BHP at full throttle

BHP Billiton's operational update for the nine months ended March 2014 showed record production achieved for four commodities and at 10 operations.

Unlike rival Rio Tinto, which released production data yesterday, BHP said the weather had a "relatively limited impact" on its iron ore operations.

The continued ramp-up of its new Jimblebar mined underpinned record production at Western Australia Iron Ore of 163 million tonnes (100% basis).

The number one diversified miner also raised full-year production guidance by a further 5 million tonnes to 217 million tonnes.

Queensland Coal achieved record annualised production of 69 million tonnes (100% basis) in the March 2014 quarter.

A sustainable improvement in productivity and the successful ramp-up of Daunia has underpinned an increase in total metallurgical coal production guidance to 43.5 million tonnes for the 2014 financial year, the Melbourne-based company announced.

Petroleum liquids production increased by 16% to 77 million barrels of oil equivalent for the nine months ended March 2014, boosted by a 71% increase at Onshore US.

As a result of the successful divestment of Liverpool Bay and well remediation activities in the Hawkville that are now complete, total petroleum production for the 2014 financial year is expected to be approximately 245 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The overall reduction in full-year guidance has been mitigated by an increased contribution from higher-margin crude and condensate.

Full-year copper production guidance remains unchanged at 1.7 million tonnes, with a strong June 2014 quarter anticipated, BHP said.