BHP, in its Operational Review for the quarter says total iron ore production decreased by four percent to 63 Mt. Guidance for the 2022 financial year remains unchanged at between 249 and
259 Mt. WAIO production decreased by six percent to 62 Mt (71 Mt on a 100 percent basis), mainly reflecting higher planned maintenance during the quarter, including major maintenance of car dumper one and the train load-out at Jimblebar.
Temporary rail labour shortages related to COVID-19 related border restrictions also had a minor impact. This was partially offset by strong mine performance and optimization of Yandi’s end-of-life ramp-down.
South Flank ramp up continues, with the additional temporary crushing capacity to provide ore for rail buffer during commissioning. Ramp up to full production capacity of 80 Mtpa (100 percent basis) over three years remains unchanged.
On 7 September 2021, BHP received regulatory approval to increase capacity at its Port Hedland operations to 330 Mtpa (100 percent basis), subject to the outcomes of standard appeals processes. BHP’s near-term focus remains on the sustainable achievement of 290 Mtpa, with plans to creep beyond this through productivity in the medium term. To support this on 13 October 2021, the Board approved a port debottlenecking program which is expected to commence in the December 2021 quarter.
Samarco production was 1.0 Mt 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.