BHP iron ore output rises 3%
BHP's iron ore production rose three per cent in the fourth quarter ended June 30 as productivity improved, cementing a record annual output as it set a bigger target for the current year.
The world's biggest miner says its iron ore output rose to 72 million tonnes during the three months through June, compared with 70 million tonnes a year ago.
Full-year production came in at 275 million tonnes, with BHP setting a production target of 273-283 million tonnes for 2017-18.
"We have delivered a strong finish to the 2018 financial year with an eight per cent increase in annual production and record output at Western Australia Iron Ore, Queensland Coal and at our Spence copper mine in Chile," BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said.
BHP shares were up $1.07, or 3.3 per cent, at $33.57 in a stronger Australian share market at 1119 AEST.
UBS had estimated fourth-quarter iron ore shipments to remain almost constant year over year at 71.7 million tonnes on a 100 per cent basis.
The miner added that it expects to record a charge of $650 million in its 2017-18 financial results for BHP Billiton Brasil on account of the Samarco Dam failure.
BHP also said that its plan to divest its underperforming US shale oil and gas business is on track and added that transactions could be completed later in the year.
The race for onshore shale assets in the Eagle Ford, Permian, Haynesville and Fayetteville basins, is led by UK oil giant BP, which made an offer worth well in excess of $10 billion, people familiar with the matter told Reuters in June.
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