BHP Billiton follows suit: Record iron ore production

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie.

The world’s largest miner may be cutting costs but on Wednesday BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) reported record iron ore production, gaining 2.35% on the markets

Just weeks after hitting four-year lows the miner announced record performance in iron ore, coal and copper.

The company’s Western Australia Iron Ore broke annual output numbers for the thirteenth consecutive year, with shipments in the June 2013 quarter increasing to an annualised rate of 217 million tonnes (100% basis). Total iron ore yield rose by 7%.

Copper output at the Escondida project in Chile was up 28% to 1.1 million tons, while both Antamina in Peru and Pampa Norte in Chila achieved record numbers. Total copper operations were up 10%.

The miner’s metallurgical coal production rose 13% with Queensland Coal posting 54% increases in the June 2013 quarter.

BHP’s announcement comes one day after the world’s second largest iron ore producer Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) released its Q2 2013 operations review, also showing record iron ore output.

Despite slowed growth in China – the companies’ biggest customer – iron ore demand is up, Bloomberg reports.

“There’s no doubt that while the rate of growth in China has slowed, the demand for iron ore continues to increase,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Australia told Bloomberg. “Those volume increases will at least to some extent offset the fall in revenues that comes from lower commodity prices.”

Creative Commons image by: Dr Abbate