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BHP maintains 2019-20 iron ore, met coal production guidance

Dienstag, 21 Januar 2020

Australian mining giant BHP has maintained its fiscal 2019-2020 (July-June) iron ore and metallurgical coal production guidance, as it plans to ramp up volumes in the second half to meet the target, the company said Tuesday.

The guidance for BHP's Western Australian Iron Ore, or WAIO, business stood at 273 million-286 million wet mt on a 100% basis.

The assets produced 137 million mt in July-December, up 2% on the year. The increase was attributed to record production at Jimblebar and the impact of a train derailment in the December half of 2018 -- partly offset by a major car dumper maintenance campaign which completed mid-October.

WAIO will need to produce 142.5 million wmt over January-June in order to hit the mid-point of the guidance.

JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets said in research notes Tuesday that WAIO's October-December iron ore production of 68 million wmt on a 100% basis and 60 million wmt for BHP's share were below their forecasts of 73 million wmt and 62 million wmt, respectively.

BHP saw an average realized iron ore price during the half of $78.3 million wmt FOB, which compares to $55.62/wmt a year earlier and $77.74/wmt in the January-June period.

RBC said it expects a decline in iron ore prices throughout the current half.

Metallurgical coal



BHP's Australian Queensland Coal's total guidance for 2019-2020 remained at 73 million-79 million mt after it produced 36 million mt in the December half.

The December half result was down 2% on the year with BHP pointing to strong operational performances being offset by planned major wash plant shutdowns, some low opening raw coal inventories at Blackwater and truck and shovel underperformance at South Walker Creek.

For the December quarter, the production was 10.92 million mt, up 6% on the year and 17% on the quarter. JP Morgan and RBC had forecast 11.3 million mt and 11 million mt, respectively.

Queensland Coal will need to produce 40 million mt in the current half to hit the guidance mid-point.

BHP achieved an average metallurgical coal price of $140.94/mt in the December half, down from $179.82/mt a year earlier and $179.53/mt in the June half. Hard coking coal came in at $154.01/mt, down from $197.86/mt on the year and $201.33/mt half on half. And, weak coking coal was $101.06/mt, down from $134.12/mt year on year and $126.46/mt half on half.


-- Nathan Richardson

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