BHP Billiton output soars

Suzie Neuwirth

FTSE 100-listed BHP Billiton today announced that production at two of its mines had exceeded guidance this year and expansion of its iron ore division is running ahead of schedule.

Total iron ore production increased by seven per cent to 170 million tonnes in the 2013 financial year, while copper increased by 10 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes, the miner said.

Output from its Western Australia Iron Ore mine hit a record 187 million tonnes this year and is expected to increase to around 207 million tonnes next year.

Production from BHP Billiton’s iron ore expansion project - the Jimblebar Mine Expansion - is now expected in the December 2013 quarter, ahead of schedule.

Rio Tinto yesterday announced record iron production in the first half of the year, the mining giants defying a drop-off in demand from China and a dwindling iron ore price.