December 5, 2022

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BHP’s Q1 iron ore production rises as COVID-19 impacts recede (NYSE:BHP)

Iron Ore reclaimer machine and stockpile

Dazman/E+ via Getty Images

BHP (NYSE:BHP) reported Wednesday its iron ore production rose in the first quarter of its fiscal year, reflecting continued strong supply chain performance and lower COVID-19 related impacts than the prior quarter.

The world’s largest miner by market value said it produced 65.1M metric tons of iron ore in the quarter, up 3% Y/Y, citing a strong operational performance at its Western Australian assets and a continued ramp-up at its South Flank project.

Q1 copper production rose 9% Y/Y to 410K metric tons, citing a rebound in Olympic Dam output following significant smelter maintenance work in the year-earlier period, and nickel production jumped 16% to 20.7K metric tons, also rebounding from maintenance work a year ago.

However, wet weather was blamed for a 1% decline in output of metallurgical coal to 6.7M tons and a 38% drop in thermal coal production to 2.6M tons.

BHP (BHP) also said it was working to bring forward its Jansen stage 1 potash project in Canada, targeting first production in 2026.

Iron ore prices are near their lowest in a year after China’s President Xi Jinping reiterated his zero-tolerance policy for COVID-19 that has dented steel demand.