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BHP iron

Western Australia Iron Ore. Image: BHP

BHP has broken production records at the Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in Queensland and at its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) sites after launching operations at South Flank in May.

The company produced a record 252 million tonnes of iron ore at WAIO in the 2021 financial year, marking a one per cent increase from the previous year, while total iron ore production increased by two per cent to 253.5 million tonnes.

This comes off the back of record iron ore prices recorded in 2021.

BHP started the South Flank iron ore operation in May, with full production capacity of 80 million tonnes per annum to be reached over three years.

Higher volumes of metallurgical coal at Queensland Coal allowed the company to reach record production at Goonyella of 9448 tonnes in the 2021 financial year.

However, metallurgical coal production was reduced by one per cent to 41 million tonnes in the 2021 financial year but remained within BHP’s guidance range.

According to BHP chief executive officer Mike Henry, the company has remained in good stead following another successful year.

“BHP safely delivered another year of excellent operational performance and its second consecutive financial year with zero fatalities at our operated assets,” he said. “We set several production records and brought on four major projects safely, on schedule and on budget.

“We achieved production records at our Western Australia Iron Ore operations and the Goonyella Riverside metallurgical coal mine in Queensland.

“South Flank, the largest and one of the most technically-advanced iron ore mines in Australia, began production in May and will boost the overall quality of BHP’s iron ore product suite.

“BHP is in great shape. Our operations are performing well, we continue our track record of disciplined capital allocation, and our portfolio is positively leveraged to the megatrends of decarbonisation, electrification and population growth.”

BHP also produced its highest annual copper production at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.

The mine produced 205,300 tonnes in the 2021 financial year as copper demand surges in response to electric vehicles and clean energy technology.

This marked the highest production recorded at the site since it was acquired by BHP in 2005.