Australian miner BHP Billiton has announced its production results for October-December 2020 quarter & the first half of the financial year 2020-21 ended December 31. The company’s iron ore output in the October-December quarter 2020 totaled 62.4 million tonnes up by 6% QoQ and 128.4 million tonnes in the first half of the financial year 2020-21 up by 6% YoY. BHP Chief Executive Officer Mr Mike Henry said “BHP delivered strong safety and operational performance in the first half of the 2021 financial year, including record production at Western Australia Iron Ore and concentrator throughput at Escondida.”
WAIO production increased by six per cent to a six month record 128 million tonnes (145 million tonnes 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.
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 Fund3o 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 million tonnes. Production capacity of approximately 8 million tonnes per annum (100 per cent basis) is expected once ramped up.
Guidance for the 2021 financial year has increased to between 245 and 255 million tonnes, reflecting the restart of Samarco in December 2020 (between 1 and 2 million tonnes).