BHP reports its total iron ore production increased by one per cent to 129 Mt for the half year ending on 31 December 2021. Guidance for the 2022 financial year remains unchanged at between 249 and 259 Mt.
WAIO finished the half year at near record production levels at 127 Mt (144 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), despite impacts of temporary labour constraints relating to COVID-19 border restrictions and the planned major maintenance on car dumper one and the Jimblebar train load out.
This reflects continued strong supply chain performance including higher car dumper performance and improved rail cycle times. South Flank ramp up to full production capacity of 80 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) over three years remains on track with a peak rate of 45 Mtpa achieved in the half year contributing to record lump sales.
In December 2021, BHP approved the South Flank Autonomous Haulage Project to automate the current fleet of Komatsu haul trucks. The project is scheduled to commence in the June 2022 quarter and is expected to be completed within 18 months.
The proposed easing of Western Australia’s border restrictions on 5 February 2022 may introduce some short-term disruption to the operating environment as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves in the state.
Samarco production was 2.1 Mt (BHP share), following the recommencement of iron ore pellet production at one concentrator in December 2020. Guidance of between 3 and 4 Mt (BHP share) remains unchanged for the 2022 financial year.