BHP Forecasts Higher Copper Output, Drop in Petroleum Production -- Commodity Comment

Date : 01/21/2020 @ 1:07PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : BHP Group Limited (BHP)
Quote : 46.44  -0.34 (-0.73%) @ 10:27PM
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BHP Forecasts Higher Copper Output, Drop in Petroleum Production -- Commodity Comment

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By Joe Wallace

 

BHP forecast higher copper production and a fall in petroleum output in the 2020 financial year, which ends in June, as it published operational results for the past six months. Here are some highlights.

 

Copper

 

BHP mined 885,000 metric tons of copper in the final six months of 2019--the first half of its financial year--or 7% more than in the same period of 2018. A 4% increase in copper production at Escondida contributed to this rise, as improving maintenance at the Chilean mine offset a decline in ore quality and stoppages caused by widespread protests.

For the year as a whole, BHP said it will mine between 1.71 million and 1.82 million tons of copper, up from 1.69 million in the 2019 financial year. The company expects to replace a refinery crane at the Olympic Dam mine in southern Australia in the second quarter of the 2020 calendar year.

 

Petroleum

 

Petroleum output fell 9% to 57 million barrels of oil equivalent in the final six months of 2019, as Tropical Storm Barry knocked crude-oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile natural-gas production fell 8% to 189 billion cubic feet, partly reflecting a fall in sales from Trinidad and Tobago. BHP expects to produce around 110 million barrels of oil equivalent over the 2020 financial year, which would represent a fall from 121 million in 2019.

 

Iron Ore

 

BHP mined 121 million metric tons of iron ore in final six months of 2019, 2% more than in the same period a year earlier. It expects to produce between 242 million and 253 million tons of the steel ingredient in the 2020 financial year as a whole.

BHP said work can resume at Samarco--the Brazilian mine where two dams collapsed in 2015, killing 19 people--once the filtration system is complete, the site has met safety requirements, and Samarco's shareholders have approved the restart. It gave no guidance as to when this would take place.

 

Write to Joe Wallace at joe.wallace@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 21, 2020 07:52 ET (12:52 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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