BHP’s metallurgical coal production up by four per cent

In its Operational Review for the quarter ended 30 September 2020, BHP has reported that its metallurgical coal production increased four per cent to 10 Mt (17 Mt on a 100 per cent basis).

Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 40 and 44 Mt (71 and 77 Mt on a 100 per cent basis), although BHP is monitoring for any potential impacts from restrictions on coal imports into China. With Blackwater back at full capacity at the end of the September 2020 quarter, volumes will be weighted to the second half of the financial year.

At Queensland Coal, strong underlying operational performance, including record truck and shovel stripping, was partially offset by planned major wash plant shutdowns at Blackwater, Goonyella, Saraji and Caval Ridge.

Blackwater, Queensland Coal’s largest mine, was back at full capacity by the end of September 2020, following recovery from significant wet weather impacts in the March 2020 quarter.

ENERGY COAL

Energy coal production decreased by 17 per cent to 5 Mt. Guidance for the 2021 financial year is under review due to the ongoing strike at Cerrejon.

NSWEC production was broadly unchanged at 4 Mt with significantly improved truck productivity offset by a higher average strip ratio. Guidance for the 2021 financial year remains unchanged at between 15 and 17 Mt, although BHP is monitoring for any potential impacts from restrictions on coal imports into China. As a result of tropical cyclones in south-eastern Asia, several shipments were delayed until early October 2020.

Cerrejon production decreased by 49 per cent to 1 Mt predominantly due to a strike that started on 31 August 2020.

Guidance for the 2021 financial year of approximately 7 Mt is under review.

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