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BHP increases output of iron as demand picks up

MINING giant BHP Billiton upped its quarterly iron ore production to a record high for the third quarter, it said yesterday.<br /><br />Production of the metal went up by 11 per cent to 30.1m tonnes, as economic conditions pick up, particularly in China.<br /><br />Petroleum output from BHP was also at a record high as its projects in the deepwater of Gulf of Mexico and Western Australia both delivered.<br /><br />Yesterday&rsquo;s figures mean the miner is on track to put out 10 per cent compound annual growth for the next financial year. Lead, zinc and silver output also fared well, putting up increased production. But the group said copper had taken a hit, as the world&rsquo;s fourth biggest copper mine, slimmed down capacity to just 25 per cent because of a damaged shaft.<br />