BHP’s Iron ore production increases by six per cent

AUSTRALIA – According to the Operational Review for the Half Year Ended 31 December 2020, total iron ore production increased by six per cent to 128 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year has increased to between 245 and 255 Mt, reflecting the restart of Samarco in December 2020 (between 1 and 2 Mt).

WAIO production increased by six per cent to a six month record 128 Mt (145 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), reflecting record production at Jimblebar and strong performance across the supply chain, with significant improvements in car dumper productivity and reliability.

This was partially offset by weather impacts and the planned Mining Area C and South Flank major tie-in activity. Production in the March 2021 quarter is expected to be impacted by planned Ore Handling Plant maintenance across the mines and continued Mining Area C and South Flank tie-in activity.

Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 244 and 253 Mt (276 and 286 Mt on a 100 per cent basis).

Samarco re-commenced iron ore pellet production in December 2020 after meeting the licencing requirements to restart operations at the Germano complex in Minas Gerais and Ubu complex in Espirito Santo, Brazil.

Samarco’s operations were suspended following the failure of the Fundao dam on 5 November 2015. Samarco’s gradual restart of operations incorporates one concentrator at the Germano complex and a pelletising plant at Ubu, as well as a new system of tailings disposal combining a confined pit and tailings filtering system for dry stacking.

Production for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between 1 and 2 Mt. Production capacity of approximately 8 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) is expected once ramped up.

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