Australian metals firm BHP has announced it is reducing total copper and nickel production for the full year yet is on track with previous iron ore estimates.
In a nine month trading update on the London Stock Exchange, BHP said its production guidance for the 2022 financial year remained unchanged for iron ore, metallurgical coal and energy coal.
However, full year total copper production guidance has been slashed to between 1,570 and 1,620 kt. This was due to a lowered production guidance for Escondida,a copper porphyry deposit in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile.
Full year nickel production guidance has also been downgraded to between 80 and 85 kt due to a labour crunch arising from the Covid pandemic.
BHP chief executive officer, Mike Henry said the miner delivered “safe and reliable production” in the third quarter.
He added: “Market volatility and inflationary pressures have increased further as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We continue our work to mitigate cost pressures through a sharp focus on operational reliability and cost discipline.
“While we expect conditions to improve during the course of the 2023 calendar year, we anticipate the skills shortages and overall labour market tightness in Australia and Chile to continue in the period ahead.”