BHP Billiton Cuts Annual Coking Coal, Copper Production Guidance

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU) scaled back guidance for annual production of coking coal and copper after a cyclone battered eastern Australia last month and a lengthy strike at the Escondida mine in Chile.

BHP also narrowed its forecast for iron-ore output for the fiscal year, after notching up a 3% rise in production of the steelmaking commodity over the nine months through March thanks to record volumes at its Western Australian operations.

Nine-month coking coal production increased by 2% year-over-year to 31 million metric tons, as record output from five mines in eastern Queensland state offset the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the damage it caused to the rail network of operator Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AZJ.AU). Due to the rail damage, full-year production guidance was reduced to between 39 million and 41 million tons.

Copper production for the nine months was down 20% to 939,000 tons due to the impact of the strike at the Escondida venture and BHP said it now expected copper output for the fiscal year of between 1.33 million and 1.36 million tons.

Iron-ore production for the nine months rose to 171.2 million tons, although wet weather in the third quarter meant a drop of 11% quarter-over-quarter to 53.58 million tons. For the fiscal year, BHP said it now expected its share of output from its iron-ore mines to be between 231 million and 234 million tons.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 25, 2017 19:21 ET (23:21 GMT)