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BHP Q2 Copper Production Update

Metal News - Published on Thu, 18 Jul 2019

Image Source: Port Hedland Industries Council
BHP announced that its total copper production decreased by four per cent to 1,689 kt. Production of between 1,705 and 1,820 kt is expected in the 2020 financial year. Escondida copper production decreased by 6% to 1,135 kt, as an expected 12 per cent decline in copper grade was partially offset by record average concentrator throughput of 344 ktpd. Production of between 1,160 and 1,230 kt is expected in the 2020 financial year, underpinned by a further uplift in concentrator throughput, partly offset by an approximately five per cent reduction in copper grade of concentrator feed.

Pampa Norte copper production decreased by seven per cent to 247 kt due to adverse weather impacts in the March 2019 quarter and a production outage at Spence following a fire at the electro-winning plant in September 2018. This was partially offset by record ore milled at Spence and Cerro Colorado after implementing maintenance improvement initiatives as part of our broader transformation program. Production at Pampa Norte is expected to be between 230 and 250 kt in the 2020 financial year.

Olympic Dam copper production increased by 17 per cent to 160 kt as a result of the major smelter maintenance campaign in the prior period, which was partially offset by an unplanned acid plant outage in August 2018, and two minor production outages in May 2019 relating to the smelter and to the refinery crane. Underground operations continue to perform well, with record development kilometres achieved(4). Production is expected to increase to between 180 and 205 kt in the 2020 financial year reflecting improved operational performance, partially offset by planned maintenance related to the replacement of the refinery crane (pre-work scheduled for the September 2019 quarter and physical replacement and commissioning scheduled for the March 2020 quarter). During the 2019 financial year, we successfully completed the heap leach research and development trial, confirming the viability of the technology to extract copper, uranium, gold and silver at Olympic Dam.

Antamina copper production increased by six per cent to 147 kt and zinc production decreased by 18 per cent to 98 kt, reflecting higher copper head grades and lower zinc head grades, in line with the mine plan. Antamina successfully completed a collective agreement with the SUTRACOMASA Union on 11 June 2019, for 36 months expiring on 31 July 2021. Copper production of approximately 135 kt and zinc production of approximately 110 kt is expected in the 2020 financial year.

During the June 2019 quarter, we went live with our Integrated Operations centre in Santiago, which enables planning, control and monitoring across the supply chains for Escondida and Spence.

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Posted By : Amom Remju on Thu, 18 Jul 2019
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