Australia’s mining firm BHP released operational performance for FY2021 (July 2020-June 2021) reporting mixed performance across segments. 

 

Guidance 

BHP ProductionFY21FY22 Guidance
Copper (mn mt)1.631.59-1.76
Iron Ore (mn mt)253.5249-259
Nickel (kt)8985-95

The company’s production guidance for the current fiscal is subject to the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance is as per BHP’s share of production.

 

Iron Ore

BHP’s iron ore production increased by 2pc to 253.5mn mt in FY2021. In Q4, ore production was 65.2mn mt, which is 9pc higher than the March quarter and down by 2pc from a year-ago quarter. Iron ore production zoomed at WAIO, which resulted in a strong operational performance and also enhanced the miners’ supply chain reliability. South Flank project will ramp up to a full annual production capacity of 80mn mt by over three years.

 

Copper

BHP’s copper production fell by 5pc to 1.63mn mt in FY2021 from the prior fiscal. In Q4, the company produced 403,000mt of copper, 3pc higher than Q3 and down by 3pc from a year-ago quarter. Higher volume compared to Q3 was due to the ongoing ramp-up of concentrate production at Spence. Copper equivalent in FY2022 would be in line with FY21, forecasts the company, despite the reduction in Chilean workforce due to the pandemic. 

 

Production fell annually with 10pc decreased production from Pampa Norte to 218,000mt in FY2021 due to a decline in stacking feed grade.

 

Nickel 

Nickel production in FY2021 was reported at 89,000mt, 11pc higher than a year ago. In Q4, production stood at 22,400mt, 10pc above Q3 and 6pc below the prior-year quarter. Planned maintenance undertaken in Q4 resulted in higher nickel volumes in Q4. 

 

Production is expected to be between 85,000 and 95,000 in FY2022 with planned maintenance in Q1. The first production from the nickel sulphate plant is expected in the September quarter. 

 

Zinc

Zinc production was reported at 145,089mt and 35,483mt in Q4. Production is up by 64pc in FY2021 from FY2020. Quarterly production is up by 7pc and up by 158pc from the prior year.

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