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BHP's fiscal Q1'20 copper output climbs YOY; iron ore, coal decline

BHP Group's copper production in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 climbed 5% year over year to 429,500 tonnes, as the 1% decline in copper output at the Escondida operation in Chile was more than offset by a 20% increase from the company's other projects, including Pampa Norte, Olympic Dam in South Australia and Antamina in Peru.

Iron ore output in the three months, meanwhile, slid 1% to 61.0 million tonnes as volumes at the Western Australia Iron Ore operations were impacted by planned maintenance at Port Hedland.

Production of metallurgical coal was down 10% to 9.4 Mt as the Queensland coal operations were impacted by the planned major wash plant shutdowns at Goonyella, Peak Downs and Caval Ridge, which was partially offset by increased feed rates at the Peak Downs wash plant. Energy coal output declined 15% to 5.6 Mt due to lower production at the New South Wales Energy Coal operations and the Cerrejon mine in Colombia.

Nickel output improved 1% to 21,600 tonnes as the year-ago production was impacted by a fire at the Kalgoorlie smelter, part of the Nickel West project in Western Australia.