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BHP improves iron ore and copper guidance after mixed quarter

Iron ore guidance was increased as a result of the restart of the Samarco mine in Brazil last month

BHP Group PLC -
The Samarco reconstruction

BHP Group PLC (BHP) reported growth in copper production and weaker iron output in the second quarter of its financial year, but improved its full-year guidance for both metals amid high current prices.

The FTSE 100-listed miner revealed copper output of 428.1kt in the three months to end-December, up 4% on the preceding quarter although down 6% on the same period last year.

READ: Is the copper price headed for a soggy second half?

Some 62.4mln tonnes (mT) of iron ore was produced in the quarter, down 6% on the preceding three months but up 3% year-on-year.

Looking to the full year, iron ore guidance has been increased to 245-255 Mt as a result of the restart of the Samarco mine in Brazil in December.

Copper guidance was narrowed to 1,510-1,645 kt, from 1,480-1,645tkt amid a strong performance at Escondida in Chile.

Energy coal guidance was reduced following a 91-day miners strike at Cerrejón in Colombia, while guidance was unchanged for petroleum and metallurgical coal.

Chief executive Mike Henry said the half year had seen a “strong safety and operational performance”, including record production at Western Australia Iron Ore.

He added: “Our major development projects in iron ore, petroleum and potash are progressing well. We continue to build on our strong foundations, increasing future-facing options in copper and nickel through exploration, partnerships and acquisitions.”

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Price: 2194.5 GBX

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Market Cap: £110.98 billion
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