By Rhiannon Hoyle 

SYDNEY--BHP Group Ltd. reported a 4% fall in third-quarter iron-ore output because of unfavorable weather and maintenance, and said it will likely produce more copper than expected this fiscal year but less coal.

The world's No. 1 miner by market value on Wednesday said it produced 59.9 million metric tons of iron ore in the three months through March. Still, iron-ore output was up 4% to 188.3 million tons for the first nine months of its fiscal year versus the same period a year earlier, helping the miner to benefit from a surge in the iron-ore price to an almost-decade high.

The company kept its full-year production forecast unchanged, at 245 million-255 million tons.

BHP said third-quarter copper output was down by 9%, to 391,400 tons, in big part due to a slimmed down workforce at its Escondida mine in Chile because of pandemic-related restrictions. Still, the miner said the operation has been performing better than expected and raised its full-year guidance to 1.535 million-1.660 million tons. It had previously forecast annual output of 1.510 million-1.645 million tons.

The miner downgraded its guidance for metallurgical coal output, to 39 million-41 million tons from 40 million-44 million previously, citing weather-related disruptions.

It also cut its annual guidance for energy coal production to 18 million-20 million tons, from 21 million-23 million tons previously.


Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 20, 2021 19:01 ET (23:01 GMT)

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