Total iron ore production increased by four per cent to 188 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 245 and 255 Mt. Volumes are expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range as a result of strong performance at WAIO.
WAIO production increased by three per cent to a nine month record 187 Mt (211 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), reflecting record production at Jimblebar and strong performance across the supply chain, with improved train cycle times and car dumper performance and reliability.
This record performance was achieved despite significant weather impacts in December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021, and the planned Mining Area C and South Flank major tie-in activity.
Commissioning activities for South Flank are expected to commence in the June 2021 quarter. Volumes for the 2021 financial year are expected to be in the upper half of the guidance range of between 244 and 253 Mt (276 and 286 Mt on a 100 per cent basis).
Samarco production was 915 kt, after iron ore pellet production re-commenced at one concentrator in December 2020. Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 1 and 2 Mt (BHP share). Production capacity of approximately 8 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) is expected once operations are gradually ramped up.