BHP fourth-quarter iron ore output down 1%

BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore operations involve a complex integrated system of seven mines, more than 1,000 kilometres of rail and two separate port facilities. (Image courtesy of BHP)

BHP Group, the world’s biggest miner, on Wednesday flagged $1 billion in productivity losses for fiscal 2019 as unplanned outages and bad weather hurt its iron ore production.

The Anglo-Australian miner’s iron ore output fell to 71 million tonnes during the fourth-quarter ended June 30, compared with 72 million tonnes a year earlier. The figure was lower than a UBS estimate of 72.6 million tonnes.

BHP forecast fiscal 2020 iron ore production at 273 million to 286 million tonnes.

Full-year iron ore production came in at 270 million tonnes, compared with 275 million last year, and in line with the company’s forecast range of 265 million to 270 million tonnes.

Cyclone Veronica tore down the coast of Western Australia in March, hitting several iron ore export hubs, in a return of more turbulent weather after several moderate years.

That had prompted BHP to lower its fiscal 2019 iron ore production outlook.

(By Ambar Warrick and Rushil Dutta; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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