP continues its work to mitigate cost pressures through a sharp focus on operational reliability and cost discipline. While BHP expects conditions to improve during the course of the 2023 calendar year, it anticipates the skills shortages and overall labour market tightness in Australia and Chile to continue in the period ahead.
The BHP Foundation has donated US$5 million to aid the response to the humanitarian crisis.