BHP lifted copper production 11 per cent in the September quarter, compared to a year ago, and says it remains on track to meet full-year production and unit cost guidance across all assets.
Chief executive Mike Henry said it was a busy quarter of planned maintenance, particularly at the miner’s Australian assets, especially the seven central Queensland coalmines it co-owns with Mitsubishi.
BHP’s Spence copper mine in Chile increased production by 19 per cent to a record 69,000 tonnes, largely as a result of improved performance at its $US2.5 billion concentrator plant completed last year.
Integrating the Prominent Hill and Carrapateena copper mines in South Australia – which BHP acquired in May with its $9.6 billion acquisition of OZ Minerals – into BHP’s existing Olympic Dam copper-uranium operation in the region has gone well, the company said.
“We saw strong operational performance in the first full quarter of production for the new province, as we bring our copper assets together and progress further exploration drilling,” Mr Henry said.
The first stage of BHP’s $C7.5 billion ($A8.6 billion) Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada, is now one-third complete after what Mr Henry described as a productive summer.
The operation is expected to commence production in late 2026, lifting Canada’s output of the agricultural fertiliser by 22 per cent.