RESULTS: BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie.
RESULTS: BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie. Contributed

BHP reports stagnant metallurgical coal production

BHP has released its operational review for the 2019 financial year reporting "flat" metallurgical coal production of 42 Mt.

Production is expected to remain between 41 and 45 Mt in the 2020 financial year.

With major wash plant shutdowns at Goonyella, Peak Downs and Caval Ridge planned in the September 2019 quarter, the company said volumes would be "significantly weighted to the subsequent three quarters of the financial year".

At Queensland Coal, the company reported record annual production was achieved at BMC due to improved wash plant performance and increased yields at South Walker Creek and higher wash plant throughput at Poitrel after the purchase of the remaining 50 per cent of the Red Mountain processing facility.

"Despite record stripping, BMA's production decreased slightly due to unfavourable weather impacts (March and June 2019 quarters) and lower wash plant yields (June 2019 quarter)," the company said.

BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company had recorded an overall 11 per cent increase in quarterly production for the 2019 financial year, driven by "strong operational performances" across its portfolio and annual production records at a number of petroleum, copper, iron ore and metallurgical coal operations.

"Our overall production was broadly in line with last year, overcoming the impacts of weather, grade and natural field decline, and unplanned outages in the first half," Mr Mackenzie said.

"Our exploration program delivered encouraging results, with seven out of nine petroleum wells successful and further evaluation of the Oak Dam copper prospect underway.

"Strong underlying performance puts us in a position to deliver higher volumes in the 2020 financial year."

Queensland Coal is made up of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance and BHP Mitsui Coal assets in the Bowen Basin.

Owned by BHP and Mitsubishi Development, BMA is Australia's largest coal producer and supplier of seaborne metallurgical coal.

BMA operates seven Bowen Basin mines: Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Daunia, Peak Downs, Saraji, Blackwater and Caval Ridge.

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