BHP Billiton iron ore output edges up

Australian miner BHP Billiton this morning reported a one per cent rise in iron ore output to 39,772 tonnes over the three months to September.

Coal output dropped four per cent year on year to 8,938 tonnes.

The miner warned this morning it was less likely it would expand its coal operations in Australia due to the challenging economic environment.

It said in a development update it would not proceed with the 2.5m tonnes per year expansion of the Peak Downs operation in the Caval Ridge mine development in Australia.

Several Australian miners have suffered over the past few months as demand from China slows. Last month, BHP said it would shut its Gregory mine, near Emerald in Australia, as it battles weak prices and rising costs.

In August, it shelved its £12.7bn Olympic Dam copper expansion as it reported a 35 per cent slide in second-half profit.