Floods dampen BHP coal output

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, said its coal production tumbled 30 per cent this quarter compared to the previous three months, after catastrophic flooding in Australia badly hit output. The London-listed group said its coal output faces long-term disruption, echoing a similar warning from Rio Tinto earlier in the week. BHP’s iron ore output rose four per cent year-on-year on the back of rising demand for industrial raw materials. Iron ore is expected to account for more than $5bn (£3.1bn) in first-half earnings for BHP.